I had lunch with Colonel Gaddafi in the spring of 1972. I introduced myself as Dracula and he shook me warmly by the hand. The colonel was dressed in a sparkly brocade khaftan with purple epaulets, shitkicker sandals and a splendid Cor Blimey hat; the entire outfit a gift from Carnaby Street's popular PLO boutique, as he was not on speaking terms with the great Milanese fashion houses at that time. He smelled of burning petroleum, which he told me was a Pan-Arabic scent which he had recently bottled and was now available for export. Our conversation touched on many subjects: Julius Caesar's response to premature balding; whether the Atiq Mosque in Jalu looked more like a series of anthills or molehills; Olga Korbut's chances of winning Olympic gold; and later, as the hot Libyan day cooled into night, Gaddafi began to share his views on more personal topics, such as the physical endowments of Ukrainian nurses, and his abiding interest in traditional desert circus acts like the snake charmer, the rope trick, and especially the human cannonball.