Wednesday, December 30, 2009
“But, collusion; that's the best method,” he said. “Look at SEB and Swedbank. We've found over time that following each other around in circles is a cost effective way to feign the competence we lack.” Miernieks explained that the bank hires people lacking initiative, and has them follow whatever is being done over at Swedbank. "And Swedbank does the same!" he said cheerily. “See, if other banks are doing the same thing you do, then business people will think whatever it is you’re doing you’re supposed to be doing, cause like the other guy's doing it too, you know? We call it the lemming strategy. It's simple, it's cheap, and it’s worked for us for years," he said. "Well, at least it did until recently."
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Over a lunch of cepelini in rendered fat, with chicken jello and vodka, the MP who authored the original bill, Alvirdas Sigonvicius said, "We are modern Europeans, but homosexuality, foul language, and bad eating habits are destroying our society." Asked if better education and paying closer attention to mother at the dinner table might assuage these problems, he said through a mouthful of food, "No, goddamn it! We've modeled our law on the most forward thinking legislation being carried out internationally, such as in Uganda. They don't like faggots neither," and blew his nose in the linen napkin.
With this move, Woods will join a host of other celebrities living incognito in the northern European country, including Paris Hilton, Madonna, and Canadian John Candy.
Fubar says his group's slogan is "based on that joke where a Russian tourist entering Estonia leaves a line blank on his entry form and the Estonian border guard asks him 'Occupation?' The Russian replies 'No, just visiting.' We decided to build a campaign on that."
Fubar has received praise internationally for his bold slogan. In addition to winning a Gold Lion at the Cannes Advertising Awards competition, the Kremlin has also praised the Estonians. "Finally, Estonia stopped taking themselves so seriously with that ironic 'Welcome' slogan," said Vladimir Rasribetrov, the Kremlin's communications liaison, "and Russians feel once again at home in Estonia." Rasribetrov said Russians were especially eager to spit sunflower seeds on the cobblestone sidewalks of Tallinn's Old Town and blow their noses in napkins and tablecloths of the city's fine restaurants.
Monday, December 28, 2009
In a nation where everyone's a hero, everyone is also a survivor. According to American newspapers, those who endured heavy snows and loss of electricity in the American state of Rhode Island survived thanks to Estonia and Latvia. In order to cope with the heavy snowfall, the United Nations quickly dispatched Estonian and Latvian military troops to America's east coast.
"This has all been one big geography lesson for me," said survivor Twila Tuttweiler of Providence, Rhode Island. "Did you know there's a country which is the same size as our state?" Estonian Private First Class Jüri Öö showed Tuttweiler which end of the shovel should touch the snow and allowed her to fire his Galil ARM 5.56mm assault rifle into the air, while Latvian troops taught Rhode Islanders the basics of their national sport, Buzkashi.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
EWTN, The Global Catholic Network, reports that on 24 December, while entering St. Peter's Basilica to celebrate the christmas vigil Mass, the Pope was attacked by a 25 year old Swiss-Italian woman. After a brief interlude on the ground with the woman, the Pope got back onto his feet, to the cheers of the thousands who had gathered in the basilica. The Pope gave no direct comment on the incident, but during his Midnight Mass homily, he spoke, hands raised above his head in victory, and said "today's events prove that God hears the prayers of old men." A spokesman for the Vatican denies rumors that the Pontiff has since taken up smoking.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
"I can't see a goddamned thing," Claus said as he was taken from the restaurant in a stretcher, "and I can tell you if I have anything to say no single Latvian child will receive gifts this year." Claus vowed never to return to Latvia and suggested the "goddamned IMF" handle any gift giving in Latvia since they, in Claus' words, "seemed to have buggered the whole thing anyway."
Film footage recorded from international press helicopters showed Latvian police hot on the kidnappers' trail, until they were enticed to enter an Old Town strip club. "They've had a long day," said a spokesman for the city. "It's time to relax and take up the chase another day."
Whether Lido management was behind the kidnapping, authorities refused to speculate, though they noted they were "generally suspicious of buffet-type operations."
Reached by authorities at the cell phone number the kidnappers provided, the Latvians claimed that Santa had been raped, tortured, blinded with a hot poker, and then dispatched with eight grams to the back of the head. NATO quick response teams have been dispatched to Latvia and the search for the King of Christmas is underway.
