FIRST DATES WITH FOREIGN LEADERS: Vladimir Putin / by Chris Duffy

Despite a dedicated opposition movement and accusations of electoral tampering, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claimed a decisive victory in last week’s presidential election. After taking congratulatory phone calls from several heads-of-state, Vladimir took me on a beachside picnic.


ME: Oh my goodness, look at this spread.

PUTIN: Pretty nice, right? I hope you like borscht. I felt like we needed something cool in case this date starts heating up!

ME: You rascal! I’m not that kind of first date.

PUTIN: We’ll see, we’ll see… anyway, we’ve got some caviar here and some blinis. Try one.

ME: Delicious!

PUTIN: I know, right? Hey, do you want me to take off my shirt and hold a gun?

ME: Um…no.

PUTIN: Sure?

ME: I’m sure. But I do want to get to know you better. So tell me, what’s your background?

PUTIN: Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard this story a million times from every guy you date. Born in Leningrad, served in the KGB in East Berlin, stifled opposition parties and free press, blah, blah, blah… enough about me. What about you? What kind of music do you like?

ME: I like a little bit of everything. Yourself?

PUTIN: Well, of course, I’ve always been passionate about traditional Russian music and trance, but recently I’ve been getting really into smooth jazz.

ME: I have to say, I did not expect that.

PUTIN: I guess I’m just a romantic. I know true love starts with a smooth sax solo.

ME: Are you kidding me? There’s no way anyone thinks that’s romantic.

PUTIN: Are you kidding me? The vast majority of people I’ve dated have thought I’m the most romantic person they’ve ever met.

ME: That’s clearly an exaggeration.

PUTIN: No. That’s a fact. 60% of total dates have thought I’m the most romantic and in some regions, notably the North Caucasus, that percentage was nearly 100%.

ME: Well that just seems highly improbable. Can I talk to some of these dates?

PUTIN:  Most certainly not. Factually, I am romantic and there’s no need for external verification. Now, please acknowledge these facts by swooning.

ME: I’m not just going to swoon because you tell me…oh my god, why are you taking your shirt off and aiming a rifle at me?

PUTIN: There’s no need for you to cry. Just swoon.

ME: I’m swooning, oh god, I’m swooning.

PUTIN: Like I said, everybody thinks I’m romantic.

Originally published in Wag's Revue: