And A Little More Russian Humor

The following examples of Russian humor were taken from the Russian magazine, Laughter All-Around.

1.  –I heard that you decided to back to your husband.

— Yes.  I could no longer stand to see him enjoying himself so much!

2.  Little Elsie was finishing her prayer.

–And one more thing, Dear God.  Please send some clothes to those poor naked girls that Daddy looks at in his magazine.

3.  –Just imagine what a catastrophe!  Yesterday my three-year-old son threw fifty pages of my new novel into the fire!

–What!  He read it already?

4.  –Mommy!  Why did the wolf eat the grandmother instead of Little Red Riding Hood?

–Go to sleep, my precious one…Maybe he wanted dried fruit.

5.  A married couple was taking a stroll through the forest.  The wife says:

—  What a wonderful spot to rest and have a snack!

—  You know.  You may be right.  Fifty million ants can’t be wrong.

6.  From a theater review:

–Art demands victims and the hall was soon filled with them.

7.  A wife, who had just gone fishing with her husband, speaks to her friend:

–It turns out I did everything wrong!  I spoke too loud.  I didn’t bait the hook properly.  I didn’t cast the line in the right place.  I didn’t get a strike the right way.  And what’s more:  I caught more fish than he did!

Beauty Of The Salad Is Breathtaking: The Best Of Gloria Russakov, Part 2.

Gloria Russakov worked with a staff from Oregon Magazine to evaluate a slough of restaurants in Oregon.  Her reviews are both personal and humorous. She describes herself as “the short woman in the big glasses” and always paid for her meals.  She warns people to be careful when eating at Samovar Bakery-Restaurant Lunch in Beaverton:  Nothing upsets the staff more than to see the Amerikanskis(Amerikantsy) blatantly waste food.  Even reassuring them that you like your lunch, but that some 5’2″ females are susceptible to weight gain even on Perrier, will not assuage their anger.  Leavings trigger grimaces, shrugged shoulders, mumbles of “terrible” in two languages, and a posse which runs after you with the unfinished apple strudel you were trying to escape.  However, Gloria can become quite poetic when she encounters a creative dish:  “Beauty of the salad is breathtaking.  Chunks of cucumber, zucchini, green pepper, celery, iceberg lettuce and tomato all tossed with an oil-based sweet and sour dressing accented with onion, all bordered with tall cabbage leaves.  Flowers from The Country Inn garden are arranged among the layers of leaves.”  Such is the description of a salad from The Country Inn in Eugene.  Compare this with the salad at The Keeping Room in Cannon Beach:  “Salad is one of those combinations no one(wisely) bothered inventing before.  Pieces of cantaloupe are combined with pieces of cucumber, then dressed with a semi-sweet, watery white dressing.  All are deposited on a lettuce leaf to catch the run-off.”  Her description of their cheesecake is positively lethal:  While it(ginger cheesecake) inspired one California tourist to write in for the recipe, it inspired another to grab her coffee cup, gulp fast and rush down the block to cleanse her palate with nibbles from the leaves of nasturtiums planted in front of the White Bird Gallery.  Nasturtium leaves are visually appealing, impeccably fresh and mercifully unsauced.”

“The Waiter Is More Authentic Than The Food”: The Best Of Gloria Russakov, Part 1.

Gloria Russakov was a humorous restaurant critic  for the Portland area and the author of Guide To Eating Out In Portland.  In 1978, Oregon Magazine published Gloria Russakov’s Guide To Oregon Restaurants, a delightfully witty and funny book that I turn to often in times of trouble.  Although, I’ve visited only a few of the restaurants in the book, I find her prose quite entertaining and fun to read.

In her introduction to the guide, she argues that abstinence in reference to delicious food is not the answer.  To prove her point, she states:  “Learning that this planet still houses cultures that figure bride-price by the pound,… and cellulite is merely a contemporary synonym for Rubinesque, I have evolved a food philosophy I can live with.  Deliciously.”  She affirms that great cuisine does reside in the state of Oregon, however, she warns that:  “Standing between you and gastronomic heaven is an almost impassable mountain range of boxed croutons.  Impenetrable rolls reheated in microwave ovens.  Cascades of iced tea made from a mix.  Dense forests of iceberg lettuce with shredded cabbage thorns,…  and the frozen bodies of thousands of chickens from Kiev who all died with their wing tips saluting.”

Gloria’s guide separates restaurants according to regions:  The Coast, Portland Area, Willamette Valley and South and East of the Cascades.  She uses the star system, and only one restaurant, The Pancake House in Portland, receives her perfect rating of four stars.  About Lucas Lodge, no star, in Agness, she has this to say:  “Spring water at the outdoor fountain by the porch is delicious.  One lucky child gets to ring the dinner bell. Water and bell are the highlights.  Especially, if it’s your kid,…”     Her 11/2 * rating of Valley River Inn from the Willamette Valley contains the following lines:  “Service is that delicious mix of professionalism mingled with college-boy innocence…  The waiter is more authentic than the food.”

Bassoon Bride

When I was in the Rockies

a pluckin’ with a band,

I spied a bassoon player,

and asked her for her hand.

Her eyes were green and friendly.

Her figure lank and tall.

And when she smiled at me,

my heart began to crawl.

I pulled her to the corner,

so she was mine alone.

Then all the guys around me

commenced in to groan.

“She’ll never play a fiddle

or  strum a mandolin,

so walk away without her

or you’ll commit a sin.”

I didn’t listen to them,

but claimed her all the same.

She kissed me very gently,

which proved she was my dame.

