Monday, March 22, 2021

Soviet-Era Anecdotes Making a Comeback and That’s No Laughing Matter

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 21 – Soviet anecdotes are making a comeback in Putin’s Russia because they reflect the fact that in all too many cases, the situation has not changed from 50 years ago. As such, in presenting a selection of them, Maximonline says, “this is already no laughing matter” (

            Below is a selection of the Moscow magazine’s choices:

·         A boy asks his grandmother whether Lenin was good. She replies that he was. Then he asks if Stalin was bad, and she responds that he was. Then he asks whether the current leader is good or bad. She says that we’ll all learn that after he dies.

·         What is the most constant thing in the Soviet Union/Russia? Temporary difficulties.

·         One prisoner asks another what sentence did they give you? The latter replies 25 years. For what, his cellmate continues. “For nothing,” the latter replies. You’re lying, his acquaintance says. For that they give ten years.

·         Radio Armenia is asked what is the difference between a misfortune and a catastrophe. It explains: When your cat falls into the river and dies, that is a misfortune but not a catastrophe. But when a plane carrying the country’s leaders crashes and they all die, that is a catastrophe but not a misfortune.

·         Radio Armenia is asked “will there be a new world war?” It answers: “there won’t be a war, but there will be such a struggle for peace that not one stone will remain standing on another.”

·         A boss asks those with a higher education to raise their right hand. When some of them fail to raise the correct one, he says “I said the right!”

·         An American telephones Radio Armenia to ask how much a Russian engineer makes. Radio Armenia replies that “you lynch black people!”

·         How do Russians know what is really going on in the world? From things that TASS says didn’t happen.

·         By longstanding tradition, Russian chekists always offer tea to those taking part in talks a cup of tea. If the talks go well, then they give the guests an antidote.

·         A Russian pessimist is walking down the street. He’s being trailed by two optimists undercover.

·         A boy asks his father why the bright future never seems to come. His father replies that if it can’t possibly arrive because it is always in the future.

·         Radio Armenia is asked: Will there be a KGB under communism? It replies: “No by that time, people will have learned how to arrest themselves.”

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