Boris the Pant-less

yeltsinI don’t have a lot of time for blogging these days.  The finishing touches on the dissertation (one . . . more . . week), job applications, and getting ready to spend the next year in Russia fill up all my time.  Inevitably commenting on missiles, Medvedev the modernizer, not to mention Moscow’s Holy Father of Fury, has been relegated to the eternal back burner.  Yet, there are some things in the world of Russia that just can’t be left to simmer on the boiler plate.  Especially when it involves a pant-less Boris Yeltsin.

According to Taylor Branch’s “The Clinton Tapes,”

Former President Clinton recalled getting a security alert in 1995 that the Secret Service had found Mr. Yeltsin, in his underwear, outside Blair House on Pennsylvania Avenue trying to hail a taxi. He was clearly inebriated, wanting a pizza. And he eluded security the second night, nearly causing an even more serious ruckus when he was initially mistaken for a drunken intruder, according to these accounts. What that says about the security near Blair House or those who protected Mr. Yeltsin is anyone’s guess.

Forget about the Blair House security, though the inability to nab a drunken Yeltsin does raise eyebrows. Is this tale not the perfect metaphor for the Yeltsin era?  A mere four years after boldly standing on a tank and mouthing whatever democratic platitudes he could ride into power, Yeltsin is in America, plastered, and looking for pizza in his skivvies.  Or worse almost getting 187ed by Blair House security.  One can imagine a similar scenario when he signed the Belovezh Accords abolishing the USSR or when robber barons freely pilfered the Russian state. Drunk, pant-less, looking for pizza.  If only a cab picked him up.  If only . . .

Two questions, though.  Did anyone ever explain why Boris was in his underwear?  And, more importantly, were they boxers or briefs?

One things for sure.  The dude knew how to par-tay.