When France Meets Russia, It’s A Laughing Matter

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered famous French actor Gerard Depardieu a Russian passport.  This was in response to the actor’s rage over the French government’s plan to raise taxes for those with high incomes.  The French actor called Russia a great democracy, and went to Mordovia, his new homeland.  Depardieu is scheduled to play Rasputin in an upcoming film.  Among Russians, the Frenchman’s arrival produced a spate of anecdotes and much laughter.  I offer some samples:

1.  Last year I asked Santa Claus to make Gerard Depardieu my compatriot.  Who knew that the old man would take me seriously?

2.  Depardieu began to think a 75% French tax wasn’t so bad after what he had to pay for his hotel in Sochi and for skiing in the Red Field.

3.  “Ivan, did you hear that the Frenchman Depardieu has arrived?”  ”  200 years ago the  French stuck in their noses and learned there was absolutely nothing here.”

4.  “Mr. President,  why did you give Depardieu a Russian passport?  After all, he’s a Frenchman!”  “What do you mean he’s a Frenchman?  He’s a genuine ‘new Russian’.”(a very rich Russian)

5.  Last year there was a flood of protests concerning immigrants.  “As if we didn’t have enough Tadzhiks, Uzbeks and people from Azerbaijan.  Now, the French are pushing through.  What do they think, that Moscow is made of rubber?”

6.  Russian nationalists have a new slogan:  “Suitcase, railway station, France!”

7.  Russian patriots will walk in T-shirts embroidered with the Smolensk highway, which Napoleon used to escape.  They will hold up a road sign:  Mister Depardieu, France 2800 kilometers.

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

2 Responses to When France Meets Russia, It’s A Laughing Matter

  1. auntyuta says:

    Great sample of humorous anecdotes. Thanks for this. I very much enjoyed reading it!

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