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Article Clipped from The Province

Man with his own country Everyone who has run into officialdom to his cost and wondered at the ridiculous questions asked of tourists will have sympathy for a man sonorously named John Allen Kuchar Zegrus. Mr. Zegrus wanted tc travel round the world. To impress officials, he invented a nation, a capital, a people and a language. All these he recorded on a passport which he made himself. Victims of bureaucracy all over the universe will be delighted lo hear that he was wonderfully received everywhere well, almost everywhere. John claimed to be a "naturalized Ethiopian and an intelligence agent for Colonel Nasser." The passport was stamped as issued at Tamanrasset, the capital of Tuared "south of the Sahara." Any places so romantically named ought to exist, but they don't. John Allen Kuchar Zegrus invented them. Armed with this wonderful document, Mr. Zegrus travelled royally through the Middle East, accepting homage as he went And if there were any doubters, they were invited to read a kind of proclamation beneath the national Tuared stamp. It read; "Rch ubwaii ochtra negussi habessi tnvap turara." That was the clincher, but didn't mean anything in any language. The gallant gesture for the individualist, unfortunately, ended with the Japanese in Tokyo. They began looking up maps. John Allen is in court, a martyr to Japanese thoroughness. His action takes precedence, we think, over the American citizen who flew his own plane round the world wearing his own uniform, receiving homage from all and sundry. But the more we ponder on Mr. Zegrus, the more we wish there were really a capital called Tamanrasset, in the delectable country of Tuared south of the Sahara, with a language like the one Zegrus invented. All its citizens would be blessed with John Allen's sterling attitude towards collectors of useless information. TODAY'S BEST FROM EUROPE VI Always practices Mondaji