The Russian Subway

The Joke

In the 1950’s, during the height of the Cold War, an American was visiting Moscow. His Russian friend decided to show him the subway system of Moscow as living proof of the superiority of Communism.

So they tour a number of subway stations. One in particular was stunning. The walls were covered with gorgeous, life-like murals. Everything gleams. They went in the bathroom where there were fixtures made of gold, an attendant to hand out towels and brush your coat.

They wandered around at this station for 30 minutes, just drinking everything in.

But something nagged at the American. Something not quite right. Eventually he figured out what it was.

"But where are the trains?" he asks.

To which the Russian replies: "And what about the lynchings in the southern part of your country!!!??????

The Context

Actually, after the Iraq war we have been treated to a contemporary version of this joke. The "But where are the trains?" line is replaced by "But where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?" and the punch line can be anything from "And what about the mass graves in the southern part of Iraq?" or "What about the evil dictator we drove from power?"

Yes indeed. It’s a good joke to have in consciousness when someone tries to weasel out from a statement that is true by tossing out something to distract attention. Effective for children: whenever my sister, who ALWAYS started it, did something evil and I whacked her back (as she deserved), the conversation before a parent would go something like this."

"He hit me!"
"She started it!"
"And what about the lynchings in the southern part of your country."

Though I must say, my memory is that we heard that clunker of a line most often when one of the parental units came down on us for some infraction and we attempted to explain that they did it too. Lynchings indeed.

The Essence of Babcock Humor

More Humor & Wisdom

Home page  |  Return to top
Copyright © 2003 Michael Babcock