HUMOUR IN EASTERN EUROPE
Volume 5 - 1989
Amongst the harshness and drabness of life under communism, in Eastern Europe, one is struck by the resolute steadfastness and biting sense of humour of the people who have endured two generations of socialism.
Here are some examples of their local brand of humor:
“There are FIVE CONTRADICTIONS in every communist country:
“Nobody works. — But the 5 year plan is always accomplished.
“The plan is always accomplished” — but the market is always empty.
The market is always empty — but “the people always have enough to eat.”
“The people always have enough to eat” — but they are not satisfied.
Nobody is satisfied — but we all applaud”
DO’S AND DON’TS
“In a communist country it is best not to think.
However, if you do think — then you must not speak.
But if you cannot restrain yourself and you do speak — then you must under no circumstances write.
And if you cannot discipline yourself and you do write — then at least do not sign.
And if you are so foolish as to sign — then do not be surprised!”
THE REASONS WHY
Three men were being transported to a concentration camp in Siberia and they began to discuss the circumstances that had led to their imprisonment.
“Why are you here?”, the first man was asked.
“Oh, I was five minutes late for work,” he explained. “They accused me of economic sabotage!”
The others nodded in understanding.
“Why were you convicted?”, the second man was asked.
“Well, I was five minutes early for work,” he answered. “They accused me of espionage!”
The others nodded sympathetically.
“And why were you imprisoned?”, the third man was questioned.
“You see, I was on time for work,” he explained. “And they checked and saw that my watch was made in West Germany!”
A Moscow resident came home from work to find his parrot missing. Frantically he searched the streets for hours, but to no avail. In desperation he reported to the KGB headquarters that his parrot was lost.
“Go away,” they laughed. “We don’t care about your parrot.”
“Yes comrades,” the man acknowledged. “I understand that. I just want to officially distance myself from my parrot’s views. I do not agree with any of its opinions.”
WAYS AND MEANS
An international team of archaeologists were discussing the origin of an ancient mummified corpse. To their surprise the Russian delegate confidently declared not only the name of the corpse, but the date of his birth and death as well as the details of his life.
“But how do you know? How did you dis cover all these facts?”, the archaeologists asked in amazement.
The Soviet delegate smiled and explained — “He confessed!”
One night a flock of sheep were attacked by a pack of wolves, who killed and ate many of the defenceless sheep. The next day the shocked and outraged survivors approached the King of Beasts — the Lion — and lodged an official complaint. The Lion listened attentively and was most sympathetic. “We will appoint an official investigation into this atrocity,” declared the Lion.
The next day, when the investigation team came to inspect the site of the tragedy and interview the survivors, the sheep saw that the inspectors were all wolves!
A man visiting the local psychologist was amazed at the long queue waiting their turn. By the time he was ushered into the counselling room he had forgotten why he was there.
“Don’t worry,” the psychologist reassured him. “This happens all the time. Let me try and jog your memory — was it financial troubles?”
“No! No, I have more than enough money — with nothing in the shops to buy I have enough.”
“Well, was it your work?”
“No, with the shortage of spare parts and raw materials, there’s no work to do at the factory.”
“Was it perhaps domestic!”
‘Yes, that was it. I have a marital problem. My wife and I cannot agree. She says that communism is scientific. I say that it is political. Now, doctor, which one of us is right?”
The psychologist turned on the radio and, looking around carefully, lowered his voice to a whisper and declared: “You’re right. If it was scientific, they would have first experimented with it on animals!”
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