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You could be the baddest-assed, meanest, most gun-and-drug toting/smuggling monster of a dude around. Your nickname might literally even be “Dudus,” and your last name “Coke.” You might have been responsible for riots and gunplay and fires set in your own country; you might even be responsible for people dying. But you put on a wig and a pair of granny glasses in an attempt to evade the agents who want to extradite and punish you, and suddenly you become a made-for-the-big-screen character that folks might actually kinda root for once they settle in and figure out whether you’re a man or a lady.
Jamaican Christopher Coke, who a month ago set off a deadly siege in Kingston by failing to deliver himself to the authorities and then went missing altogether, used a tried-and-true yet deceptively simple method of escape. Disguise!
Now, let’s just acknowledge that this is a bad man who did bad things. However, the fact that he resorted to something as old-world clever as donning various wigs to conceal his identity, well, it kind of brings out just a little bit of the adorable in him! We know it’s wrong, but frantically running from the cops while wearing a pink wig and woman’s glasses (both found in his car), well, it shows a kind of Mrs. Doubtfire creativity sadly lacking in today’s modern criminal.
We can all rest easy, at any rate, because Mr. Coke was stopped by the police on Tuesday afternoon and arrested as peaceably as those things go. He arrived in New York on Thursday and will face trial in federal district court in Manhattan. What do we have to do to get him to wear the wig at trial?
Coke’s rather hilarious obsession with costuming (something that apparently is not exclusive to him; other Jamaican gangsters have been found dead in women’s clothing, the Times reports) brings up an interesting theory: If all baddies wore hilarious gender-altering wigs — imagine Osama with long, luxuriant Barbie hair, or Hitler with an Orphan Annie ‘do — wouldn’t the world somehow be just a little bit better? Not better than not having any bad people at all, of course, but at least more amusing. Until girly wigs became the criminal norm and the rest of us have to resort to buzz cuts and shiv tats to proclaim our innocence.
It may be, at any rate, that this particular eccentricity of criminality is confined to the Caribbean. As Annie Paul, a Jamaican critic and blogger observed, “In Jamaica farce, intrigue, and tragedy remain inextricably intertwined.”
Well, we’re always in favor of farce.
Update: Coke pleaded not guilty to drug charges and wore a blue inmate smock, no wig, today.