16 December 2015

Old Soviet Joke

Every day Svetlana Vladimirovna works a long shift at the machining
factory beside the smelter at the edge of her city in central Russia.
The factory makes the best beds in the Soviet Union, all of them of
exceptional fine steel. But no one in Svetlana's city, including
Svetlana, has a bed. This is an unfortunate but perfectly understandable
matter of policy. The comrades who run the factory, and who have
designed such magnificent beds, better than any beds in America, have
decided in the spirit of the revolution and correct socialist principles
that they must give beds first to all of the hospitals, and to the
army, and to the universities, and to the collective farms, and to many
other important institutions necessary for the people and the government
in the world's most rapidly and inevitably advancing socialist society.
To do this, the factory must work round the clock. Three shifts a day.
and only rarely stopping on holidays. It is understood that the workers
need beds. But it is not yet the worker's turn. Only recently did
cosmonauts receive beds!

And so everyone who works at the bed factory returns home after each shift and sleeps on the floor.

One summer Svetlana's sister, Natasha, who long ago married a man in
Leningrad and moved away, returned for a visit. She was appalled that
after ten years Svetlana still had no bed. After all, Svetlana was
strong of hand and skilled with tools and one of the best machinists at
the factory. "My dear sister," Natasha said "You have not been thinking
correctly. It is very easy to have a bed. Each day you must steal one
piece of bed from the parts bins at the factory and smuggle it home. And
after a week or two you must assemble the parts. Then you will have a
bed. And you will never again sleep on the floor."

Svetlana listened closely. "My dear sister," she sighed, "it is you who
are not thinking correctly. We have tried this many times. We have
stolen the parts and carried them home. We assembled them in the room.
And every time, after we finish, we discover instead of a bed we have an
automatic Kalashnikov."

- Soviet era joke

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