Have you ever wanted to just climb out the window and embark on a new life? “I’m outta here!”
Allan Karlsson’s madcap adventures as The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson were chronicled in the book and movie. It was the WBBC’s selection for the late, great Kiwi Mary’s extraordinary 60th birthday celebration. She was the phenomenal host of the WBBC who passed away in Auckland on April 5.
I ordered the book and its sequel, The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-year-old Man, from Amazon, bought a bottle of tequila, ordered the DVD from the library, and settled in to celebrate Mary’s life with Mary-garitas. I laughed and cried through my version of sitting Shiva for Mary. Mary would have loved the sequel. It skewers Donald Trump and has a lot to say about international politics and white nationalism ~ satirically and with humor.
Allan and his BFF Julius Jonsson have decamped to Bali with their suitcase full of cash. They are bored. Julius decides a 101st birthday celebration is required over Allan’s objections. The pair hop into a hot-air balloon which, of course, accidentally takes off with the wind blowing in the wrong direction. They are floating over the ocean and guzzling champagne when the balloon runs out of gas and floats onto the waves.
They are rescued by a North Korean ship which is smuggling a small sample of uranium to Kim Jong-un. Never mind that Allan was 100 in 2005. Trump is in the White House now. Allan unwittingly finds himself in the middle of the nuclear “fire and fury” pissing contest between Trump and the “little rocket man.”
Yes, he and Julius escape Kim Jong-un with an assist from the Swedish foreign minister who whisks them off to the UN in New York City. After a brief stint on the golf course with Trump, Allan decides to deliver North Korea’s uranium sample to Germany’s Angela Merkel instead.
The pair arrives home in Sweden broke and destitute. They stumble into a failing corner market looking for bandages for Julius’ blisters. Sabine, the lonely spinster owner, enjoys their company and invites them to spend the night. Julius’ entrepreneurial spirit is drawn to her store of coffins which the trio briefly manage to morph into a thriving business of custom-painted coffins.
Alas, an unfortunate mix-up in coffins has them fleeing Sweden for Africa. World leaders are convinced they are terrorists and Julius’ penchant for growing asparagus is code for the movement of uranium to North Korea. In the end, Angela Merkel is greatly relieved to discover asparagus is just asparagus.
Allan Karlsson’s improbable madcap adventures allow him to be at the center of world events at critical junctures of history. He achieves everyone’s secret wish to make a dent in the Universe.
Cheers to you, Kiwi Mary! We miss you.