Nov 9, 2012

When the Tsarevitch Dreamed of a Beardless Nation

Roman Romanovich, half a dozen dead mice sewn into the lining of his overcoat -- for luck, they said -- dragged his feet toward an empty stable. He stopped to look at the prison across the river; the air he breathed left the taste of rusty knives in his mouth.

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A brief history of the Russian empire:

Russia commenced her trek to modernity by taxing beards. Then came Rasputin and the logical response to Rasputin was communism, of course. After the fall of communism a young, well-connected KGB officer secured a lifetime position as Supreme Puller of Strings and Chief Inspector of Lingerie Models; his name was -- and still is, I gather -- Vladimir Putin.

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