This has gotten the attention of the United Nations(UN), and at the UN General Assembly, delegates have debated Santa’s nationality, in order to pass a resolution for the world to later ignore. During the debate, the Latvian delegate said, “look at the way he drinks; he’s Russian.” The Estonian delegate disagreed. “If he was Russian, his Moskvich sleigh would break down. Then he would drink a lot, eat the reindeer, and fall asleep on a rooftop in Nizhny Novgorod.” The representative from Bangladesh then took the floor and said “Mr. Chairman, just look at the size of him; he is huge. He must be American.” But the UN delegate from Canada disagreed. “He can’t be American, or he wouldn’t be able to find any country outside of the U.S. to deliver toys to - other than London and Paris.” After 3 days of debate, the General Assembly reached accord and passed a resolution stating that Santa is really former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
But according to one professional, Estonians can’t afford to die. "Death is expensive,” said Juhu Surnukeha, director of Laibamagi Funeral Home. Postimees conducted man-on-the-street interviews with Estonians who support this theory. Said Juhu Peaaegu, “I was going to die a month ago, but I just can’t afford it, so I’ve decided to put it off until the economy improves.” Tallinn resident Kairit Kalmistu agreed. “I've been needing to die for years now, but Mayor Savisaar’s death tax makes it impossible for me to do so, cause I don’t 'qualify.' It’s an embarrassment – just look at me,” said the 147 year old woman. “I’m a prune!”
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Ismet Inönü, reached for comment on the porch of his Latvian manor home, said he thought Taivans concerns were exaggerated. Inönü said the Turks had nothing against the Latvians and would continue to employ them--"such as my manservant Varis who makes excellent gin and tonics"--in some capacity. Inönü said Taivans himself should not worry. "I will personally guarantee that Latvian remains at least a breakfast-table language in this country."
Latvijas Avize conducted man-on-the-street interviews with Latvians who seemed unworried about Taivans' concerns. "Ever been to a Latvian restaurant?" asked Edgars from Riga. "The food is so bland. I welcome the Turks."
Monday, December 21, 2009
Ignalina representatives have downplayed the possible risks of cooling the reactor noting that "Simpson has more experience than anyone in the country." Recently, a public relations campaign with the slogan Safe as Springfield was launched in Lithuania to reassure the nation's citizens.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It’s also not because ‘the bank has taken leave of its senses and turned on its good customers to cannibalize their businesses with punitive fees in a desperate effort of the bank to survive,’” he said in reference to a joint letter signed by 50 of the bank’s largest corporate customers. “And I believe it has nothing to do with the fact that the Swedish government has had to guarantee our corporate debt because we made such a balls up of our Baltic lending business. No,” said Siilimagi, "I think the reason we have lost all our employees is that they are fed up with having to wear those ‘ridiculous orange and blue polyester neckties at work every damn day,’ he said, referring to an email dated today and signed by himself. “Now if you’ll excuse me,” he said, “I’m leaving. Please close the door behind you on your way out.”
“In a ‘recession,’" he said, "your neighbor loses his job, your driver takes a pay cut, and Swedbank gets your Porsche Cayenne. Then, your driver becomes your gardener, your neighbor becomes your driver, and you get his Cayenne. It has to do with macroeconomics, regression analysis and other big words. But thank goodness it's not a 'depression.'" he said. "Because in a 'depression,' you lose your job, your house, and your other house. You move into your uncle’s barn and become his driver. He has a Moskvich. You eat mostly dirt and pig ears, and eventually vote for Andris Skele, who promises to privatize everything he doesn’t already own. You see the difference?” Mulkigins asked, “in a recession, you don’t have to vote for Skele.”
The state’s aim is to guarantee that Estonia’s flight connections are preserved and the aviation company’s development is guaranteed. He said that the competition at the European aviation market is very tough. “Which is why we’ve come up with an entirely new strategy – that Estonian Air should have a strategic partner,” said Ansip, adding that “our analysts have poured over spreadsheets and business plans for two weeks, and we are confident that our new plan will pave the way to a successful future for Estonian Air.” Asked who that partner might be, a spokesman for the Prime Minister, on the condition of anonymity said “our leading candidate is SAS.”
