My sister came to visit me in 1993. We did a lot of sightseeing, including important stops like having toast at the now closed Ships restaurant, visiting Disneyland and riding the Haunted Mansion ten times in a row, and naturally, a trip to Hollywood Boulevard and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
As Angelenos know, most of the media and ticket hawkers and surveyers do not want to talk to people who actually live in Los Angeles. So the Japanese reporters who were walking around with pictures of ten or so Japanese men--including one of their Prime Minister--did not want to talk to me once they found out I lived in Los Angeles.
They asked my sister instead which of the men on the page was the Prime Minister? My sister chose, wrongly, and the lady asked why she had chosen that photograph. My sister said something along the lines of "he looks forceful," etc. The lady glanced at me and I smiled and shrugged.
"Do you know?" Asked the reporter politely, but with an undertone that I couldn't possibly know the correct answer.
I nodded, laughing, and pointed to the correct picture without hesitation.
The reporter got very excited and waved the other reporter and the photographer over. They explained to me that they had been out there for hours and no one had been able to correctly identify the Prime Minister of Japan. All three were very interested to hear how I had recognized him?
"I remember him from when our President threw up on him," I responded grimly, trying convey some sense of shame for the bad manners of my President and ignorance of my countrymen.
They laughed so hard the photographer could hardly take my picture. They told me all the details of what newspaper my picture was going to appear in, and how this was going to be quite a highlight and humorous -- "yet kind of sad," my sister interjected, apologetically-- story.
As we left them to go put our hands in Marilyn Monroe's hand prints they were still laughing hysterically and telling the story to curious Japanese tourists that had gathered around them.
Until we left Grauman's groups of Japanese tourists pointed at me and some even took my picture, too. Word travels fast.
And that's how Bush Senior got my picture in a Japanese newspaper.