The Corner

Prez Loses Watch

This story offers an excellent opportunity to recycle a Soviet-era joke.

Stalin and Khrushchev are taking a tour of their Eastern European satellites in Stalin’s special train.

Khrushchev [who is the clueless unworldly peasant in all jokes of this genre]:  “I can’t keep track of these damn countries.  Where are we now?”

Stalin: “What time is it?”

Khrushchev [looking at watch]: “Ten o’clock.”

Stalin:  “Well, then, this must be Czechoslovakia.”

[Somewhat later]  Khrushchev: “I’m lost again.  What country are we in now?”

Stalin: “What time is it?”

Khrushchev [looking at watch]: “Two thirty.”

Stalin:  “Well, then, this must be Hungary.”

[Somewhat later]  Khrushchev: “Sorry, I’m lost yet again.  What country are we in now?”

Stalin: “What time is it?”

Khrushchev [lifts wrist to look at watch]: “Hey!  My watch!  It’s gone!”

Stalin:  “Ah, this must be Romania.”

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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