Flip comment leads to valued souvenir

This item appears on page 54 of the September 2012 issue.

Tell ITN about the funniest thing that ever happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. The ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.

This month’s winner is GEORGE COHEN of Warren, NJ:

While heading to Buenos Aires aboard the Crystal Harmony, I was enjoying a balmy breeze on our cabin’s balcony when I noticed a piece of paper fluttering toward me. It landed on the deck and I was astonished to see that it was a 100-dollar bill.

Mr. and Mrs. George Cohen with Flip Wilson.

I took it inside to show my wife. She thought I had taken the money from our safe and that I had made up the story to soothe her feelings about losing a bit in the ship’s casino the night before.

Later that day, as I walked by the casino, the comedian Flip Wilson, a passenger on the ship, was recounting an amusing story. I heard him say, “I was resting on my veranda when a wind came along and blew $2,000 — 20 hundred-dollar bills — out of my pocket. They were flying around, and 19 of them landed right back on my deck.”

Now I knew where the bill came from. It had to be returned.

That evening, my wife and I went to the casino to find Flip Wilson. His laughing voice made him easy to locate. His amusement just increased when he heard our story. In fact, he used the episode as part of his monologue in an ad hoc performance a few days later.

After nearly 20 years, we still have that bill, which he autographed and gave back to us.