Sunday, July 9, 2006

Muscovites Lack Likker

Moscow residents, well known for their penchant for hooch, are less than amused as they deal with the most severe paucity of liquor in more than 20 years since Soviet Prez Mikhail Gorbachev was on his quixotic campaign against liquor consumption. In an attempt to rid the market of bootleg booze, beer, and wine, Russian pooh bahs mandated that all such imported alcohol be labeled with excise bar codes by July 1 (known as "Black Saturday" in the Russian capital): any non-conforming bottles would have to be returned to the warehouse. Most shopkeepers were caught in a classic Commie Catch 22: the Russian Federal Customs Service failed to send them the required labels but continued to mandate compliance with the new regulation. Vodka is about the only potable local alcohol other than white sparkling wines from southern Russian and beer deemed akin to sodas. Moscow's top restaurants are unable to supply wine lists to their demanding high-rolling customers. The current city crisis could take up to three months to address, and industry types are concerned that vodka may become hard to procure. Muscovites, other than the health officials concerned with the low life expectancy (59) among the country's men, are not pleased.

Cf. http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article1168235.ece.

3 comments:

obfuscator22 said...

This reminds me of an old Soviet joke from the 1950's:    "Premier Khruschev walks into a bar and places 100 rubles on the counter........."  

Well, I forgot the rest of it, but I remember the punch line is "That was no Five Year Plan, that was my wife!"

Anyway, where is Yeltsin when you need him?  

jakeho said...

      I like that Soviet joke. As to Yeltsin, he was indeed an enthusiatic drinker but he got Uncle Sam and the Bear together on friendly relations. Too bad our paths seem to be diverging at the moment.

mypappysaid said...

I hope the Musovites manning the nuclear missile sites won't be going through delerium tremors.