I heard this one before Russia became Russia again in 1992.  It seemed funny then.  It better be funny now too, because we were out late for Father’s Day dinner yesterday and I was in no condition afterwards to come up with new material.


A man was traveling alone on the Trans-Siberian Railroad when a woman got on, entered his compartment and sat opposite him.

He inspected her for several versts.  “What is your name, Comrade?” he asked at last.

“Olga,” she replied.

“Where are you from?”


“And where are you going?”


“Enough of this lovemaking!” the man declared.  “Undress!”


Yes, I know I should be ashamed of serving up such a trifle.  But since I have, this may be a good time to ask:  Does this short short story mainly demonstrate the boorishness of Soviet men? Or does it just go to show that Pinsk is really close to Minsk?


6 thoughts on “A QUICKY

    • In her pingback to this post, Clarissa observes that the cultural baggage which makes something funny in one context is often untranslatable. To which I would reply: the original context may not be translatable, but the anecdote can be funny anyway, from another point of view. For instance, even without appreciating the torpor of Soviet and post-Soviet men, the Western mind may still be amused in my anecdote by a man so primitive as to consider this very brief exchange of monosyllables to be adequate “lovemaking.”


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