When I walked down the aisle,

my chest swelled up with pride.

My ring was on her finger.

I got my bassoon bride!

The Saga Of Sugar Penny And Boy Crusher: An Excerpt.

By now you’ve probably heard all about the adventures of Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher.  I mean you do read newspapers.  But I doubt you know anything about me and the major role I played.  My name’s Mike Johnson, and I’m a journalism major at Bronsen High.  My father’s a gardener, who works every day except Sunday.  Mom is what you call a stay-at-home mom.  Despite my modest upbringing, my parents want me to go to college and fulfill my dream of being a journalist.  And I take their words to heart, because I have a C+ average and only math gives me real trouble.  So, you see that I’m on top of things and I’m right where I should be.

I must admit that I have a passion for football.  I follow college games, and I love being in the stands.  Although one time my father did a great landscaping job for the coach, so he got us special seats down on the field.  But it was weird seeing these bodies bang into each other, and watch real dirt flying.  From then on I prefer to watch from a distance where the teams look more like bands going through formations.  But I’d give my soul for the Thundering Elks.  And when they lose, I feel that I’ve lost something in my life.  I hate to walk home after a loss, because I think that everyone is staring at me and thinking that I’m a loser.  School always seems empty the next day, and all I can think of are the last numbers of the team’s loss, which taunt me with their mocking shapes.  The fact is I just hate to lose.  Maybe that’s why I wasn’t against Sugar Penny and Boy Crusher entering my life…

–Let’s see.  You’re 5’1 and weigh 90 lbs.

–Well, really!

–I’m just doing my job.  This is an interview.

–I know that.  But does it have to be so personal?

Sugar Penny and I examined each other from across a long wooden table.  Sugar had just grabbed a large jug of Fuzzy Buzzy juice, and was drinking straight from the container.  I knew why the girls liked Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  In the girl’s mag, Feeling Fine, there was an ad for Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  It read:  Girls!  Drink plenty of Fuzzy Buzzy juice!  It will add color to your complexion, and make your breasts swell!  I looked at Sugar Penny’s flat chest, and thought “So much for truth in advertising!”

–What are you staring at?

–Nothing(which was really true!)

Sugar then shot me a smile, which I couldn’t dodge.  Her soft brown hair didn’t help matters.  I began to wonder if her creamy complexion was due to Fuzzy Buzzy juice.  While my thoughts were being tossed around, one stuck in my mind:  The guys called Sugar Penny the “but” girl.  There was a reason for that:  When a guy asked her for a date, she always had a “but”excuse:  “Sure I like you Bill, but…; “You’re real good looking Jim, but…”;  “You’re light on your feet, but…”;  “I know you’re real smart and all that, but..”  Sugar’s smile got stronger and stronger.  I’m not sure what it was made of, but I thought it was something special.  So, I had to take my chances.  After all, I was only twenty pounds overweight, as good a rock skimmer as anyone and I was well-liked.  This was my chance and I had to take it.


–Did you say something?

–Would you like to go to the next baseball game with me?  It’s Friday night at 7.  I could pick you up at 6:30.

The smile began to change before my eyes and melt away into something I couldn’t touch.

–I think you did a good interview, and I’m real pleased, but..

That was it!  I went into the “but” basket with all the other guys.  I excused myself, jumped into my old chevy, and headed for home.

A Little Humor And A Little Wisdom

While I was doing my usual spring cleaning and dust was flying about, I found the following items:

1.  “You don’t have to worry about termites in Montana, they just freeze!”  –Elsie Birkholz

2.  “Cohen was a lovely husband, but he’s no good frozen.”  –Allan Sherman, “J.C. Cohen” from For Swingin’ Livers Only!

3.  The first words that a single mother’s child learns to say:  “Ma-ma”, “Mo-ney.”

4.  Russians are very proud that they don’t resemble Eastern or Western civilization!

5.  “A critic is a person who can turn something into nothing.”  –Hans Christian Andersen

6.  “A lifetime is more

than sufficiently long

for people to get what there is of it

wrong!”  –Piet Hein, from Grooks

7.  “The interesting thing is not actually reaching B, but in how one gets from A to B.”  –Don Juan, The Art of Seduction

8.  “The way to deal with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”  –Mrs Which, from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

And Some More Russian Humor

As President Vladimir Putin has become more intolerant of criticism and more autocratic in tone, Russian humor has risen to the occasion.  Putin, who was once an object of respect, even reverence, has become the subject of a slew of anecdotes and jokes.  Here are some samples:

1.  “Next year, things will get better”, said Putin.  “We’re so happy for you”, said the Russian people.

2.  Putin has a great love for animals:

He flies with the vultures.

He kisses the tigers.

But he takes the jackals and swine straight into the Kremlin.

3.  Putin declared that there is no reason for increasing costs, because the costs will increase without any reason.

4.  “Vladimir Vladimirovich, what do you plan to do about the meteorite?”

“It already fell!”

5.  Putin planned to visit Antarctica and the local penguins were in a panic.  However, they understood that no matter what, they would have to follow the leader of the flock.

6.  “Putin is our sun; you cannot look at him without tears.”

7.  “Vladimir Vladimirovich, you said this isn’t the same as 1937(a period of heightened Stalinist oppression).  What is the difference?”

” Well, in 1937, people weren’t put in prison for dancing in churches.”

I couldn’t resist posting the following pictures of Russian leaders from a nesting doll.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev

Yurij Andropov

Yurii Andropov

Leonid Brezhnev

Leonid Brezhnev

Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin

Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Lenin