The Problems with Russian Men's Balls and the Moscow MetroIssue: Section:
“The evil west was putting female hormones in the beer and this was emasculating Russian men, causing them to grow breasts and cry at cat food commercials”
I have been meaning to write this for a long time and can only blame old age and apathy for not doing so sooner (actually I was writing books, but textbooks not Grishamesque page turners). I want to turn to a theme dear to my heart, the Moscow metro . Having narrowly avoided being blown up at Park Kulturi on 30th March and becoming a BBC celebrity as an inadvertent consequence (I realised that I was famous for all the wrong reasons when Canadian newspapers starting calling me for interviews) maybe this is even more poignant.
The Moscow metro is a wondrous place. Allegedly before they built it Soviet Metro planners went round the world looking at pre-existing metro systems (they must have ended up like moles) and came to the conclusion that none of them were grand enough for the proletariat so they built something much grander and miles more efficient, cheap and reliable than NY, Paris and London have ever managed to come up with. My daily one way ticket costs about $0.60 and trains come (subject to explosions) every 90 seconds.
Like all metro systems the problem is not the ticket machines, barriers, escalators, truly appalling adverts or platforms but one's fellow passengers. Any tender novice to Moscow learns to avoid Babushki (Russian grandmothers armed with shopping trolleys on wheels full of potatoes) but there is a more recent and rather worrying phenomenon. Russian men cannot sit on the metro withough spreading their knees at least 4 feet apart. Amazingly this applies to all Russian men, young, old, fat, slim, smart and scruffy. The only ones this does not apply to are the sleeping alcoholics who adopt even more unusual positions.
My wife and I have spent the long winter evenings gazing at the burning logs and pondering why this should be. Why if you are sitting next to a Russian man do you have to sit looking like the Queen riding side saddle? My theory is this. A few years ago the Russian Government launched a campaign encouraging beer drinking (you have to live here to fully appreciate this madness). The idea being that beer drinking is healthier than vodka drinking (Einstein, relative). Beer sales rocketed and Russian brewers were snapped up by international brands. After a while a rumour started. The evil west was putting female hormones in the beer and this was emasculating Russian men, causing them to grow breasts and cry at cat food commercials. But what if it was not the chest area that these hormones encouraged to swell what if, in true CIA style, they got it a bit wrong and it was the clangy bits?
I would write more but Dan Brown is calling on my mobile, maybe wants a plot synopsis.
By the way my wife whacks them on the knee and says "shut the gate". I tread on their feet. Nothing works, Large balls and impervious to pain. Dangerous combo.