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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cabinet So-soers Ruin Inauguration Dreams

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One day, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was watching the president of the United States dancing with a female army officer at his inaugural ball on television. "A bird in the hand is worth two of the Bushes," Vladimir Vladimirovich mumbled.

Then, Vladimir Vladimirovich pressed the button to summon the deputy head of the presidential administration, Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov. "Listen, pal," said Vladimir Vladimirovich. "Everyone is having an inauguration. Bush and Yushchenko had one. I want one, too."

"But you just had one not that long ago!" Vladislav Yuryevich exclaimed in surprise.

"For us presidents, a month is like a year. That means it was actually a while back. Could you arrange one?"

"That's a tough one," Vladislav Yuryevich admitted. "But theoretically possible. You could, say, resign from your post. Or start the impeachment process. But you also have to be sure that you would get re-elected."

"People might not vote for me?" Vladimir Vladimirovich asked.

"Well, what can I say?" Vladislav Yuryevich said, hemming and hawing. "I mean, if the elections were today, they might not. Many people wouldn't be able to get to the polls."

"I knew it," whispered Vladimir Vladimirovich. "I knew we were doing something wrong! Pal, we've got to fix this problem. Program those androids and get to work. Voters should always have the right to travel for free to the polls!"

"We'll take care of it," Vladislav Yuryevich said and left the office.

"Well, what do you know?" Vladimir Vladimirovich said, shaking his head. "You just never know where trouble might be lurking. But come on, it's really hard, running a country and all."

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was talking with his Cabinet one day.

"Hey, pals," said Vladimir Vladimirovich. "Just how did you manage to calculate everything so that nothing adds up right?"

"When we calculated things, they added up OK," replied Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Yuryevich Zurabov.

"It's always the same!" Vladimir Vladimirovich exclaimed. "Things seem to add up OK, but then grandmas go out and start blocking traffic."

"But the numbers are really nice!" cried Finance Minister Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin. "Everything we do turns out so-so," Vladimir Vladimirovich yelled. "We're a bunch of so-soers!"

"What?" asked Prime Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov. "So-soers!" said Vladimir Vladimirovich. "Do all the numbers over!" The ministers looked down guiltily.

Maxim Kononenko's satirical vignettes are found on his web site,