Thursday, December 17, 2009
“We doff our hats to the previous governments of Latvia, whose foresight and vision have created our new best export. Today, the export of Latvians is robust, and showing signs of further growth. Like the Ireland of old, we now lead the world in the export of our own citizens. Latvians are leaving in droves; each one a little ‘made-in-Latvia’ export. The Kalvitis and Godmanis governments were accused of being populist, of being amateurish, of suffering from acute East European thick headitis. But no. The truth is that these good men, against the advice of the IMF, the ECB, bank analysts, advisors, investors, economists and their own countrymen, remained single minded in the pursuit of their spendthrift ideals. And because of this, we are today sharing ever more of our Latvians with the wider world. The world is grateful, and so are we.”
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Other agreements at the conference include the pronunciation of the "L" in "salmon," as well as preservation of the phrase, "We wait you," which was considered essential for Baltic business communication. "Language is a living thing," said Ms. Mõttetu, "and with our help Baltish will survive well into the 21st century."
Avotvaz, Russia's largest carmaker, is suffering from major mismanagement, and can no longer afford to operate in the city of Tolyatti on the Volga river. Recently, the carmaker reported 7,500 automobiles "missing" from its dealer network. "Tallinn welcomes the Avotvaz workers," Mr. Savisaar said yesterday at a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Tallinn neighborhood of Lasnamäe. While no new apartments will be built to house the workers, Savisaar said the workers would simply move in with "host families" in the Lasnamäe district. "Russians like living sixteen people to a small room," noted Savisaar. "They always want to know who's making soup, who's got a fresh bottle. They're a wonderfully gregarious and social people."
Savisaar said negotiations to construct a car factory were underway, but until that is formalized, all 102,000 workers would be employed as reisisaatjad (bus attendants) on Tallinn public transportation.
The city plans for the prisoners, when not sleeping and dining in Riga's five-star hotels, to work hand in hand with the tourism police squad. "This will add even more languages to our arsenal and allow the city to help even more of the foreigners who frequent the clubs we patrol," said the squad's spokesman, Arnis Pulvakis. "In Riga, we're all about helping. And who doesn't like to be helped?"
Contacted by the Livonian Chronicle, EU President Herman Van Rompuy called Ilves' claims "baseless." "Mr. Ilves should know," said Van Rompuy, "that over ninety percent of the cleaning staff working EU buildings is eastern European. I don't know what the president of Estonia is complaining about. Next he'll want to get them all golf memberships at Augusta Country Club."
Monday, December 14, 2009
In women's shoes, however, Nahkhiir saw no pause in the considerable demand for high heels. "Fuck-me pumps, as they're known in the industry, are everyday wear for women in Estonia," he said, "and they have sold consistently well regardless of the economy's condition. Nahkhiir added that ethnic Russian women were particularly adept at running long distances wearing heels as high as 30 centimeters.
True to the minister's word, there was a faint light visible near the top of the monument, though critics claim to have seen no soldiers. "It's just as likely a city employee is lighting up a spliff," said St. John's church janitor Janno Jumal whose church is located 25 meters from the monument.
"The Lithuanians show zero respect toward Joseph, Mary, and Jesus," said a Holy See spokesman for Pope Benedict XVI. "This kind of portrayal is unforgivable." Old Town Vilnius, which has attracted throngs of tourists by boasting of having the greatest number of nativity scenes in eastern Europe, has created papier-mâché likenesses of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus as if the trio were Mongol horsemen. "Vatican policy clearly states that the three must be crafted with Anglo-Saxon features with eyes never larger than an American 25-cent piece," said the spokesman.
The Vatican has recalled Lithuania's Cardinal and privately confirmed that revocation of Lithuania's Catholic Operating License was under consideration. Lithuania's Ministry of Education has moved quickly to discipline the children involved in the project, calling upon the Pope to excommunicate children and teachers involved.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Catholics reeled in horror as a local Siberian husky fled his dogsled exhibit at the Old Town Vilnius petting zoo and nativity scene and tore into a lamb standing next to Baby Jesus. A local photographer captured the first few frames of the attack (above). Within a fraction of a second the husky had severed the lamb's artery and blood spewed throughout the nativity scene, covering Joseph, Mary, as well as the Baby Jesus. "We had to change outfits there was so much blood," said Arturas Kornkavicius, who played Joseph. Magda Prutaviciene, a veteran player of Mary, called it "traumatic." The crowd was unsympathetic, however, and many cheered as the husky devoured the lamb. "Joseph, Mary, and Jesus do nothing but stand there and get paid for it," remarked witness Mikas Pintalavicius, who added that often the actors observe pickpockets work the crowd but remain quiet and stationery.
