I have to interrupt right here and tell you that on one of my visits — I won’t name him, I don’t want to embarrass him,- but one of the heads of state that I met with on this visit, he gave me one while I was on the way. He told me a story about the two fellas in the Soviet Union who were walking down the street. And one of them said, “Have we really achieved full Communism? Is this it? Is this now full Communism?” and the other one said, “Hell no, things are going to get a lot worse.”
Which makes me think of a story… Everything makes me think of a story. … about three dogs: an American dog, a Polish dog and a Russian dog. They are all having a visit, and the American dog was telling them how things were in his country. He said, “You know, you bark… after you bark long enough, then somebody comes along, gives you some meat.” And the polish dog said, “What’s meat?” And the Russian dog says, “What’s bark?”
I heard one about a fellow who went to the KGB to report that he lost his parrot. The KGB asked him why he was bothering them. Why didn’t he just report it to the local police. “Well,” he answered, “I just wanted you to know that I don’t agree with a thing my parrot has to say.”
One of the recent ones that I heard was about the man walking along the street at night, Moscow, Soviet soldier called to him to halt, he started to run, the soldier shot him. Another man said, “Why did you do that?” “Well,” he said, “Curfew.” “Well,” he said, “It isn’t curfew yet.” “I know, he is a friend of mine. I know where he lives. He couldn’t have made it.”
You know, less than one family out of seven in the Soviet Union owns an automobile. Most of the automobiles are driven by bureaucrats. The government furnishes them, and the drivers and so forth. So an order went out one day to the police that anyone caught speeding , anyone, no matter who, gets a ticket.
Well, Gorbachev came out of his country home, his dacha. He was late getting to the Kremlin. There was his limousine and driver waiting. He told the driver to get into the back seat — he’d drive.. and down the road he went… And they pass two motorcycle cops. One took out after him. And pretty soon he is back with his buddy. And his buddy says, “Well, did you give him a ticket?” And he said, “No.” “What,” he said, “Why not?” “Oh,” he said, ” He’s too important.” “Well,” he said, “We are told to give anybody a ticket, no matter who it is!” “Oh,” he says, “No, no,” he says, “This was… I couldn’t.” “But who was it?” He said, “I couldn’t recognize him. But his driver was Gorbachev.”
The story was about an American and a Russian arguing about their two countries. And the American said look, in my country, I can walk into the oval office, I can pound on the president’s desk and say Mr. President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country. And the Russian said I can do that. And the American said you can? Yes, I can go into the Kremlin, into the general secretary’s office, pound on his desk and say Mr. General Secretary, I don’t like the way the President Reagan is running his country.