Billy Keane: We'd better watch our step or there'll be no more furry mink hats
Published 24/03/2014 | 02:30
The Russians have annexed Crimea. The Free World has threatened the Russians with terrible sanctions, such as blacklisting Soviet TV commentators and banning furry hats made from mink.
As if the bosses of Russia care a whit. The ordinary Russians might suffer but the leaders will be all right. This has always been the way in Russia irrespective of who is in control. The Czars had a lovely palace in Biarritz and I had a gin and tonic there by way of a cure on the Monday after a Munster Heineken Cup game. No, the bosses will be fine. As we speak, Vladimir Putin is probably having breakfast. A serf takes the cap off his egg. He turns to a minion and says: "What I miss the most is the Athea Black Pudding." He asks an aide to see if there is anything Russia can do to retaliate against Ireland.
"No," says his first minster, "the Irish are already shagged. There is nothing worth sanctioning, your wonderfulness." Putin is still annoyed though.
Maxim Peshkov, the Russian Ambassador to Ireland, is summoned to Moscow. He tells his boss the Russians buy €637m from us every year and that he already warned us unless we stop whinging about the invasion of Crimea, then we will be the losers.
"Why should we buy Ireland when we can invade?" replies the pragmatic Putin.
"Wait until you hear this one," says Maxim.
"Go on, go on," urges Putin. "Whoa, wait up. Let me guess. I have it. They're sending back the brown bears from Dublin Zoo?"
The ambassador laughs and slaps his thigh. Then he tells his story.
"Your marvellousness, I must tell you that the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs summoned me to a meeting."
Putin bristles. "I sincerely hope Maxim, as my serene self's representative, you told him to shag off outa dat for himself?"
"No I did not. Just for laughs, I said I'd go along to hear what he was going to say."
"Go on," says Putin, all ears now.
"Well your magnificence, the Irish Foreign Minster told me to watch my step."
"What?" says Putin, "Like as in, not to walk in dog doo, is it?"
Ambassador Maxim thinks for a second before he explains.
"Boss of bosses, 'watch my step' means if we don't pull out of the Ukraine, then they'll give us a good talking to and tell the EU to tell us to watch our step."
Putin is up for teaching Ireland a good lesson for having the effrontery to tell Russia to watch its step.
"Just for laughs," he says, "do we think we should invade Ireland? Just to annoy the English. Have we any excuse, like is the Russian paper marked harder in the Leaving or did the Bolshoi Ballet get a bad review in the Indo?"
"No they've never done us any harm."
"Do you think they'd put up much of a fight?" asks Putin, as he checks Google maps and discovers Ireland is only a small bit bigger than the back garden of his dacha.
The commissar general of the Red Army is called in for his advice. By the way, and for the record, the Russian Red Army has nothing whatsoever to do with the Munster rugby supporters' red army, who only ever invade stadiums in France and England and are decent, nice people.
The great warrior walks as slowly as a man volunteering for a compulsory transfer to Siberia, so weighed down is he by medals presented by himself. He owns more stars than Louis Walsh and the general is dying for war, especially seeing as he needn't do any of the fighting himself. That's a job for the conscripts and peasants.
"Well now," says the commander of the Red Army, "this is my advice, your serene indomitableness, with the massive biceps. The Red Army's assessment is that the Irish think they invented guerrilla warfare. The truth is Ireland had only one world class freedom fighter."
"And who would he have been?" asks Putin.
"His name was Michael Collins and the Irish shot him."
"But didn't they beat the British?" pipes in the Ambassador to Ireland, who has grown very fond of the Irish during his stay here.
"True," says the commander, "but it took 'em 600 years to evict the English and the Brits still own the top corner."
The Russian army are all for invading Ireland. Aside from the daily gangland murder, Dublin is relatively safe.
Putin thinks for a second. He'd love to have his own big, huge tomb in Red Square and rival Stalin as Russian's top invader. Vladimir Putin takes a deep breath. He's Vlad the Inhaler now.
"Show me that map of Poland," he asks the Red Army commander who turns pale. "It's nearer home," says Putin, "and wasn't it that Polish pope who caused us all the bother to begin with."
And so it is, Ireland is safe from tyranny and cheap vodka, but only if we watch our step.