Services for the lamb, a member of Local 272 of the Screen Actors Guild, will be held Tuesday morning in Vilnius.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Estonia's Channel 2 weather girl has attracted the attention in the Dutch sex industry for the provocative outfits she wears on air. A recent outfit (pictured), featured extra-long, striptease gloves and a burlesque show dress. "Does she want to be a weather girl or a sex worker? Because she is very pretty and I can find work for her which pays better than weather," said Joort van Hoevenforskin, a representative of the Amsterdam brothel Moulin Spouge. "She could continue to wear those floozy dresses in my business. Many American guests request the western saloon-girl theme." Van Hoevenforskin thought also that he might develop an act for her where she continues to present the weather. "It is a fact," he noted, "that many Finnish clients are sexually aroused by rain and snow."
Friday, December 11, 2009
“Oh, Jean-Claude is a real practical joker,” said van der Fuffle, referring to the ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet. “He and I were sitting around the bar in Brussels pounding lambics the other day and he says to me ‘Jacques, I’m bored. Whaddya say let’s threaten the Balts with another crisis, unless they close a bunch of their bad old Baltic hospitals, fire teachers, lay off cops, cancel unemployment benefits, and jack up taxes.’ And then I said ‘wait, and stop paying pensioners!’ Boy did he laugh at that.” Asked if fiscal discipline should be a primary goal of any member state, van der Fuffle replied “Hell no! This is the EU you’re talking about. You know the average deficit among the EU member states today is 6.9%, and here we are bellowing at the Balts. And they don’t even get it! Don’t those people read the papers? I love this job. Want a beer?” he asked.
Responding to accusations cold hearted taxation, Laisk said “Cold hearted? That’s nothing. We’re taxing baby food, babies, mothers, breast milk, and smiles,” she said with a straight face. “This is merely the last in a line of new taxes. Under Mayor Savisaar, Tallinn city’s new policy is ‘if it moves, tax it.’ But we have made an exception for the unemployed. Our tax will reach them right where they lay parked on the couch.”
Obama disappointed slightly under 1.5 million people yesterday when he failed to mention the Republic of Estonia in his speech. Afghanistan, Somalia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Dhaka and Kigali were mentioned, but not Estonia, though research showed many viewers believed Dhaka and Kigali to be Estonian resort towns.
"They took all the lines out about Estonia!" said Jaan Jelp, who had gathered outside the American embassy to protest the speech revisions. "Obama was going to mention us!" A copy of Obama's Nobel acceptance speech which was leaked to the press yesterday, clearly showed Obama's plans to mention the small country of 1.3 million people.
A spokesman for Estonia's Ministry of Culture said thought Estonia should develop its own prize to compete with the Nobel, but reserve it for eastern Europeans only. "That way we'd win something other than a music prize now and again," he snipped. American Ambassador to Estonia, Michael ("call me Mihkel") Polt, suggested Estonians should not be bent out of shape by Obama not mentioning them. "You will have your day in the sun," Polt said in a formal statement. "Although I haven't seen it in the sky since my arrival last week."
Moosinägu is already at work on her next book, which she says will be released on her thirteenth birthday. "Girls from other countries dream of ponies," she said. "Estonian girls dream of writing books and touring in bad rock bands popular in Japan and Germany."
Baltic governments are scrambling in these times of crisis to get consumers to buy local. But why should they, other from some abiding sense or patriotism? We wondered and stuck our crack team of investigative reporters on the job.
The cloudberry jam on the left is Estonian, and it's priced at 0.2 EEK per gram. The cloudberry jam on the right is Finnish, and it's priced at 0.16 EEK per gram. Hmm, thought we, and so put the question to Estonia's tarbijakaitseamet, the would-be Ralph Naders of Estonia. They confirmed that, indeed, our math is correct: the Finnish jam is less expensive, even though it comes from farther away. Same with Finnish chocolate. Same with Finnish...
