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Never Give a Sucker an Even Break

"You can't cheat an honest man; never give a sucker an even break."—W. C. Fields


A century later he might have been diagnosed as autistic or ADHD.

A very shy person,

he found it difficult to deal with people.

What, he asked himself, would Vladimir Ilyich have have done?

But the great man lay silent in his tomb up there,

never missing the best of all possible opportunities to shut up.


“Why do you want my life, Koba?” Bukharin had written him.

And Kamenev had pleaded for his sons. What had they done, after all?

Oh, God, it was so embarrassing! And nobody understood.

He simply didn’t know what to do.

Well, there was always that . . .

First, I’ll watch the new comedy from America, he thought—

great title: You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man.

You had to admit it—they made wonderful pictures.

Then maybe Beloved Enemy again?



Or perhaps Dark Victory. Although that always made him tear up.

Time before bed, though, he must sign that stack of warrants Yezhov had put on his desk.

All those names. Hundreds of them. But it had to be done.

Damn Yezhov! He’d have to do something about him, too, soon.

It was all so unpleasant!


Why couldn’t life be more like a Hollywood movie!

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