- St. Petersburg, Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin today made his first public appearance since March 5 with an explanation of his activities, and a denial of any health issues.
Putin’s unusual absence from the spotlight had lead many to speculate that the Russian leader was ill or even deceased.
“As capitalist stooge Mark Twain once said, ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,'” Putin said during a break in talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev taking place today in St. Petersburg. “And I am as fit as an yak. And not a sickly yak either!”
Putin explained that his multi-day disappearance was due to the fact that he had been locked into an intense Settlers of Catan tournament that lasted longer than expected. Settlers of Catan is a board game in which players attempt to gather resources, build various structures and roads, and make endless jokes involving wood and sheep.
“I made it through to the finals,” Putin explained. “I am merciless in my ability to trade wheat for ore!”
Apparently, the tournament was scheduled to end two days earlier, but there was a run of circumstances that caused delays.
“The robber, wiley Cossack that he is, kept moving to places that delayed us all. He made it nearly impossible to gather needed resources and made the games last far too long,” Putin explained. “Still, he was no match for Vladimir!”
Putin stated that in order to prove he is healthy, he will engage in a boxing match tomorrow afternoon with a bear. He added he will not wear a shirt for this event.
This is not the first in which a world leader disappeared due to a board game situation. President Gerald Ford was absent from public view for a week once due to an overly long Yahtzee tournament, and French President Jacques Chirac would routinely miss meetings because he was “way into Magic: The Gathering,” according to a random French person.