"It's not dumping so don't you say it is," said Pekka Kuoppakehtilimpi, Executive Director of Finland Forever, the quasi-government institution charged with marketing Finnish products abroad. "The Estonians are just plain screwing their own countrymen. It's their modus operandi and should surprise no one." Kuoppakehtilimpi, who noted that his name has never once been correctly spelled by a foreign journalist, said that Estonians must "get used to the fact that Finland is good and Estonia is bad. It's really that simple," he said, stuffing his fat face with a handful of Finnish-made marzipan treats.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
An advance copy of Obama's Nobel acceptance speech has been leaked and journalists around the world shocked by its contents. Much of the speech focuses on Estonia. "Estonia is a small country," reads the text, "but it is technologically advanced and the creator of Skype." Aides say Obama has been heavily influenced by tourism brochures about Estonia which he keeps by his bedside. He apparently has already spoken with First Lady Michelle about the possibility of educating his daughters there. "Today, as I accept this award, Estonia--which is only an overnight ferry ride from Stockholm--is on my mind with its 1.3 mobile phones per capita and unspoiled nature," reads another passage from Obama's speech.
Aides said now that the speech had been leaked it would likely be changed before delivery to the his Norwegian audience. Whether the Estonia-related passages would remain aides could not say.
The daily Dienas Bizness has analyzed performance of Latvia's largest agricultural enterprises, such as Sabiedriba Marupe and Agrofirma Tervete. Altogether, Latvia's 100 largest agricultural enterprises did LVL 146.27 million turnover in 2008. By remarkable coincidence, every one of the 100 largest agricultural businesses belong to Andris Skele, Latvia’s former Minister of Agriculture, to his wife, daughter, son, dentist, or the family dog Rexs. Spokesmen for all of the 100 top agricultural businesses were unavailable for comment. But asked for a brief comment, Skele himself said “What I did for Latvian agriculture, I will do for the entire economy in this great country. Turn me loose and watch me work.”
NBC News ran video footage of a strange, spiraling pinwheel-like object in the sky, which has captivated the world since its appearance. Some speculated it is CIA technology deployed in relation to Barack Obama's Oslo visit to receive the Nobel Prize. Further investigation revealed the pinwheel to be part two of a Latvian hoax. "First they dug the crater," said Oslo police spokesman Thor Torstenfœøörgen, "and now this." Two Latvian men were discovered behind a onion truck with a powerful flashlight, its beam projected skyward through an empty vodka bottle. "Well," slurred Latvian Ainars Lazo, "you can't project these things through a full vodka bottle, can you?"
"He was careful to use the word 'paper,'" noted Latvian analyst Aldis Arbeit. "If you take away one 'P' then paper is an anagram for 'rape'." Estonian analysts were particularly interested in Medvedev's choice of media. "I observed that he did not use Skype," said analyst Jaak Juust. "I must think more about the greater significance of not using e-communication." Lithuanians, their airlines bankrupt at the moment, were not present for the Moscow meeting.
At last year's independence day presidential reception, businessmen were not seated in the main ballroom but were assigned to an anteroom next to the lavatory with a TV brought in for them to view the festivities. Instead of catered food, they were served Estonian Air coach-class meals in blue plastic boxes and charged for their drinks.
"Only the best municipality police persons can candidate for the tourism police post," wrote Čas, "and one of the preconditions is a good command of a foreign language."
Candidating for Latvia's police may be only elite few police persons with command foreign languages, but if your English isn't up to that, the Baltic Standby New may have a career waiting for you. Begin your life as an intrepid journalist here: www.standbynews.info. Operators are standing by.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Ordenirent's showroom has everything from medals to swords
"This time of year is a real crunch," says Ordenirent OÜ manager Kristi Sepp. "There are lots of parties and diplomatic functions and everyone wants to wear something shiny." Contrary to popular belief, says Sepp, most of the state decorations worn with white tie and tails are rented not owned. And politicians often disagree over who gets to wear what. "Last year Ainars Slesers and Edgar Savisaar both wanted blue medals, but we'd already rented those to the staff of the German embassy. The politicians demanded I cancel the German's order, and I had to tell them we just don't work that way."
Swords are also growing in popularity according to Sepp. "All the top ministers are wearing them." Sepp says new for this year's state reception season are eye patches and stick-on dueling scars. "The Estonians, in particular, go for stick-on scars," Sepp said. "The Latvians' black eyes and swollen, cut-up faces are usually real, though."
Advertisement: Medals available from Ramirent, too. Call 6501050. Knighthoods available while supplies last.
