Here's Victor Wong, a Chinese-American actor who you may know from Big Trouble in Little China, The Golden Child, and The Last Emperor. Before he played pop-eyed goofballs in the movies, he was an artist. I just learned that he is the real life inspiration for the character Arthur Ma in Jack Kerouac's novel "Big Sur."
Wong, a lifelong San Franciscan, was good friends with Lawrence Ferlinghetti. After a night of heavy drinking, Wong and Kerouac spent hours shouting nonsensical things at each other, though the next morning, neither remembered many of the lines specifically (just that they were classics). An example from the novel goes like so:
"Who told you you had a hat on your head?!"
"My head never questions hats."
Surely it was such profound silliness that colored Mr. Wong's portrayal of Egg Shen:
"Wind ... fire ... all that kind of thing!"
On 9-12-01, Wong passed away from complications from two strokes. Tonight I will drink a golden cup of smokey liquid, and if anyone asks me "What exactly is this again?", I will simply squint at them and hiss,
"It's ... HUGE buzz!"