In a gesture intended to heal the political gulf between America and Russia which opened up during the Bush administration, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has presented her Russian counterpart with a pointless but insulting toy.
The toy consists of a big red button mounted on a bright yellow box, labelled 'RESET' and 'PEREGRUZKA'.
"'Perezagruzka' is the Russian word for 'reset', actually," said Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister. "This, however, says 'overload'. Are you daring to suggest that our esteemed prime minister, Vladimir Putin, is in some way not up to the job of running our motherland? And why are there three clockwise arrows on this big button? Is this your unsubtle way of calling him a knob? Perhaps the smirk will be wiped off your shiny plastic face if I remind you that we still have a big red button of our own, and Mr Putin's finger is hovering over it even as we speak."
"Oh, and by the way, in Russia we use the Cyrillic alphabet," he added. "I don't expect you to have heard of it, even if it is older than your stupid country."
"The things you learn," said a sheepish Mrs Clinton, pausing briefly from frantically kissing the angry Russian minister's hairy arse. "In all my incredible overseas exploits - heroically dodging bullets, bombs and DNA-seeking missiles in Serbia, single-handedly liberating our POWs in Vietnam armed only with an M-16 and a bandana, and demolishing the entire Berlin Wall with a single blow from my mighty hammer - it somehow contrived to escape my attention that millions of people around the world are not only forced to live in tragic ignorance of the democratic American language, but they are even denied the basic freedom to use honest, hardworking American letters like J and W. Looks like our plan for cultural world domination still has some way to go, I guess."