In lieu of original content*, here is a tribute to The Bugle, a true paragon of the entertainment the internet makes possible, in its hour of uncertainty: a transcript of one of its greatest moments, a commentary on this story of vandalism outside St. Petersburg’s Finland Station, from episode 70.1 (the Thanksgiving Day 2009 interstitial special). Andy Zaltzman does the anchorman work here, with John Oliver interrupting.

  • Lenin’s arse news now. And Lenin no longer has an arse. A St. Petersburg statue of the former Soviet big cheese – now, of course, very much a dead man – has had its big bronze butt-cheeks unceremoniously blown off by a bomb. Probably let off by a terrorist, or a prankster – pretty hard to tell the difference these days. Lenin – who used his arse for, among other things, sitting on his chair whilst writing Communist diatribes – will now no longer be best remembered for spearheading one of the most significant political revolutions in human history, or even for his advocacy of mass executions, or even for having a head shaped like an egg, or maybe for his dreamy one-handed backhand. Now he will always be known as the guy who had his arse blown off by a bomb.
    So … what a story, John. Has this been big in America or not?
  • No, it hasn’t, Andy.
  • That’s a shame. You’d have thought they’d have jumped all over this.
  • I’m not sure it’s been big anywhere. I think you’ve just seized upon this because you liked it.
  • Come on! A guy blew Lenin a big new arsehole. I cannot believe that after everything that went down in the Cold War the American media has not been all over this.
  • I think this has hit Sir Mix-a-Lot particularly hard.
  • I think McCarthy would be absolutely slapping his own arse in his grave, in delight.
    The statue originally only showed Lenin’s peachy cheeks well covered with a thick Russian overcoat. But the blast has left what can only be described as a massive arsehole in its place. Historians claim that whilst it is more than likely that Lenin did have a posterior sphincter, it is highly unlikely that it was big enough to be mistaken for a bombsite, but that, had he ever been tricked into sitting on a bomb in one of the assassination attempts periodically made against him, the statue as it now is could easily have been quite graphically realistic.
    Lenin’s arse, of course, lived for 53 years, mostly at the top of the backs of his legs – and his embalmed patoot is still on display in the Lenin Arsoleum in Red Square, Moscow. During Soviet times there was, in fact, an annual ceremony in which the Politburo would kidnap the American ambassador, take him down to the mausoleum in the dead of night, pull the Lenin corpse’s trousers down, and make the preserved Communist moon the U.S. dignitary. Experts claim that if Lenin had still been alive today, he would have without doubt had the perpetrator of the arse blast instantly executed for bringing into disrepute Communism’s most important buttocks.
    Interestingly, John –
  • Yes?
  • On the subject –
  • Yes, Andy?
  • Soviet leaders, throughout the history of the USSR, between them averaged two buttocks a man. But that was only because Andropov and Chernenko had three each and Khrushchev had none.
  • I think you’ve got to really take a long, hard look, Andy, at the stories you’re taking inspiration from.

* * *

* This blog has been most useful in my quest to become a better writer. Now I have to do some real research-based writing for my job, so the new rules around here are as follows:

  1. Stop writing things that require any sustained period of intense thought, unless they’re under 500 words long or are part of the “Baseball Movies” series.
  2. Resurrect the “Baseball Movies” series.

Work smarter, not harder — that’s our motto.