To cope with increased costs and lower ticket sales, the LNO will use amateur talent for all winter performances. "If you've ever thought you wanted to sing opera," said Zagars, "please come to the south stage door." According to Zagars there is a Paul Potts or Susan Boyle on every corner in Latvia, "though they've all got an extra 'S' tacked on their names here of course." Recently, the Cabinet of Ministers began negotiations to turn the opera house into a strip club operated by Pamela Anderson's Lapland Group.
Applebaum's '91 Opel before the fire. She called it the "A-baum."
Anne Applebaum has set the record straight on her blog that her car did not explode. Postimees, among others, reported earlier this week that Applebaum's car had blown up.
In an exclusive interview with the Livonian Chronicle, however, she lamented the loss of her 1991 Opel--"it was like family and twice as articulate as many journalists I've known"--and debated whether to rent or buy. "European leasing contracts are appealing," she admitted, "but I think the market will go south for a while longer." She added that even for a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, credit is not easy to get in Eastern Europe.
Applebaum refused to comment as to whether she'd forgotten to put oil in the car on a regular basis. "It's an Opel," was all she would say. "You put gas in them, they run."
As of ten a.m. local time, dozens of women were lined up outside the headquarters of the sleaze tabloid Kroonika. "I want to be a star, too," cried a young woman who claimed to have slept with Tiger over "three-hundred-and-fifty times over two weeks in Florida." Maarja Maitsetu, deputy editor, finally chose to ask those who had not slept with Tiger under two dozen times to remove themselves from the line. "We've contacted the US Embassy for help with this problem," said Maitsetu, "since about half of these women claim to be pregnant with his baby." Representatives from Estonia's Channel 2 were on hand to interview the women, hoping to put together a new reality show to run opposite The Bold and the Beautiful. "We're thinking of calling it 'Tigergasm,'" said a Channel 2 spokesman, though we're still open to new ideas.
Woods himself issued an apology on his website: "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions [in Estonia] with all of my heart."
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Inspectors have been undergoing training for the past weeks where they learned how to spot gifts hidden elsewhere in the home. "Sometimes you'll see something nice in a home that's unwrapped," said Senior Inspector Mihkel Mats. "That object is very likely a gift and so we confiscate that, too." A favorite among inspectors are iPhones and iPods. "The best place to get those is from kids on the bus," said Mats. "They'll claim it wasn't a gift, and I just tell them, 'Hey, I'm only taking every second one I see.' Sometimes that works to calm them down. Estonians are very respectful of law and order." City officials said any surplus of gifts or any objects not wanted by members of the government would be sold at Kadaka market with the proceeds donated to fund Tallinn 2011.
According to Ezis, there are similar efforts underway in other industries as well. “Nuclear power, for example,” he said “is another industry where we have closely coordinated our efforts with the Latvian government to ensure that we do not get any investment into safe independent energy for the future. No, it’s better to place ourselves in the good and trusting hands of our friends in Russia, who will send us gas, and cross their heart and promise to never ever ever switch the supply off.”
2011 officials have been scrambling to obtain financing from other sources, including between the sofa cushions in their Pärnu mnt office. Other possible sources include shaking down the 80-year-old beggar in the nearby McDonald's, as well as possible one-time gifts from strippers and prostitutes who better understand the need to take advantage of Tallinn's European Cultural Capital designation in 2011.
Seasoned diplomat and new American Ambassador to Estonia Michael C. Polt arrived yesterday at Estonia's Lennart Meri airport but will not present his credentials to Estonia's president until Thursday. "This means I've got only two days to try out every barbecue joint you've got in this town," said the Tennessee native in lightly-accented Estonian. "Once they're official, I'm told diplomats in Estonia only eat stuff on toothpicks from Frens Catering." Switching to English, the ambassador exhaled heavily and noted he was "one whoop-diggity-dog friend of barbecue."
A graduate of the Buford T. Pusser School of Diplomacy at the University of Tennessee, the American State Department has denied rumors circulated in the Estonian press that Polt is the illegitimate brother of Albert Gore, Jr., though the men are close friends and still play together in the Tennessee All Banjo Orchestra. In his spare time, Ambassador Polt enjoys building flintlock rifles from kits and trapping beaver and mink in small streams.
