Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.
Remember when U.S. President George W. Bush reportedly said “the problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur”? Also, remember when we all thought no one dumber than George W. Bush would ever be American president?
Anyway, it’s been a great month for European entrepreneurs. Take Austrian Chancellor (checks notes) Karl Nehammer, who went to Moscow to talk face to face with Vladimir Putin.
Alas, despite MC Nehammer’s best efforts and get-up-and-go attitude, the war in Ukraine is not over. Still, we did get an update on Putin’s ludicrously oversized furniture. Asked about the size of the table he sat at in Novo-Ogaryovo, the Russian president’s residence, Nehammer said it was definitely “long” but maybe “not as long as the one in the Kremlin.”
Come to think of it, why haven’t massive tables been part of the EU’s sanctions packages?
You know what else isn’t over? COVID-19. Ah, remember when our biggest problem was a mere global pandemic! Simpler times.
The pandemic has, however, allowed the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. In Germany, a 60-year-old man allegedly had himself vaccinated against the virus almost 90 times in order to sell forged vaccination cards with real information on them to people not wanting to get the jab. If found guilty, the man could be jailed, fined or, worse, sentenced to being slapped on the arm once an hour for a week.
Of course if the far-right, tinfoil-hat-wearing, conspiracy-theory types are correct and the coronavirus vaccine is just a giant ploy to allow the authorities and/or Bill Gates to inject microchips into us for tracking purposes, then the German man must now be the world’s largest supercomputer.
Sadly, not everyone in Germany has such a keen interest in helping others as Herr Pincushion.
German Family Minister Anne Spiegel resigned this week after weeks of mounting pressure on her to do so. Spiegel was environment minister for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate when large parts of it were devastated by last summer’s floods that killed close to 200 people, but instead of doing her best to help out, she headed off on a four-week trip to France with her family right after the disaster. She was also found to have lied about having participated in Cabinet meetings online from afar.
Asked if she regretted her actions, Spiegel said she was planning to take a long, hard look in the mirror!
“The British entrant in the World Staring Championships suddenly realized he had met his match.”
Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque
Last week we gave you this photo:
Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag — there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze.
“The worst French sub since the one the Australians didn’t buy,” by Tom Morgan
Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s Slot News Editor.