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It seems that driving in Moscow is getting more and more dangerous all the time. On Sunday a high-speed ring-road collision of a new Mercedes 350 SL and a black tinted-windowed Chevrolet Suburban threatened to disintegrate into an even more deadly encounter between the drivers of the two vehicles. (more…)

Posted: April 1st, 1997

On Monday, we mainly sent out letters. Among those was a letter to the well-known public opinion firm VTsIOM-the first ripple in what we’d hoped would turn into a media groundswell indicting new deputy premier Boris Nemtsov in a “Blimps-for-Cities” scandal.

The letter, sent on swanky letterhead we made for a fictional organization called the “Fund for the Defense of Nizhni Novgorod,” asked VTsIOM to estimate the cost of a poll gauging the level of public support for a putative sale of the territory of Kaliningrad-formerly East Prussian Koningsberg-to Germany. To add spice to the comedic soup we asked the firm to discover the exact amount of compensation ordinary Russians would expect in return for the city. (more…)

Posted: April 1st, 1997

It seems that driving in Moscow is getting more and more dangerous all the time. On Sunday a high-speed ring-road collision of a new Mercedes 350 SL and a black tinted-windowed Chevrolet Suburban threatened to disintegrate into an even more deadly encounter between the drivers of the two vehicles. But when Oleg “The Laotian” Markov and Igor “Fishy” Gnyiloukhov emerged from their cars to survey the damage, they found they had much in common. (more…)

Posted: April 1st, 1997

This is the cover of The eXile Issue #3, published in March 1997.

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Posted: March 20th, 1997

AIG Insurance
eXile: Hello? Irina?
AIG: Yes?
eXile: Yes, hello, I was given your number. My name is Michael B-.
AIG: Pleased to meet you.
eXile: Likewise. I’m calling because I’m interested in acquiring a life insurance policy.
AIG: I see. And you are a citizen of what country?
eXile: USA-
AIG: Because I’m not entirely sure that we insure anybody except Russian citizens.
eXile: I’m well known in Moscow. I’m friends with Paul Tatum, Paul Glotser…
AIG: What?
eXile: It’s just that I’ve been here a long time, which is why I’m calling a Russian agency.
(Fifteen minutes later) (more…)

Posted: March 20th, 1997

There was an earlier version of this very column that was much better. But it got spiked. Matt didn’t like it, and nowadays, what Matt says, goes. See, I sold him the eXile for a song-or rather, a dirge. And lemme tell ya folks, that song I sold myself for ain’t gonna hit the turntables of Russkiye Gvozdy anytime soon.

I nearly had a stroke when I heard that Matt Taibbi was going to be the newly-installed rival editor at Living Here-or rather, Night of the Living Here-the Freddy Krueger of local publications. That paper has risen from the dead so many times that even Jesus must be getting nervous. Hey, those punks are stealing my schtick! I had a monopoly on this resurrection thing for 2000 years, and now look at ’em! Yaweh, can’t we do something? They’re making us look bad! Give ’em the old fire and thunder! (more…)

Posted: March 20th, 1997

Russian prisoners looking to escape may not have to wait much longer for a choice opportunity. The press service of the GenProkuratura announced this week that more than 100 prison guards last year killed themselves, at a rate roughly analogous to that of the prisoners themselves. (more…)

Posted: March 20th, 1997