Soviet Shaggy Dog

Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, my wife and I had an opportunity to visit Moscow. It is a beautiful city with friendly people, all eager to help us enjoy our visit, including Rudolph Karnekov, the personal guide assigned to us by the concierge of our hotel. Moscow-born and bred and a former membr of the Politburo, Rudy was very knowledgeable about the city and every aspect of Russian life, as well. We spent every moment possible out exploring the city, despite the often unpredictable Moscow weather.

One day, as we prepared to leave the hotel for a visit to a winery on the outskirts of Moscow, it began to rain/sleet/snow. I, at least, was sure it was snow. My wife was equally sure it was rain, and insisted upon a visit to a local department store, to purchase an umbrella. I thought the shopping spree was a waste of time – who needed an umbrella for a little snow? (Besides, I really wanted to get to that winery!) Well, a lengthy argument insued which threatened to ruin the day’s excursion, until my wife suggested we defer to someone whose judgement about local weather conditions was sure to be above reproach — namely, our Muscovite guide. “After all,” my wife insisted, “Rudolph The Red knows rain, Dear!”

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