Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau

Meeting Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau

In the autumn of 1989 my life had gone off the rails after I had been evicted from the student’s dormitory because I couldn’t get along with a particular lady. Henceforth I committed myself to leading an insignificant life and to disturb no-one with my presence, something even a complete failure like me might be capable of doing.

But perhaps I can’t even do that.

I moved back to my parents’ home to gather some courage to try out another dormitory. Back then there wasn’t much to laugh, except for a few episodes of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau that were aired on German television. My parents lived in Nijverdal, near the German border so I could see them.

Despite his bumbling and clumsy appearance, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau was always able to solve the mystery, something no-one else was capable of. Guided by a few hunches and some vague clues that only made sense in his mind, he always ignored the most obvious explanation of the facts.

So how can a clown like him be correct all the time while all the competent fail? The answer is that Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in a story. The plot is always the same: Jacques Clouseau is right in the end.

The licence plate number of the car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated may refer to 11 November 1918, the end date of World War I. This war comprised of billions of actions of millions of individuals. To make the war end on exactly this date might suggest that the world we live in is fiction.

So I could be right.

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