Estonia's controversial 10-million euro Freedom Monument, whose lights have failed it since its constructions, will now finally burn bright. "We have found the funds to replace the 60-watt bulb," said Peeter Parandus, the City of Tallinn's full-time handy man. "When Mayor Savisaar arrived for work this morning in his black Mercedes saloon, he handed the bulb to me himself." Parandus immediately rented a crane and ascended the structure (see photo). "This bulb," he shouted from above, "was in Edgar's bathroom just this morning. It's his personal bulb!" A Centre Party press release later echoed Parandus' sentiments about the personal sacrifices of city leaders in this time of financial difficulties. A press conference followed at Gloria Restaurant.
To celebrate the new bar code reader's arrival, Estonian Air will sell its famous lukewarm inflight tea for only 3 EUR per cup during the month of December.
The Lithuanians, led by Gintaras Polutaloticius, looked around for a clock. "Whatever de Boer is talking about, nuclear energy is green, and the Lithuanians can be fully trusted with the construction and management of a nuclear facility where if something went wrong half the world would be destroyed," Polutaloticius said through an interpreter. Other members of the delegation could be seen filling large plastic bags with swag from the fair, including refrigerator magnets, computer memory sticks, and logoed Post-it notes. "We've already got the hotel soap," said a delegation member. "So there's nothing left for the Latvians there."
Monday, December 7, 2009
"'Welcome to Estonia' is our slogan," says the City of Tallinn spokeswoman Sirje Sõber, "and that goes for the crippled, too." The City of Tallinn under the leadership of Mayor Edgar Savisaar recently vowed to make the entire city handicapped accessible and have placed wheelchair ramps (see photo) on many staircases in the city. "This is a bold step," said Sõber, "and it just shows Estonians do not discriminate. To us, gimps' money is as good as any other kind."
Ironically, Applebaum recently published a story in the American magazine Slate where she compared London and Lebanese car bombs. Postimees readers immediately drew comparisons to Anna Politkovkaya in the comments section, though most remarked simply about the similarity of the two writers' first names.
Reached for comment, Polish auto mechanic Lech Kaczyński, was skeptical. "Who knows if it was really a bomb," Kaczyński said, reaching for a pouch of chewing tobacco. "Maybe she just forgot to put oil in and the thing overheated." For fast-breaking coverage of the incident, stay tuned to the automotive section of LC.
Update: Postimees, and others, victims of selves. Nope, her car did not blow up. Get the story from Applebaum herself here.
Cooperation agreements signed by representatives of the three Baltic states and Belarus call for one full year of tshirt distribution followed by a second meeting next year in Jurmala where dairy products would be shown by the Belarusian delegation who have traveled with them in their warm suitcases by bus for the ten-hour journey plus the twelve hours spent on the Belarusian side of the border in passport- and customs lines.
Plans include wheelchair ramps, heated sidewalks, lower countertops, and an amusement park where all rides can accommodate wheelchairs. Also, a smaller version of Old Town will be built from papier machet and cardboard (but complete with stripclubs) so that handicapped visitors can experience the wonders of Riga without leaving Kipsala.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
What's the best job in Tallinn, Estonia? The reisisaatja, or bus attendant. And the best thing about it is you get a seat even when the bus is full. That's him in the bright yellow vest, seated while the two young ladies behind him stand. This reisisaatja wasn't chewing gum or listening to an iPod, though those are two clues to help you easily spot one.
The reisisaatja is a product of Mayor Edgar Savisaar and his Centre Party's new "social work" program: jobs for those who need them. Requirements for the reisisaatja? Stand around. Not stand around and look busy. Just stand around. They don't do conductors' work. They don't deal with indigents who've soiled their pants. They don't take beer away from the partiers in the rear of the bus. They do, however, sometimes lift a stroller into the bus.
In fairness to this reisisaatja, he eventually did stand up and give his seat to some passengers, though perhaps that was because your conspicuous correspondent had already taken a half dozen photos.
If you're hot on the trail of a new career, consider an opportunity as a Tallinn reisisaatja. It's just one email away. Write Edgar.Savisaar@tallinnlv.ee. His email lines are now open. He's waiting to hear from you.
Friday, December 4, 2009
“Times are tough. Good customers must be forced to share the pain felt by their banks,” said Stulbins. “You know, our ludicrous lending policies, talent-free staff, and effective insolvency are beside the point. Because banks are part of the social fabric of this great society,” Stulbins continued. “So it’s our customers’ job to support the bank. These are tough times, and we have to pull together, for the common good of our bank. This is the EU, after all.”
