BEIJING, CHINA-- Mr. Byte Mee Lee, proprietor of the laundry shop in the famous Calgon television commercial and exposed as a fraud in that advertisement, turned out to have the last laugh after all.
In the commercial his wife implies that the "ancient Chinese secret" is actually no more than Calgon water softener, but Mr. Lee, who died in 2007, left a will with proof that one of the active ingredients of Calgon is indeed based on an ancient Chinese secret.
He seemed to grow embittered by the scorn he received in the Chinatown community of Manhattan in the years after the commercial aired.
"They would taunt me. Everywhere I'd go I'd hear, 'ancient Chinese secret, 'huh!' and they'd laugh. It was a heavy burden to bear since I knew there really was an ancient Chinese secret in Calgon but I couldn't tell them, else it wouldn't be a secret anymore," he said in his will.
Mr. Lee, who died while trying to remove a stain from a cardigan, was buried just outside Beijing in freshly-pressed clothes that were washed using Calgon.
The will stipulates that the ancient Chinese secret not be revealed, lest it be a secret no more.