The view from the roof of the Kremlin

Well, I’m relieved.

Vladimir Putin has announced that he will seek re-election to the presidency of Russia. Whew. I was afraid he might decide to ride off into the sunset and camp out at a ritzy dacha on some lake near the Urals but, no, he’s going to run again.

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I trust you and know that you won’t rat me out to the Mueller investigation or to the FBI, so here it is:

Through secret channels (hint: the channels’ initials are DT and DTJr., but don’t cop out on it) I made indirect contact with Vlad (not the impaler, or not that we know of) and offered my help in getting him re-elected. Last night, he called me.

“Dobryy vecher,” he said, phonetically, “is this Misha?” (That’s “good evening” in Russian, but I think it can also mean, “You’re under arrest, capitalist dog.”)

He called me Misha, because that is the diminutive of Mikhail, which is Russian for Michael, and is pronounced Mik-hi-EEL, not that idiotic way we used to pronounce Mikhail Gorbachev’s name, to wit, Mik-HALE as in Kevin going to the hoop, for crying out loud.

Anyway, I said, “Da, tovarich,” which is “Yes, comrade,” in Russian although I’m not sure I’m really a comrade in any sense of the word, not being a party member and not really knowing Vlad on a let’s-pound-some-vodka basis, but he didn’t seem to mind.

He said, “You have offered your help and support. I accept. Let’s have a drink.” I could hear glugging from his end of the conversation, but I didn’t have any vodka, so I didn’t glug back.

I said, “Well, tovarich, first, who are your opponents for 2018?”

When he stopped laughing, and glugging some more, he said, “Ya nyez nahyu,” which is Russian for “I don’t know,” and then he added, “But I will tell you who I think would be excellent opponents, and then we can see how to deal with them.”

I said, “Da! Together we can defeat them at the polls.”

He said, “Well, da, more or less. Maybe before. Who can say?”

He started listing potential opponents, in no particular order:

1. Dimitri Siberiaboundev.

2. Anatol Dropdeadsoonov.

4. Yehudi Arrestedalreadyveronski.

I said, “Wait. What happened to number three?”

Vlad said, “He dropped out already, more or less. He and I were having a chat on the roof of the Kremlin and, oops. It was very sad and the splat was very disturbing.”

“I see,” I said.

Then, I asked him if he expected any of the other opponents to drop out.

“Da, if they have discussions with me on the roof of the Kremlin. Da, ‘drop’ out might be the way to describe it, da.”

I suggested that we have a method of getting voters to the polls, particularly strongly pro-Putin voters, and he said, “What? There are anti-Putin voters? Where are they? Who are they? Why are they? Bring them to Kremlin roof, we have nice talk, da?”

I said, “Nyet,” which is “No” in Russian, and I could tell he didn’t like that, but because I was giving him such good advice, he decided to ignore my faux pas, which is French for “screwing up badly enough to be invited for discussion on roof of Kremlin.” (In most bad anti-Russian movies, the Russians don’t use articles like “the” or “a” so I have left them out in the interest of accuracy and making Vlad look as if he stinks at English, I’m so mean.)

I asked Vlad if he’d thought of running an American-style campaign. He laughed.

“What? I should work secretly with myself to elect myself? I should hack my own voting machines to get me more votes? I don’t think I want to get more than 97 percent. Somebody might think fix is in. Fix is not in. Election will be fair and balanced with no need for stupid recount. Close elections are for people like Rasputin: Dead. American-style elections waste of time in Russia. All that yelling and accusing and debating. You accuse me? Of what? Being loved by people? Russian people love Vlad. No love Vlad? Please visit Kremlin roof. Sometimes I rent it out for parties. Lots of people drop in. And out. And off.”

I heard some glugging on his end of the phone and then Vlad said, “Listen, guspodin (which is Russian for “sir” or “Mr.“), I am glad you love Vlad, glad you want to help Vlad. Perhaps someday we go naked-chest horsey riding together, da? But have no worries. Vlad will win. Vlad is ultimate Russian politician. People love Vlad. People know Vlad. People know Vlad make Russia great again. Wait, nyet, Vlad did not say that, forget Vlad’s faux pas (which is French for “giving the game away“) and focus on how soon you can visit me in Russia.”

I said, “What for? I don’t like horsies.”

“Nyet, nyet,” he said. “But you will like view from Kremlin roof.”

I hung up. Later, somebody hacked my computer, changed my name to Misha Gointohidinguskov and cast a vote I didn’t know I had for Vladimir Putin, even though it’s about a year before the Russian election.

A few days later in the mail, I got a MRGA hat and inside it was an invitation to … well, you know where. I don’t think I’ll RSVP, which is French for “Roof. See. Vlad. Putin.”

Hiding now.