President of Belarus
Recently I had the imaginary privilege of interviewing Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus. The imaginary transcript is below.
Kate: Mr. President, it is an honor to meet you and your mustache.
Kate: Um…may I call you Alex?
Kate: Oh. Do you mind if I just, um, scoot my chair a little closer to you?
Alex: I will allow it.
Kate: Good! Now—you have been dubbed “Europe’s last dictator.” How do you respond to that charge?
Alex: That is blasphemy. Belarus is not in Europe. Belarus is its own continent. I am a dictator though, yes.
Kate: Hm. Putting aside your rejection of basic geographical concepts, I have to say that I’m surprised you don’t deny being a dictator.
Alex: Well, I can’t help it, can I? I just have an autocratic personality. Why, even when I was manager of a farm, I eliminated farm-manager term limits and disbanded the cow parliament. I could no less stop being a dictator than the Jews who live in Babruysk could stop being filthy pigs.
Kate: Since you mention that—you have been widely criticized for making anti-Semitic comments, such as “Jews have turned Babruysk into a pigsty.” How do you explain these comments?
Alex: Ah, that was clearly an innocent joke. I was just making light of how filthy the Jews in Babruysk are. Also, it has been mistranslated. I did not say “pigsty.” I said “pigpen.”
Kate: I see. Recently, Belarus seems to be distancing itself from Russia, and you have said that you would like to have closer ties with the E.U. and United States. Now, my question is, don’t you think the name “Kate Lukashenko” has a nice ring to it?
Kate: Ok. Switching gears for a moment, it has been reported that you and your wife are no longer living together. Is that true?
Alex: Madam, please remove your hand from my leg.
Kate: Oh! Sorry. So…do you have any plans for after the interview? I was thinking maybe we could go grab a drink…
Alex: Yes, I will allow this.