Sunday, February 9, 2014

Putin On The Ritz

Has anyone been taking any notice of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia? I've been forced to endure bits and pieces of it in the evenings because I often spend time on my staff's laps in front of the telly and I don't seem to get much of a say when it comes to which programmes we watch. Personally I'd rather watch something high-brow like a subtitled Iranian documentary on the role of women in Islam. It may not be that interesting but at least it is very, very short indeed, so that we can see more of my favourite commercials - the ones that feature a local, barely literate business man with an Australian accent so nasal that he appears to be speaking duck. No matter; what these businessmen lack in comprehensibility they make up for in volume.

But no, I have to sit there and suffer through the Winter Olympics. I note with interest that the Russian mafia boss, sorry President - Mr Putin has organised some special events for journalists who dare to express the slightest criticism of his government. These extra events take place after the main events have finished for the day and the crowds are kept away so as not to disturb the participants concentration.

There's the luge for example. The offending journalist is strapped naked to a sheet of corrugated iron and shoved head first down a steep icy slope. As these journalist are not elite athletes the risk of injury has been reduced by the construction of a large pool of icy water at the foot of the slope. It is up to the contestant to free himself from the corrugated iron before he or she sinks. Points are awarded for the speed of the retraction of articles critical of Mr Putin and the writing of something more favourable by whatever media outlet the journalist works for.

Speed-skating is another of these special events. The offending journalist is force fed a large dose of speed, given a set of rusty ice skates and is then shoved out onto an ice hockey rink containing a hungry polar bear. Points are awarded firstly for how long the journalist can stay ahead of the bear and secondly (And you'll find this is a common form of points scoring in these special events.) for the speed of the retraction of articles critical of Mr Putin and the writing of something more favourable by whatever media outlet the journalist works for.

A third special event is the Bi-athlon, so called because it is for bi-sexual and gay journalists. This is a real test of outdoorsmanship. The competitors are given one ski, one ski pole and a fifteen minutes head start. They are then chased through the mountains of the Caucasus by former KGB assassins wielding Kalashnikov semi automatic rifles. These assassins have a slight advantage in that they are on snow mobiles, so the event tends not to last very long. The former KGB assassins are getting on in years now after all and it wouldn't be fair to keep them out in freezing weather for hours at a time. The same points structure applies as per the speed-skating event.

The last of these special Winter Olympic events is the ski jumping. It is sponsored by Aeroflot. The competitors are dragged to the top of the ski jump slope and gently encouraged to slide down on a tin tea tray. The winner is the journalist who travel furthest from the end of the slope without parting with his tray. Extra points are gained by surviving. As sponsors, Aeroflot were initially going to hand out a million frequent flyer points to the victor, but this was withdrawn as it was thought to be a disincentive.

 An Aeroflot flight attendant checks on the wellbeing of his passengers.

Well sports fans. Enjoy the competition. I'm sure it will be fifty billion dollars well spent.

Boris' Bit
Ich much prefer der Summer Olympics. Ve cavies haf our own Olympic event. It is called "Der fünfzig metres sprint für animals mit no sense of direction." If you haf ever seen ein guinea pig runnink around you vill know vy ve are so good at it.

Instead of mein handsome face, here is ein photo of mein nephew Baci für ein change.



  1. My comiserations Billy, Boris & Baci. It seems there is an advantage to being hours out of synch with Sochi. You can miss the Winter Oympics altogether over here in the UK, with no effort at all.

  2. Thanks for the comment Verity. Yes the Winter Olympics leave me cold too. Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Hah!

  3. Baci is getting so big. Billy what is your male staff feeding him? The Olympics I find rather boring so does the boys!