I knew when I felt the racing pulse, the flushed skin and constantly upset stomach that I had it. Yes, it’s true: I’m Putin-intolerant.
Or Putin-sensitive if you prefer.
I have a legitimate allergy to Putin. He speaks and I can only imagine the torrents of Putin-related disorders that are sure to follow if I’m exposed to him in even the tiniest doses.
I tried a Putin-free diet but it didn’t help that much because, turns out, there is hidden Putin everywhere thanks to a little thing called cross-contamination. For instance, you think the president is making decisions but, turns out, it’s Putin calling the shots. Cue pounding headache and watery eyes.
I asked the waiter if the entrée was Putin free and he said “Yes,” but as soon as I smelled it, I knew something was off. Because Putin has the unmistakable smell of wet wool and unspeakable atrocities. Then again, maybe it was just the cilantro.
I’ve tried eliminating the obvious sources of Putin but it’s not easy. I’ve tried to replace Putin by substituting the NRA but it hasn’t helped. They’re too much alike, obsessed with holding onto power at all costs, no matter how outdated, wrongheaded and deadly.
While everyone knows Putin can be extremely dangerous in even small doses to a certain percent of the world’s population, some refuse to take it seriously. No, they pretend as though Putin isn’t gut-punching them every day, even pretending to be a friend on Facebook, generously admiring their heirloom nesting dolls with a thumbs-ups while simultaneously plotting to subvert their democratic process.
Putin can be attractive, I suppose, although I don’t really see it. Admiring Putin is curious. But some, obviously the president, but also some members of Congress, seem to have Stockholm syndrome in which the captive begins to admire and defend the captor.
Putin is a chameleon. It provides the natural elasticity, able to bend and reshape itself time and time again. The more you “knead” Putin, the more malleable it appears. Ready to work with you. You thought you were working Putin but, in reality, Putin was working you and soon you’ll be lying on the cool tile floor of the bathroom wondering what hit you.
Now there are some who will tell you there’s such a thing as Putin-free beer. They call it vodka. But beware because it can still contain Putin and is best avoided altogether. It’s like my old babushka used to say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of sugar if you stand in line for 8-10 hours in below-freezing temperatures.
It’s not easy being sensitive to Putin. You are mocked by your friends who complain, “All she ever wants to talk about is her stupid Putin allergy. It’s like we can’t have a normal conversation anymore. I wanted to talk about the “This is Us” finale like a normal person but no!” It’s always Putin’s ruining lives and we’re going to be next. I mean, conspiracy theory much?”
Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and political humor columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.