Roll up. Roll up. You won't believe your eyes.
No, I'm not launching a new Apple product (at least not yet). Instead, I would like you to scan a piece of footage for me and tell me what you see.
I would like you to examine a YouTube video that has been sent to me by various readers and eminences. It has already been viewed by more than 1.6 million people. And it shows Irish film director George Clarke declaring that he has seen an old woman--or a man in drag--in the 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie "The Circus."
Why might this be remarkable? I am sure even Chaplin himself might have donned a skirt at least at some point in his life. Ah, but this skirted individual, with a hardened Edward G. Robinson-type face, appears to be talking on a cell phone.
You did hear me right. She (or he) appears to be in possession of a mobile device and chatting into it.
Clarke claims to be bemused by this spectacle. He claims that he has been looking at this footage for a year. His only explanation is that this is a time traveler who has wandered back in time, no doubt choosing "The Circus" because of a love for Chaplin or a scientific urge to see whether AT&T might have had a better signal in 1928. (The first cell phone call is widely believed to have been made by Motorola executive Martin Cooper in 1973.)
Of course, she might also have been testing some new Droid phone for Verizon and been mouthing "Can you hear me now?"
I am hoping that there is someone out there with a DVD of "The Circus" who can confirm that this slightly infirm-looking lady is, indeed, in all copies of the movie.
I am hoping, too, that not everyone will be put off by the fact that Clarke's greatest directorial feat was a movie called "Battle of the Bone." This opus, which passed me by, is, well, a "martial-arts zombie extravaganza"--at least according to Amazon.com, it is.
Some might be prejudiced against the director of this movie. Some might think that this is just a desperate man playing a cruel, humorless joke. However, I must emphasize that "Battle of the Bone" did win the 2008 Audience Choice award at the Freak Show Film Festival held in the extremely freaky city of Orlando, Fla.
I know that Technically Incorrect's astute and unforgiving readership will immediately pounce on this riddle and solve it.
I believe that the supposedly cell phone-toting woman bears a considerable resemblance to former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Meir would have been 30 in 1928 but lived to the age of 80. However, I would not wish to suggest that I might know how or why a future--or former--Israeli Prime Minster happened to appear in a Charlie Chaplin movie. Or how she might have obtained a cell phone.
I will leave that to the scientists. And the chaps at MythBusters.