Russian refuge

Very clever of Mr Putin to grant Russian citizenship to Gerard Depardieu. If nothing else, it will help alleviate the chronic shortage of fat men in the country. The governor of Mordovia, a region famous for its prison camps, has invited the potato-shaped actor to settle there. As the only nightlife in that part of Russia involves climbing up watch towers and pissing on stray cats, it’s not an offer that’s likely to be accepted.

Let’s hope Depardieu does something to revive the moribund Russian film industry. I once saw a Russian movie in an art-house cinema: it was incredibly grim and depressing – nothing but revolting masses and angry men with beards. I can’t understand why the Russians, who were the first humans in space, don’t make more science fiction pictures. How about a Russian version of Star Wars in which Depardieu plays Jabba the Hut? Or a spin-off from Star Trek in which Chekov is the captain of the Enterprise and Depardieu is the Grossovian ambassador from Fattus-5? The great thing about a galaxy class star ship is its replicating machines made it impossible to run out of food.

The real reason for Depardieu’s departure to Mother Russia is his wish to avoid new taxes imposed by the French government. The president of France has described him as “shabby and unpatriotic” for refusing to dig deep into his pockets. My sympathies are with Depardieu here. If governments are short of money, they ought to earn it themselves instead of grabbing the assets of hard-pressed entertainers. I remember getting a visit from a tax inspector when I was a highly paid circus performer.

“Leave me alone, you accursed leech!” I barked. “I give my spare cash to worthy causes, not to upstarts who harass me with impudent demands! We will resolve this matter in a court of law!”

This led to the famous test case of Regina v Bananas. The high court ruled that philanthropic primates should be exempt from human taxes on the grounds that their natural generosity would impel them to devote a fair proportion of their wealth to the public good. It was a Magna Carta moment for the gorilla nation.

I’m glad to say that not all Europeans are as bereft of money-making ideas as the French government. A Czech woman has come up with the ingenious venture of selling advertising space on her breasts. This is her sales pitch:

I am a beautiful young girl and I offer my breasts for greeting cards and adverts. Send me your message and I’ll send you a pic with it written on my breasts.

Her charges are very reasonable and the demand for her services is soaring.

“It’s good value for money,” said one satisfied customer. “But I’d pay double if I could write the advert myself.”

Maybe Depardieu could make up with the French government by offering them free advertising space on his arse. There’s enough room there for the Marseillais and the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

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