"Blame Serendipity?! Heck! I credit Serendipity for the fact that I am here and now label myself a loyal subject of His Majesty King Gorzo The Mighty!" says Frederick Cornwallis, Fifth Earl of Ickenham, known to the Wuxi locals and Expats as "Uncle Fred."
Uncle Fred, who teaches English at Solar Systematic Outer Planetary Experimental Nuclear English School, says before that he came to the Wuxi China Expatdom he was down on his luck, and contemplating suicide and even worse things like watching an episode of Oprah Winfrey. "I was unemployed. My fifth wife had left me. I was a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club. And even worse I was actually living in Toronto and all my friends were from Ontario, Canada as well as being NDP voters. I was down to my last pair of three-day-worn undershorts. My socks had holes in the toes and the heels. The Anglican Church I was attending excommunicated me. I was contemplating joining a Manichean cult, but I instead thought of ending it all by forcing myself to watch the same episode of Oprah Winfrey over and over again, while sitting on the sidewalk outside the Air Canada Center in Toronto!" said the Fifth Earl of Ickenham.
But then, according to Uncle Fred, manna fell from heaven and practically hit him on the head. "Wuxi China Expatdom Archduke Sir Harry Moore was giving one of his inspiring paradigm shifting film lectures — I believe it was either about the films of Donald Sutherland or about film adaptations of the books of Mordecai Richler, at the Air Canada Center I didn’t attend the lecture, but I couldn’t believe the joy and pandemonium I saw on the street as the attendees filed out of the arena. I never saw so many happy people. The length of the conga line brought back memories of my time attending gala parties in Ickenham! And then I ran into a volunteer from the Salvation Army. She gave me a free copy of the Poolside Harry Moore. The intimate photos of the Archduke which showed his raven black tousled hair to perfection, and his clear, crisp prose crushed any thoughts I had of committing suicide or joining the Oprah Book Club! I had a goal and that was to move to the Wuxi China Expatdom!"
Acquiring the skill and mindset to become a proper Wuxi Expats wasn’t easy for Uncle Fred. "I had to join U.S. Marines and take part in basic and paratrooper training, while at the same time studying for doctorate degrees in Engineering, Latin Rhetoric Classic Greek Studies, Tang Dynasty poetry appreciation, and Advanced Nuclear Naturism Theory at the leading universities in North America and Europe. I, of course, converted to Roman Catholicism and and confessed all my sins in a eight day session where I had no sleep or food. Finally, I completed the most difficult part and got my TEFL certificate over three weekends at the University of Toronto!"
Now Uncle Fred says he is happily living ever after in the Wuxi China Expatdom. "I don’t watch the Maple Leafs on television any more! I have a wife, a local girl, who I know will never leave me. We are now expecting her fifth child. People ask me how I can afford to have so many children on an English Teacher, and I tell them three things: Love, my faith, and the fact that I live in the wonderful Wuxi China Expatdom! And to think this all wouldn’t have happened to me if a sweet person from the Salvation Army in Toronto, Canada hadn’t given me a copy of the Poolside Harry Moore! It was a really serendipitous moment, I tell ya!"