The Left

Pizza Diplomacy

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin Sings, Plays Piano At St. Petersburg Charity Event. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born October 7, 1952, is a Russian politician who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. | Photo: Kremlin | Vladimir Putin, Russia, Piano, Charity, Children,

If it worked in Bobtown, it could work in Moscow

I think Corporate America is getting back to its roots and returning to the basics when it resorts to what has long worked for it in the past---bribery. Good old fashioned out-and-out bribery.

But this has potential on an international scale. This can be taken to new levels. We could use this on the Russian Red Czar Putin.

Ever hear of Bobtown, Pennsylvania? You haven't, but then again some residents who live just a few miles away down the road from it have never heard of Bobtown either. Bobtown is so small they have to pump sunlight into it. Bobtown is so quiet the sleeping dog in the middle of the street on the center divider in front of the one-room post office has never been hit by a car.

Last month, a natural gas well near the town exploded killing a worker. Gas giant Chevron, the owner of the well, rather than initiate an investigation or some serious restitution, offered pizza coupons instead for the few residents at Bobtown, to be used at Bobtown Pizza, the town's sole restaurant.

Bobtown is so small city planners are thinking of consolidating services and calling it the "Bobtown Clinic, Fire Dept., Parks and Recreation and Pizza Delivery Consortium."

The residents of Bobtown have not only not complained about the pizza donation from the corporate colossus Chevron, they went and redeemed their coupons for pepperoni and anchovy toppings. They said the nationwide criticism of Chevron being a heartless corporate despoiler generated from this incident came not from locals but from "outside agitators" (like me).

Bobtown is so small you have to make a reservation to use the single parking meter.

In this case I don't consider myself an "outside agitator." I love pizza too. Actually, representatives of Chevron told the public the pizzas were donated not because of the gas explosion, but the traffic jam near the town that was caused by emergency vehicles responding to the fire afterward.

Remember that dog in the street? He finally had to move.

I think pizza diplomacy has great potential. Everybody loves a good rising crust with your choice of toppings. Remember how Obama last week warned Russian Potentate Vlad Putin that if he invaded the Ukraine, there would be consequences. Russia invaded the very next day which tells you how much in awe Putin is of Obama.

But instead of threats, what if we shipped 3,000 deluxe pizzas with all the fixings including the spiced Hawaiian pineapple slices, the buttered almond shavings with coconut powder and vanilla extract to the Kremlin? What does Putin have to eat now, nothing but radioactive Black Sea herring and rancid borscht brought over from a failed-economy crumbling hotel complex near the Kremlin, washed down with vodka. At least the vodka's good.

Russian leaders have always gone gaa-gaa over American luxuries. Remember how in 1959 during a visit Khrushchev salivated over that washer-drier as Richard Nixon explained to him how a rinse cycle works? Envy helped end the Cold War.

Now we have a new Cold War with Putin. If pizza diplomacy worked in Bobtown, it can work in Moscow.

Bobtown is so small the city council changed the plaque on the meeting hall door to read "Hamlet Council."

If we want to control Putin we have to give him something he wants. You can rule out a woman, Putin doesn't look like the romantic type. But Russians have always proven to be vulnerable to exotic pleasures from the West. For example, Chuck Connors, the late star of the moronic 1950's TV show The Rifleman, an idiot premise about a womanless alleged he-man with a small son who remains suspiciously celibate and who fires a rifle from down near his crotch----delighted Russian General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev during a visit with a pair of movie prop pistols. Brezhnev literally clapped his hands, chortled and danced around like a child on Christmas Day with the two guns in his hands.

Later, he did a 360-degree fish-tail with smoking tires in Connors' hot rod car, to the delighted screams of his accompanying Russian KGB sycophants. Oh wait a minute! That was Nixon's car, a 1972 Cadillac limo. Brezhnev floored it and Nixon, in the passenger seat, turned pale.

Brezhnev, if he were alive today, would probably volunteer to serve as the sheriff of Bobtown.

Bobtown is so small that the town's first completed road project in 100 years is now called, "Second Street."

Think of the possibilities. We might be able to stop North Korean Commissar Kim Jong-un from building that rocket designed to place a nuclear warhead on Sacramento by sending him a Pepperoni Supreme.

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Updated May 10, 2017 9:58 AM EDT | More details

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