Back during the Russian elections, I posted a link to an animated cartoon that had Putin running at a track meet. First he shoots his opponents, then he has the finish line brought to him. This is funny, you understand, because that really is the way Putin wins elections. For example, last time around he disqualified any candidate that might beat him, then rigged the vote anyway. Here’s the cartoon:It will not surprise you to learn that, not only is Putin an accomplished tyrant, he is also a gifted athlete. Now you may have heard that 58-year-old Putin offered his talents to the national judo team (who claim to be seriously considering the matter) but did you know that he is also an excellent swimmer and hotshot equestrian rider? But that’s not all: Putin also plays hockey. Here he is last November. Take a look: Oh my! That’s not exactly scintillating goaltending, is it? The goalie actually hands Putin the puck and Vlad still can’t discover an opening. In fact, he can’t handle the puck at all. You have to wonder about these powerful guys: they must know they look like jerks, so why do they do this stuff? Are they simply unable to resist acting out impossible fantasies? In his mind’s eye, does Vlad see himself circling the crease like a shark while the crowd cheers, “PU-tie! PU-tie! PU-tie!” He shoots! He scores!
It turns out Mao really did swim the Yangtze in 1966 but it doesn’t matter; he looked foolish, just as all these autocratic would-be sports heroes do. After all, by definition, any event these most-powerful potentates are in, is rigged.
Of all the world’s dictators, Kim Jong-Il was probably the most gifted athlete. He once shot 38 under par on a world class green with five holes-in-one! Some say eleven! But Kim’s most amazing feat was trying bowling and, the first game, Kim Jong-Il bowled 300. That’s right. A perfect game, the very first game he ever bowled in his life. Putin is simply not in that class yet.
I say “yet” because Putin is still improving. Check out this video from a hockey game the day after Putin won the election:Now you should know that Putin’s team was behind 4 – 3 when Vlad entered the game. Right away he scored and tied it up! Then, in the sequence above, you see Putin score the winning goal in a shoot-out. Now I don’t want to talk about whether the goalie could have covered the net better — poor bastard had a lot on his mind, no doubt — but look at that shot! Backhand and top shelf! That is pretty good for an ageing autocrat. Vladimir Putin, I salute you and award you the honor of being chosen as Most Improved Player, International Despots League, 2011 – 12 season.