Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau

Introducing Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau

In the autumn of 1989, I was a student. My life had gone off the rails. I had to leave a dormitory because I did not fit in the group. I moved back to my parents’ home to gather courage before trying out another dormitory. From then on, I aimed to live an insignificant life as even a failure like me should be able to do just that.

There was not much to laugh for me in those days, except for a few episodes of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau. They were on German television. My parents lived near the German border so that I could watch them.

Clouseau was inept, but he always managed to solve the mystery. Guided by a few hunches and some vague clues that only made sense in his mind, he ignored the apparent explanations of the facts and uncovered the truth by accident. The German dubbing made him appear even more clumsy.

How could a bumbling clown such as Clouseau be correct while the competent fail? The answer is that Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in a story. The plot is always that Clouseau is right in the end. The world we live in could be fiction, and we could be characters in a story, just like an episode of Clouseau. And so, I may be right.

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