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She Kept Her Shirt On; Tibetans Got It Off Their Chest

November 15, 1987|LARRY PRYOR

What do Sgt. Ernie Bilko and the Dalai Lama have in common? The wily barracks con man and Tibet's exiled god-king converged in the unlikely predicament of Kris Tait, 25, a British tourist recently on vacation in the town of Gyangste, Tibet. Newspapers in London said that she had been strolling the streets dressed in a T-shirt imprinted with the likeness of the late bald comedian Phil Silvers, whose 1950s TV series is still a popular late-night feature in England. Along came a Chinese soldier on a bicycle. He spotted Tait's T-shirt and mistook it for a likeness of the Dalai Lama, who keeps his head shaven. The soldier tried to pull the shirt off but, Tait said, she crossed her arms over her chest. More confusion apparently followed as a crowd of Tibetans gathered, pointed at Bilko and chanted: "Dalai Lama!" Ugyan Norbu, secretary of the Tibetan Society in London, said Tibetans would not have seen the Silvers TV show, the Guardian reported. Tait somehow extricated herself. "It was terrifying," she said. (Cut to barracks of a platoon of Chinese soldiers. Hapless private bursts through the door to report an incident that will likely get his sergeant in trouble. . . .)

--The ballot's in the mail, said challenger Albert H. Wolstenholme, who lost the Nov. 3 election to incumbent Marysville, Ohio, Councilman R.N. Royshoudhury by one vote, 268 to 267. The final vote is an absentee ballot issued to Wolstenholme's son, Ens. Jeffrey Wolstenholme, on duty in the Mediterranean. The Union County Board of Elections received the ballot Nov. 12, but the Ohio secretary of state's office is deciding if it's eligible to be counted. In case of a tie, the winner would be chosen by a coin toss. Wolstenholme said his son assured him that he voted for his father.

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