[Here's something I found in my AfricanCrisis archive that made me laugh a lot. This is inside a bigger article. The joke relates to the colours of the Russian flag. Enjoy. Jan]
PUTIN = Planes, uranium, tanks, infrastructure, and nuclear power for sale.
by Reuben F. Johnson
04/23/2007, Volume 012, Issue
A popular joke about Russian president Vladimir Putin these days–like most humor in this part of the world–contains more than a little truth. Putin is sitting in his office and the phone rings. The caller introduces himself as the Moscow representative for Coca-Cola. He congratulates Putin on having brought back the inspiring music of the old Soviet national anthem, but with new lyrics penned to celebrate the "reborn, strong Russia."
"The old Soviet music with these new lyrics," says the Coca-Cola executive, "reminds all of the people what was good about the Soviet times plus what they have to be proud of now as Russians. It instills a sense of patriotism that the previous hymn adopted under Boris Yeltsin [for which no lyrics were ever written] did not. In the same vein as this decision we have a commercial proposal for you."
"We propose that you ditch the red, blue, and white vertical-tricolor Russian flag and replace it with the old Soviet flag," he says. "Only with one small difference. If you will place a small Coca-Cola logo in white on the flag’s red background in the bottom right-hand corner our company is ready to finance your entire election campaign. That is, whenever you decide how you will change the Russian constitution so you can run for a third term."
"That is an interesting proposal," answers the Russian president, "but I will have to consult with my advisers before accepting." Putin then hangs up and summons his chief of staff and prime minister.
"Comrades, we have another proposal about changing the flag," he tells them, "but this one is quite a bit more attractive, and I think we should consider it. But first, tell me–how much time do we have left on the current flag contract with Aquafresh toothpaste?"