Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The more things change...

When I visited Leningrad in 1984, our tour group visited the Museum of Ethnography. We had an unusual group: 37 women engineers, three husbands, and 1 male tour guide. Our city Intourist guide was thus inspired to share a feminist joke while we viewed a life-size scene of two Russian men sitting at a small table in a home's parlor with a wife(?) standing behind them circa 1900. It went something like this:

A husband and wife went out to dinner at a restaurant where there was a band and dance floor. After a while, the manager came up to the table and addressed the husband.

"Oh sir, your wife is a vision of loveliness. I would be most honored if I could have a dance with her."

"Thank you, but we're just here to eat dinner," the husband replied.

After a while, the manager came back. "Oh sir, I implore you to let me dance with your wife this evening. She lights up the room. She is a beautiful flower. I will pine away if I can't dance with her."

"Thank you, but we're just here to eat dinner," the husband repeated.

A third time, the manager came over to plead his case. This time, however, the wife responded, "Thank you, but we're just here to eat dinner. Please leave us be."

The manager flew into a rage, and turning to the woman, spat out, "Shut up bitch! Can't you see that two gentlemen are conversing?"