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Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:22 am
by Erik_Kowal
The day was 1 May 1991; the occasion was the last May Day parade ever to take place in the soon-to-be-defunct Soviet Union.

As the ostentatious procession of tanks, stormtroopers, long-range bombers and ICBMs paraded across Red Square towards the exit, ten men in black, every one of them with the lugubrious appearance of an undertaker, could be seen bringing up the rear on foot.

Mikhail Gorbachev glanced in puzzlement at the director of the KGB seated next to him. "Vladimir, tell me, those men -- are those our spies?" he asked.

"Close, Misha, close!" replied the director, rubbing his palms together in satisfaction and grinning. "Actually, they are just a tiny handful of our best-trained economists... Just imagine the chaos they'll create once they've been released in America!"