Magazine article Russian Life

Goats, Ribs and Suitcases

Magazine article Russian Life

Goats, Ribs and Suitcases

Article excerpt

WHEN TWO [??] (a term used for the heads of government agencies that wield some sort of force) on opposite sides of the ocean lose their jobs almost simultaneously as a result of extramarital affairs the [??] linguistic columnist cannot but thank Fate for dropping another theme, marital infidelity, [??] into his lap.

True enough, unlike former CIA boss David H. Petraeus, Russia's ex-defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov "showed extremely poor judgment" by engaging both in an adulterous affair," [??] and a corruption scheme. But rumors spread quickly through Russian media that the real reason the former furniture salesman lost his job was because he was "walking away from his wife", [??] which infuriated his powerful father-in-law and former patron, Viktor Zubkov, ex-Russian prime minister, now chairman of the oil monopoly Gazprom.

When a 50-year-old like Serdyukov (or a 60-something Petraeus) begins to "go to the left"-- [??] (colloquial for [??] - cheat on one's wife) Russians say with a smirk: [??] (gray hair in the beard means a devil in the rib). And the (deceived wife) in this case awards her unfaithful husband with the epithet (old goat). Sometimes she decides to avenge herself and to [??] (literally, "endow with horns," meaning to cuckold) her unfaithful spouse, making him a [??] (cuckold).

More often than not, the "old goat" in question is just a sugar daddy [??] for his young [??] (mistress). Or, as we joke now, [??] (the only size that matters is that of the wallet), a point my wife made as we were watching the initial news reports about the goat-ribbed Serdyukov. …

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