From BBC News

The mystery of Ireland’s worst driver

Details of how police in the Irish Republic finally caught up with the country’s most reckless driver have emerged, the Irish Times reports.

He had been wanted from counties Cork to Cavan after racking up scores of speeding tickets and parking fines.

However, each time the serial offender was stopped he managed to evade justice by giving a different address.

But then his cover was blown.

It was discovered that the man every member of the Irish police’s rank and file had been looking for – a Mr Prawo Jazdy – wasn’t exactly the sort of prized villain whose apprehension leads to an officer winning an award.

In fact he wasn’t even human.

Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence,” read a letter from June 2007 from an officer working within the Garda’s traffic division.

“Having noticed this, I decided to check and see how many times officers have made this mistake.

“It is quite embarrassing to see that the system has created Prawo Jazdy as a person with over 50 identities.”

The officer added that the “mistake” needed to be rectified immediately and asked that a memo be circulated throughout the force.

In a bid to avoid similar mistakes being made in future relevant guidelines were also amended.

And if nothing else is learnt from this driving-related debacle, Irish police officers should now know at least two words of Polish.

As for the seemingly elusive Mr Prawo Jazdy, he has presumably become a cult hero among Ireland’s second largest immigrant population.

I bet he has! Knowing Poles, it’s very likely they have actually told the policemen that it’s their very name. Perhaps the 51st just wasn’t able to do it with straight face.

The Irish police might want to learn a thing or two about the Polish grammar. Female first names always end with an ‘a’. That’s the law! Male first names tend to end with a consonant.

Words ending with an ‘o’ indicate the neutral gender, so it’s neither he nor she, only it. Dziecko – baby, mleko – milk, miasto – city, ciasto – cake, prawo – law.

The one exception worth bothering with is Mieszko, however, the majority of guys boasting of this name look something like this.

Make sure he doesn’t carry a sword behind the passenger’s seat.

Permis de Conduire printed at the top of the licence isn’t a name either, even if some fancied it’s an Earl Permis of Conduire.

The Irish police might also want to check how many times an individual named Dowód Osobisty (Personal ID) caused them all kinds of troubles.

Rzeczpospolita Polska is not a woman, even though some claim to the contrary.


Caution: Gregorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz could be a real name, but there exists a great danger that its owner is charged with all possible diversions, including the direct outburst of WWII. Make sure he’s not similar to this man.


Two Russian Jokes

August 29, 2008

There are two Russian jokes (although likely they’re both Polish in origin) I was reminded of while reading Scatt’s Those Missiles over at Polandian. Both come from the 1980s and refer to propaganda.

This is the first (and likely the only) joke in my life I actually managed to memorize, and I still remember it, even though I was maybe 14 when I first heard it. It’s from the repertoire of the Bez Jacka (Without Jacek) cabaret. Commercials, as we all know, refer to product promotion – something virtually unknown in Poland back then, with this one exception:

A brisk stream winds down the deep tundra or taiga scenery. A deer nibs on grass on a nearby meadow. Birds sing a cheerful tune. The sky is blue and clear.

There, at the brook’s bank a woman crouched, and with sweeping movements of her hands washes her cloths, pressing the fabric against a stone.

Suddenly, a Cossack emerges from behind a tree, and tiptoes towards her. When he takes his hold of her from behind, she screams: “Help! They f*ck me!”

Off voice: “They f*ck you, and they’ll keep f*cking you, as long as you don’t buy an automatic washing-machine.”

That more or less explains Russian methods of persuasion and enticement as seen through Polish eyes. It might be not certain whether we need those missiles, but it’s certain that we wouldn’t need them at all if we weren’t f*cked by them so often. In the end one needs to buy the automatic washer anyway, the only difference now is that we can choose our supplier.

The second joke refers to Public Relations that is how information is being presented:

– Is it true that Victor Semyonych won a car in a lottery in Leningrad?

– Yes, it is. – Yes, it is. But it wasn’t Victor Semyonych it was Fyodor Kovalenko, and it wasn’t in Leningrad it was in Moscow, and it wasn’t in a lottery it was in the Red Square, and it wasn’t a car it was a bicycle, and he didn’t win it but they stole it from him.

One might think that Russia bitches now over the missile defence system because they’re unhappy. While I don’t know whether they’re happy or not, I know that in Russian tradition it’s always good to bitch when one has a good pretext, even if it’s not necessarily a real reason.

Of course the anti-missiles in Poland are not a threat to Russia in the least, but there are other benefits coming from bitching that should be considered:

  • it’s always good to make some rumour – people notice you

  • it’s good to present yourself as a victim, especially when your usual image is more of an oppressor

  • it’s even better to do it in order to turn everyone’s attention from Russian troops in Georgia – at least not all of the news lately were about the victims of Russia, some were also about Russia the victim

  • it is a great opportunity to let the Russian people, whose democracy looks somewhat too closely to autocracy, know that their lives are endangered and only Putin can save them – after all there are millions of them and it’s easier to keep them quiet that way

  • it’ll come off handy when Russia puts a new embargo on Polish products

  • it’ll be a good point in Russia’s negotiations with the EU

  • whatever Russia does now they’ll say that we started it

  • there’s always a chance that someone will believe them

  • there’s always a chance that someone will be scared by their threat

Does that mean that Russia is going to attack Poland? No. But when they do you bet that they’ll use the missiles as a pretext. However, the missiles will never be a true reason. As Poles say: every pretext is good.

Yet, as long as they make the rumour there’s nothing to worry about. Whenever Russia attacks it’s done quietly and without any prior announcement, just like the Cossack in the first joke.

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