ALBERTVILLE, France — “Hey, Sam.”

“Yeah, Frank?”

“Pass the beer.”
* “Hey, Dmitri.”

“Da, Igor?”

“Pass the vodka.”

“You watching the game today, Sam?”

“You bet, Frank. On my Mitsubishi big screen.”

“You listen to game tonight, Dmitri?”

“With what, Igor? I sell my radio.”

“I’m calling in sick today, Sam. No way I’m gonna miss U.S.-Russia.”

“Me, too. I told my boss I had the flu.”

“Perhaps we listen tonight, Dmitri, when I come home from factory.”

“You ask about job for me? Please? Please?”

“So, we got a chance against these Russkies, Sam? Whaddya think?”

“Hell, yeah, we got a chance. Our kids are tough. They’re in it to win it.”

“You think maybe we lose tonight, Dmitri?”

“Is possible. Our players gladly trade gold medal for job in NHL.”

“Remember the last time we beat the Russkies, Sam? 1980? Lake Placid?”

“Of course. It was a miracle.”

“Remember last time we lose to U.S., Dmitri?”

“A little. It was a fluke.”

“Our kids really outplayed the Russian pros that night, huh, Sam?”

“Mike Eruzione? Jim Craig? No way they were gonna lose with those guys.”

“Remember how our stupid coach pull our great goalie, Tretiak?”

“Da. Da. Otherwise, those American schoolboys never win.”

“Hey, don’t the Russians have a new name now?”

“Yeah. CIS, or United Nations, or something.”

“What is our national anthem now?”

“Beethoven. Or Bach. Or something.”

“And don’t they have a bunch of new countries at this Olympics?”

“Yeah. Stoneland and Latland, something like that.”

“And what is our flag at the Olympics?”

“White with rings. Something like that.”

“You know it’s kind of strange. We spent all this money –“

“And they keep winning the medals.”

“You know, is very strange. We win all these medals–“

“And yet we have no money.”

“Hey, who won the primary, Clinton or Tsongas?”

“Beats me. I didn’t vote.”

“Who run country now, Yeltsin or Gorbachev?”

“To be honest, Igor, I never ask.”

“So, how’s your brother, Sam? The investment banker in San Diego?”

“Ever since he bought that beach house, I never hear from the guy.”

“How is brother, Dmitri? The one in Latvia?”

“Who knows? After revolution, is no phone.”

“You know, I was reading where in Russia, they’re selling silverware to get money for food.”

“Really?”

“You know, Dmitri, in America they have 20 kinds of salad dressing.”

“Really?”

“Hey, after the game, let’s hit the mall. They got that new Nintendo game I wanna get for my kid.”

“OK.”

“Tomorrow morning, we get in line at store. I hear they have shoes and eggs.”

“Shoes and eggs! Wonderful!”

“You know, Sam. We win this Olympic hockey game, it’ll be a great day for America.”

“You’re right, Frank. And then . . . PARTYYY!”

“Well, Dmitri, tonight we listen to game. And maybe tomorrow things get better.”

“I hope so, Igor. Pass the vodka.”

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