The ambassador's ploy was dismissed immediately as a Zionist plot to lure goyim to the Holy Land to exact revenge for thousands of years of mistreatment at the hands of Lithuanians. "Does he think we're total schmucks?" asked Gintaras Attitudicius. "Does he think we don't know our own history?" Attitudicius suggested the ambassador himself go there and bring the tourists to Lithuania. "But I'm not going," he said. "Too damned hot there. So much schvitzing."
Thursday, December 3, 2009
“We won’t stand for it,” said Gravins angrily. “These pirates have no right to replace our programming. I myself selected the 3rd season of the A-Team for broadcast especially because Mr. T really hits stride with his character ‘dump truck.’" He continued, “And increased viewership and ratings means nothing. We're defending our culture!" he said. "God forbid that ‘Baywatch’ disappears.”
"For example," he said, “We can boost morale of the NATO troops with the addition of anti-Taliban flair for our wait staff. And we will sling cheeseburgers even faster than we already do by using roller skates,” he added. Asked why he does not expect an increase in troop levels, Aastelepp replied “there’s only one canteen in Helmand Province, and our brigade of 7 camouflaged waiters has that covered. It’s not like we’re going to suddenly start serving the enemy, he added, proudly displaying a handwritten sign saying 'Taliban no served here.’ "
During the visit to Riga, Van Rompelstiltskin had lunch with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis at Vincents, during which he delivered a large satchel of cash, and a stern lecture on the proper use of the salad fork when spreading tapenade on a baguette.
"We are proud to be cheap," said Vilnius city spokesman Gintaras Chivaloticius. "We've known all along we were cheap, and now we're pleased that the world has recognized it." Asked whether cheap was a sustainable argument for building tourism in the region, Chuvaloticius replied: "Cheap isn't just about price you know. I believe the tourists who visit Lithuania understand the subtleties of the word."
The Finnish brand of cradle-to-grave socialism has suffered setbacks, including the replacement of Silja Line workers with Estonians. Later, the Estonians were quietly replaced with chimpanzees. "We're not just striking for Finns," said union spokesman Pekka Pokkalainen concerning Tuesday's strike, "we're striking for all of mankind, and for chimps, too." Pokkalainen says chimpanzees are only a first step. "Soon somebody's teenage kid will pilot the plane from his iPhone while having sex with someone else's teenage daughter on dirty bedsheets somewhere in Helsinki." Pokkalainen said all Finnair workers' jobs must be secure, "except for ugly stewardesses, of course," he clarified.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Bonnier source said the Swedish media concern will receive 1,000 yuan--100 yuans per BBN reader. "Our accounting department is still looking into this," said the source, "but we believe it may be a fairly large sum."
"Pay no attention to this stupidity," said Bonnier rep Sven Svensson when reached in Sweden. "This is merely a juvenile trick on the part of some crappy internet publication trying to hitch its wagon to our star." The Livonian Chronicle publisher could not be reached for comment, her email generating the following autoreply: In negotiations with the Chinese. I will reply to your message as soon as possible.
"Fifty-seven million is no big deal," said Saeima spokesman Igors Shostakovich addressing the crowd through a bullhorn. "Just look at the mess the United States is in." Shostakovich suggested that if things really worsened, Latvia could be sold in its entirety to the Chinese. "They're sniffing around here, anyway," he said to calm the crowd. "Think of all we'd get! Cheap cars, cheap clothing, and nobody would ever criticize us again for polluting the crap out of our country." Shostakovich attempted to lead the students in a "the EU is overrated" chant, but the majority of them were distracted by their personal communication devices.
A journalist in the back of the room asked for the meaning of "apropos," and the spokesman conceded she had just learned the word through Dictionary.com's Word of the Day program and had been dying to use it in public.
"So is it 'Live Riga' like in 'Don't let it die'?" asked Sergei Matveyev, chief of the Russian tourism delegation. "Or does it mean 'a happening place'? And if that's the case, why isn't it 'Riga Live' or something to do with 'Alive'?" Others wondered whether the campaign should not have been in Russian. "I guess the only thing we can all agree on is that the campaign should have been done earlier," noted Matveyev, stabbing with his toothpick at a plate of tiny hotdogs.