Saturday, March 19, 2005


Sometimes events conspire in world events in such a sublimely perfect way, it makes you want to believe that a benevolent being has intervened to shuffle current affairs solely to give you a great big belly laugh. Here are two seemingly unrelated news snippets I heard yesterday:

Snippet One: [relating to the recent slaying of Chechen leader Mashkadov, which many fear will only ignite the Chechnya situation ten-fold]
"Whoever planned the operation [to kill or apprehend Chechen resistance leader Aslan Maskhadov], and I believe it was planned at the very highest level, was thinking like a second-rate chess player. But Chechnya is a game that requires a grand master." -- Moscow Carnegie Center analyst Aleksei Malashenko, in an interview published in "Gazeta" on 10 March.

And whaddaya know? Snippet number two, heard via NPR in my car:
Gary Kasparov won the world chess championship at 22. Now 41, he announced his retirement last week after winning a tournament in Spain for the ninth time. He tells Robert Siegel he's interested in playing a role in pushing Russia toward democracy.

Things are finally looking up for Russia. Their Chechen policy requires a grand master, and it seems one has become available.

(As I type, it occurs to me that this is not going to be so belly-achingly hilarious in the re-telling. But wait! Don't go! I have more! While out for drinks last night to celebrate Charles' birthday, we were trying, as good friends do, to think of the most disgusting drink combinations that would induce maximum turmoil in his stomach. Grand Prize goes to Tommy, who came up with a trio of three drinks entitled "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash." Although nobody has yet been drunk or masochistic enough to try this concoction, it consists of: one shot of Rum, followed by one shot of chocolate liquer (that's right), followed by the Lash, which can only be tequila. Rum, chocolate, tequila, and undoubtedly, puke. Happy Birthday Charles!)


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