The Russians Are Here

Quote of the Day:

I went home with a waitress, the way I always do; how was I to know, she was with the Russians too?” –Warren Zevon

Far and away the most interesting, non-depressing news story of the summer is the recent capture and subsequent exchange of ten Russian deep-cover spies for four agents of our own. Here’s an article from today that sums up the affair nicely.

What is so great about this story, a story I’m pretty certain in which we have been told very few details, is that the spies were just living ordinary lives. Again, that’s the narrative. Seems implausible that the Russkies would send over a group of folks to join the PTA and Facebook, but I’ll accept it. Here is something else that is unlikely–that we got them all. Now, maybe we know where some more are and we just wanted to round up enough to make a trade, or just to let Putin know we’re paying attention, but if there were ten sent over here to lead “normal” American lives, isn’t it just as likely there were ten thousand? Think of the mayhem they could create in an effort to undermine American unity, cohesion and civility, sending chain emails, starting Amway pyramids, driving too slow in the passing lane and whatnot. Truth is, this deep cover operation the Russians are using to attack us could be much more dangerous than the “so-called traditional media” has even begun to report.

Never fear, TB has been on the case. I have collected a preliminary list of things to look for as you go about your daily life, trying to spot the Russians amongst us.

  • At cocktail parties your neighbor, “Joe” always tells jokes that start out, “A priest, a rabbi and a capitalist-imperialist-pig walk into a bar…”
  • Your co-worker let’s slip during that uncomfortable period of enforced small talk that is required after monthly birthday cake time in the break room that as a child she could “see Alaska from her house.”
  • Your college roommate’s favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds, the St. John Red Storm and the Chicago Bears.
  • When the plumber comments admirably upon your home brew set-up, he casually works in a question about your nuclear capabilities.
  • At book club, the moderator is constantly complaining that Oprah won’t make “War and Peace” one  of her selections.
  • Your bartender, Svetlana, speaks Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Mandarin Chinese, and ebonics, and occasionally asks you to leave an unmarked, sealed manilla envelope behind the yellow fire hydrant up the street–NOT the red one–the yellow one that’s got all the bushes growing around it.
  • Your friend’s Facebook status reads “Boris like Borscht, Vodka, the 1972 Summer Olympics Basketball Final, Vladimir Putin and 6 other pages.”
  • Your wife thinks the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” is crude, borderline racist and completely not funny.
  • Your insurance agent, Natasha, thinks the war in Afghanistan is going swell, and what we really need to do is commit to remaining in country for at least a generation longer.
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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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4 Responses to The Russians Are Here

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    I was at Lakeapalooza yesterday in Moss Point (very fun btw). The band played your Warren Zevon song – had you not posted it I would have not recognized it at all. 6 Degrees of Separation from the TBU. If a Russian had been on the lake I’m thinking he would have been in hell. I could have missed it but from what I read/heard of this none of the spys were in the South – interesting. Perhaps the accent does not translate into Southern.

  2. Actually, JL, the Southern spies hide out in the open. My neighbor is one. They’re the bottom of the barrel as spies go.

    He hasn’t even bothered to change his name. He’s Ivan Chechov and he still talks in a heavy Russian accent. We have this, or a similar, conversation each morning:

    Morning Ivan.

    Is hot. Is always fu**ing hot.

    Yep, and guess what? It’ll be hot tomorrow. What’s that? Vodka? And at 8 a.m. Nice.

    Hey, what you learn about government in BP oil spill case?

    I’m not telling you Ivan. You’re a spy remember? You have a 70s style satellite dish on your house that still has CCCP written on it.

    What spy? I’m accountant. Directv misspell own name.

    Right. Ivan you have a good day. Oh, by the way, please quit telling my daughters that Miley Cyrus is a capitalist slut. I’m not a fan of hers either, but I’d prefer my daughters learn about slutdom like every other American girl — at school.

    If I do this for you will you get Ivan blue jean?

    They’re called blue jeans. Jeans with an “s.” You can get them yourself at Walmart, Target, pretty much anywhere. Ivan, do they not send y’all to spy school?

    What spy? I’m accountant. You need audit?

    Bye Ivan.

  3. Now, that sh*t’s funny.

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    That IS funny. The leave the “s” off of everything while my American grandmother added one – for example “Walmarts” “Kmarts” “KBs” – the list goes on.

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