Thursday, November 23, 2006


Interview with the Wolf

Earlier this week I caught up with recently deceased former East German spymaster Markus Wolf and was granted an exclusive interview, which I conducted using a nifty piece of software called SeanceNet that allows you to communicate with people beyond the grave. A transcript follows.

Foot Eater: Markus Wolf, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Markus Wolf: My pleasure.
FE: First of all, the Cold War. How cold was it?
MW: Hah…?
FE: Ha ha, just a joke. Seriously, your name. Markus Wolf. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
MW: Sank you. But it voss not my real name –
FE: Hang on a sec. [Adjusts accent mode on SeanceNet program] Sorry, go on.
MW: I was saying it wasn’t my real name. I was christened Helmut Scheissburger. I chose Markus Wolf because it sounded kind of funky.
FE: Fair enough. I mean, East Germany was a happening place, wasn’t it? Bit of a groove going?
MW: Yes, but remember that I changed my name before Germany was partitioned. My father had fled the Nazis and taken me and my mother to Moscow.
FE: Ah.
MW: And Stalin was about as hip-hop as they come.
FE: I was going to ask about that. That whole Communism thing you got into, and set up in East Germany. What was all that about?
MW: Good question. We had this idea that a centrally planned and controlled system would bring about paradise on earth for everybody.
FE: Kind of like the British National Health Service.
MW: Yes, but with torture chambers.
FE: The NHS has those. They’re called wards.
MW: Well, our system had chronic shortages of basic supplies…
FE: Yes, ours too.
MW: …Interminable waiting lists for everything…
FE: Quite.
MW: …And a network of secret police to monitor the activities of people living and working within the system.
FE: Hospital managers.
MW: Our buildings were either crumbling ruins that hadn’t been restored after the war, or soulless modern concrete architectural outrages.
FE: Mmm…
MW: Our food was terrible, our staff surly and our populace demoralised, angry and drunk.
FE: Right.
MW: And the only way to escape our system was to buy your way out, or to die.
FE: Ah.


Mr Wolf, to the end of your life you maintained that your side won the Cold War. Would you care to elaborate?

But he’d vanished into the ether.

Is it really as bad as all that?
What of illicit narcotics?
You get what you pay for, its better than none at all but for some reason sadists are drawn to work there, Putin used to be a nurse I believe, yeah a man nurse, funny isn't it?
SafeT: yes, you can get those on the NHS too if you ask around.

Mr Knudsen: maybe Putin was thinking of his days dispensing medication when he slipped that bloke thallium in the sushi restaurant.

FMC: no, not very well, as it happens.
Just got word off the street* that the ex-spy lad's condition is deteriorating. That's what he gets for not going private.

*BBC website
Greetings, Foo Teat. Der socialismus is much missed. It was very handy for the advancement of medical science because citizens were anxious to voluntarily cooperate with new therapeutic solutions... just like the NHS, I suppose, where experimental non treatment is spreading...
Footie, I am beginning to think that you may have issues with regard to the NHS....
Ooops, I hit "Login and Publish" a bit too quick there, ah well, I'm pissed.

Anyway, as I was saying, our County government hospital was decrepit, the staff were awful, the treatment was horrific, you know, the usual.

Wham-o, new tax, new County Hospital. Brand spankin' new. No decrepitude, no rats, no roaches. Adequate funding, excellent supplies, decent food, all the best.

And yet.... The staff were still miserable, and the treatment was still horrific.

Obviously it was the staff that was sucking the life right out of the place, just like Christopher Reeves cracking open those babies and sucking the stem cells out of them on "South Park."
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