To begin the Sunday Funnies this week, what better joke could be told than that this beloved Russian creature is about to be made famous in his very first feature film made by . . . wait for it . . . THE JAPANESE. If Russia can't even manage to keep hold of its darling little Cheburashka, surely all hope is lost. (If you 'd like to watch an original Cheburashka cartoon, click on the "Classic Russian Animation" link under "Cultural Diversions" in the sidebar, lower left.)
Once upon a time Vladimir Vladimirovich™ Putin was giving a speech at the podium of the United Nation's General Assembly. He was talking about the terrorism and the new world order, the economy and globalization, about the democracy and freedom, when suddenly he felt a tiny bothersome little stone in his custom made Italian leather shoe.
"Here we go again", - Vladimir Vladimirovich™ thought, annoyed, suddenly remembering his last State of the Union address, - "Now it's going to bug the hell out of me…"
Vladimir Vladimirovich™ continued the speech, all the while trying to twist his right foot in order to somehow avoid feeling the disturbing pebble. Yet, the more he was twisting his foot, the more the little stone was pressing in various sensitive spots."A piece of Homeland", - Vladimir Vladimirovich™ thought tenderly. He really wanted to believe that this was a Russian rock, and not a piece of gravel just from the presidential tarmac of the Moscow International Airport "Vnukovo-2", but from a wheat field somewhere deep in middle Russia.
Meanwhile, the audience began to notice Vladimir Vladimirovich™'s strained motions.
First Condoleeza Rice looked at Vladimir Vladimirovich™ with an interest, then president George W Bush raised his head from the notebook where he was doodling horses and naked women.
"This is getting pretty awkward…" - Vladimir Vladimirovich™ though, trying to concentrate on the teleprompter. There was something about the strategic missile launchers.
"Should I take it off somehow? Discreetly…" - Vladimir Vladimirovich™ was still looking for a solution, - "Of course they might notice, but it's only this once. And if I don't? It will keep bugging me, won't it?"
Vladimir Vladimirovich™ bent a little, continuing to read from the teleprompter, took of his right shoe and carefully placed it on the podium next to him. A muffled whisper rustled across the auditorium and Vladimir Vladimirovich™ realized that trying to take the shoe off discreetly did not work. Vladimir Vladimirovich™ lifted the shoe and tapped gently on the side of the rostrum so that the tiny stone would drop out. He then quickly glanced over the room pausing at the widely open eyes of Condoleeza Rice, picked up the pebble lifting his over his head and muttered slightly abashed:
- I will bury it…
The sound of falling chairs startled the room as the representative of the UN member countries hurried for the exit. George W looked up again from his notebook with a smile.
"Interesting" - Vladimir Vladimirovich™ thought, - "Why is everyone some jumpy today?"