Included here among various alternatives for Tower Bridge, the Washington Monument, The Chrysler building and St. Paul’s Cathedral are proposed extensions to the White House, a 5 million tomb alternative to London’s famous Victorian cemeteries and a particularly uninspiring second place entry for the Sydney Opera House competition. My personal favorite, however is the Triumphal Elephant which could have capped off the Champs Elysees in Paris. If someone could only find the rejected competition entry for what became the Eiffel Tower, which consisted of a giant replica of a Guillotine.
Some I wish existed, some I’m glad didn’t become reality, and some I would like to see and then never see again.
Sam Chirnside is a designer and creative director based in Melbourne. His world bridges the gaps between physical art and digital design and through that mixed media, he explores a space beyond our immediate recognition.
TL;DRSo it appears that the Democracy Manifest guy was not Paul Charles Dozsa but in fact a man named Cecil George Edwards who was mistaken for Dozsa. You can find out more about him and the infamous video in this interview with Edwards.
Back in 2012, I ate at a restaurant in Hampstead, London, just outside the Royal Free Hospital where my dad was getting cancer treatment (he’s fine now). After I finished, I got up and walked out and about halfway between the restaurant and the hospital, I realised: I hadn’t paid. Then I asked myself two things – should I carry on or go back and pay? I couldn’t deal with the guilt of leaving without paying so I went back.
For some, eating and skipping the bill is a way of survival. But for others, it’s a form of arrogance and you’re gonna get caught eventually. Paul Charles Dozsa was the finest example. Born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1940, the former chef and world chess champion was eccentric to say the least. He described himself as a “Hungarian nobleman” and liked to wine and dine in the best hotels and restaurants in Australia where he spent his later life. But he didn’t like to pay for the privilege. He regularly left without paying – pleading poverty when asked. How you can say you are of noble heritage and say you’re poor is beyond me but there we are. Dozsa hustled his way through 54 of these acts. Attempt 55 was the final straw.
Or so people thought.
The infamous “Democracy Manifest” video that most of us now know was part of a longer video, taped by a reporter named Chris Reason for Australia’s Seven News. The full video shows a man being arrested but his real name – Cecil George Edwards – was revealed as well as the fact it was a case of mistaken identity. Edwards was later released that day. The shortened clip was uploaded to in 2009 and soon went viral. And, with viral content comes myths and speculation, which I clearly fell into myself.Other names suggested were John Bartlett and John Ziegler but none were true. It was Edwards all along.
Edwards’s identity wasn’t revealed until 2020 when an Australian punk band called The Chats made a music video for their track “Dine ‘N Dash” featuring the real Cecil George Edwards. The reasoning for his theatrics when arrested was to “appear crazy so he might be placed into an asylum where it would be easier to escape”.
For Dozsa, however, his ways of escaping payment included a misplaced wallet, bounced cheques, poverty, and convincing the restaurant that police involvement was a waste of time. As the venues for his crimes were always 5-star establishments, he was discreetly removed without arrest as not to disturb the guests. One such case involved feigning illness to avoid paying.
What is the charge? Eating a meal? A succulent Chinese meal?
Edwards questioning the reason for his arrest
And the reasons for his crimes? The Hungarian Army had implanted a device in his head. He was half right though. At least with the head part. Dozsa passed away in 2003, apparently from a brain tumour (although the story revelation involved breaking the Hippocratic oath). The tumour might have explained the behaviour and his subsequent cognition. But I’m sure he died as he lived – by the seat of his pants with a full belly and no money to pay for the privilege.
And you, sir? Are you waiting to receive my limp penis?
Edwards before being shoved into the car
For more info about Dozsa’s life (there’s a lot more, trust me) check out this forum thread. RIP Paul Charles Dozsa and long live Cecil George Edwards – the real Democracy Manifest Guy.
I add extra cheese to any pizza I buy (and I eat a lot of pizza). But 154 different varieties? I’d go into a cheese coma. 400 Gradi is a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. Its chef Johnny Di Francesco is the man behind a new Guinness World Record – The World’s Cheesiest Pizza.
The previous record stood at 111 by Johnny himself, after his initial 99-Cheese Pizza (a brilliant reference to Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). But he wanted to set a new benchmark. Needless to say, he accomplished it again.
“We had an overwhelming response from our customers, so much so that they petitioned to have it a permanent menu item. Since then we decided to up the ante and create a 154-cheese pizza.”
What I want to know is what cheeses were used? Johnny told the Guinness Book of Records, “the cheeses included the likes of gorgonzola, pecorino, Taleggio, aged cheddar, gouda and of course, many more!” The pizza has been so popular, it sold out of all 400 Gradi venues within five days, with a total of 797 sold. Okay, I need to stop writing about this as my mouth is watering.
Some wonders lose their magic when you become an adult. I’ve watched Breaking The Magician’s Code loads of times but I still get caught out by sleight-of-hand magic tricks and illusions. It’s that kind of intrigue that fuelled The Curiosity Show, an Australian educational children’s television show hosted by Rob Morrison and Deane Hutton. The show aired between 1972 and 1990 which is a good run for this kind of thing.
The Curiosity Show demonstrated practical science, with all the kinds of things you weren’t allowed in the house (mouse traps and liquid nitrogen for example). It went on to win a host of Australian television awards and old episodes can now be found on YouTube if you’re curious *ahem*.