P: What’s wrong with you? Why are you perspiring?
CM: Nothing’s wrong. Just warm, thank you.
P: Warm? Nonsense! Are you crazy, it’s cool as hell! There’s a/c cranking everywhere. We’re Russia, we’ve got energy to burn. You see a bead of sweat on me? I’m burning mad yet cool as a cucumber. So, what’s put you into an oven?
CM: Maybe I’m reacting to what’s happening in the streets, sir.
P: Tell me. I seldom go into the streets.
CM: People are hot. They’re rioting. Cars stalled in traffic miles long.
P: You don’t say. You think just because I’m on vacation, I don’t get reports?
CM: Then you know hundreds of thousands of Russian reservists are rushing out of Russia to avoid your activating them, causing massive traffic jams.
P: That’s so.
CM: Mobs of mother’s irate over your calling up their sons.
P: Too bad!
CM: The Ukrainians advancing and pushing our army backwards.
P: Stop! You’re a crisis manager. Don’t tell it like it is. Fix it like it should be! Advise how to squash this exaggerated uprising involving a miniscule percentage of Russians. Fact! We’re not losing the war; we’re annexing our territory back from Nazis.
CM: Great. Then let’s have a national celebration of our de-Nazification victory and say we’re letting those other Ukrainian Nazis wear themselves out advancing.
P: Now that’s the crisis management I’m looking for. Bravo!
CM: We cast Russia as the leader of an uprising against American power, elitism, despotism and satanism.
CM: Sure. Yes, I can do that. Is there any cold vodka? It’ll help me think clearer?
P: Stop with the vodka. I never sent a crisis manager off to war before, but you’re tempting me. Keep it up. You may be the first. And you’ll go stone cold sober, you hear?
CM: Ah yes, well first, Mr. President, what I would do is keep calling Ukrainians Nazis. It’s playing well. Brilliant to cast them as Nazis!
P: Ah ha.
CM: Blame them for that lunatic Nazi with that swastika on his arm shooting all those poor school children . . . the foul murder of your friend’s daughter in his car.
P: Now you’re beginning to sound like a Russian crisis manager after my own heart again.
CM: Thank you, then remind those protesting mothers you’re fighting a Nazi regime in Ukraine whose leader is only pretending to be Jewish.
P: Right! Keep going. But why would Zelensky pretend to be Jewish?
CM: Not sure. I’ll think of something.
P: Please do because right now it’s awkward.
CM: You show how the Ukraine’s Nazis are faking all those bodies they dig up claiming we’re torturing and killing innocent civilians.
CM: We report as hard news how they bomb their own schools and apartment buildings to make us look like we’re committing war crimes. It’s all fake, fake, fake!
P: Good, I like fake, fake, fake. Americans use that word a lot when they talk about their news.
CM: Now, Mr. President, how about just a short one to wet my tongue.
P: Okay, here, just one. (Pours him a shot)
CM: Thank you. (He swallows hard, then raises his right arm, holds it out straight in a solemn salute to his fabulous Fuehrer saying with deepest autocratic allegiance and resolute feeling)
Tom Madden is a PR pro and crisis manager who will not be visiting Russia anytime soon as he once did to speak to Russians about something they knew very little, public relations. He’s also a blogger and an author whose latest book is WORDSHINE MAN, which he wishes Putin would read as it’s all about writing truthfully and making your points without unnecessary or misleading words.