04-09-14-dancing-with-czars.gifRussian President Vlad “the Impaler” Putin has gotten some bad press lately. Like the zombies in the Walking Dead, the U.S.S.R. is back from the grave. Our old Cold War nemesis, the U.S.S.R. has been reanimated as Russia to chomp on pieces of Eastern Europe. Vlad is seeking Lebensraum for Russia courtesy of Crimea and chunks of Ukraine, Moldovia and possibly Ruritania. Lebensraum is the German word for “I like your house and I am going to take it. Now get out now or eat lead.” Like the Greeks, the Germans had a word for it.

After Vlad annexed Crimea into Russia, some soreheads accused him of being unpleasant. Vlad’s Q factor, which measures personal popularity has dropped in the West, while hitting new heights of Q-dom in the Russian Motherland. Vlad is not one who does things halfway. He wants everyone to love him, not just readers of Pravda. Accordingly, Vlad is embarking on a charm offensive to make us forget about Crimea.

When a celebrity in the West creates a personal mess that hits the news there is a prescribed pattern for regaining popularity. Vlad is no dummy, if reputation rehabilitation almost worked for Lance Armstrong, maybe it will work for Vlad. Vlad has hired the public relations firm of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe to recover his reputation in America. Our man Putin is going to be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars, tripping the light fantastic all over Eastern Europe. Vlad tests very poorly with gays due to some unfortunate statements he made regarding their right to exist. To restore his reputation with gays and transgendered folks, Vlad’s dance partner will be Chaz Bono.

Like every other disgraced celeb, Vlad will appear on the Oprah Show fessing up to his psychological problem of wanting to eat small countries. After an hour of genuflecting in front of Oprah, she will grant him absolution. Oprah will present him with a coupon for a course of weight-loss treatment to help him stop overeating small countries. Vlad has lined up a number of commercial endorsement deals designed to soften his image. He will be in an Acme Dental Floss ad to display his life long interest in dental hygiene. The Acme ad shows Vlad promising to floss his fangs after eating any small country. “You only have to floss the fangs you want to keep” is his tag line. He will be appearing with McGruff the Crimea Dog promising to take a bite out of Poland. Vlad will appear in series of light hearted ads for Ritz crackers featuring the tag line “Putin on the Ritz” in which he reveals that Ritz crackers are an excellent accompaniment when snacking on small countries.

Another ad Vlad will appear in is for potato chips in which he compares eating potato chips to eating small countries.

Vlad: “Whether I am devouring a small country or a bag of potato chips, its hard for me to stop. Bet you can’t eat just one.”

Vlad’s PR firm suggested that a good way for Vlad to appear less vile is to compare him to people who are even more unpopular than he is. To that end, Vlad is going to travel around the United States with a dunking booth on his Look Down that Loathsome Road tour with Woody Allen, Mel Gibson, Justin Bieber and the President of Duke Energy. Compared to those guys, Vlad doesn’t look so bad. Admittedly Vlad has had some trouble booking into major venues like Madison Square Garden due to his current unpopularity. However Vlad and his entourage will set up their dunking booth at Bubba Murray’s athletic field behind the solid waste treatment plant at Kipling, N.C., over the Easter weekend. To bring a local touch to the festivities, Vlad’s dunking booth is filled with coal ash water direct from the Dan River. For only $5 a throw you will get the chance to drop one of these individuals into a bath of arsenic and heavy metals.

From Russia with love, Vlad will be coming to your town and lots of Eastern European countries this Spring.

Photo: Putin on the Ritz

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