[and steven segal is a lama]

Topic: Culture
Ben Macintyre’s recent book, The Man Who Would Be King, tells the story of Josiah Harlan, a Pennsylvania Quaker who became the first recorded American visitor to Afghanistan, where he had gone to make his fortune after being jilted by his fiance. As Macintyre’s title suggests, Harlan was probably the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous story, which John Houston subsequently made into a movie starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

At one point in his adventurous life, Harlan was granted the title of Prince of Ghor, to be passed down to his descendents in perpetuity. Now the BBC has found his heir: American actor Scott Reiniger, who played Roger DeMarco in George Romero’s 1978 horror classic, Dawn of the Dead.

Which raises the question: would you rather be trapped in a shopping mall surrounded by zombies, or be the ruler of an unruly province in Central Afghanistan? I’d go with the mall, because your chances of survival are slim either way, but at least the mall would have a well-stocked food court.

At present, though the treaty his great-great-great grandfather signed is still in effect, Reineger says he has no plans to assert his claim to the throne.