Your RDA of Irony

Why Gregory Zinoviev and Your Accountant Look Alike…

A few days ago, while at a lovely wedding reception, a couple came up to me and said that I looked familiar. Being a megalomaniac, I suggested what seemed the obvious reason: “Are you fans of Jeopardy?” However, they were not. So now we had a mystery. I then offered this explanation: “Well, I do look like half of the members of the 1918 Politburo.”

They had no idea what I meant, but the high school principal next to me laughed out loud. A less esoteric me should have noted my resemblance to the cast of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Any physical similarity between Larry David, Leon Trotsky and me can be attributed to 4000 years of inbreeding.

In fact, the Soviets took advantage of that ethnic homogenity to explain an embarrassing presence. When I was in Moscow in 1975 and touring a museum of the Revolution, I saw Leon Trotsky in a few photos. He was too close to Lenin to be easily edited out. With surprising tact—paranoia does have it virtues–I refrained from confronting my Intourist Guide with the evidence of Trotsky’s importance. Instead I simply asked her, “Who is that?” She must have been prepared for that question because she immediately responded “That is Jacob Sverdlov.”

(Sverdlov had the good luck to die of cholera in 1919, so he avoided being killed by Stalin.)

So Trotsky was being identified as Sverdlov. If you have seen one Jew….

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