HOW THEY MET—THE REAL STORY (Some dialogue reconstructed)
(A few years ago. Steven Seagal is wandering around Moscow, having just completed a day of filming on his latest direct-to-video action movie, I Kick People, in which he plays a martial arts person who takes justice into his own hands and then does unspeakable things to it, when he is approached by a limousine. The window of the limo slides down with an electronic purr.)
VOICE FROM THE LIMO: Get inside, Comrade Seagal.
STEVEN SEAGAL: Why? Is there someone I could kick in there?
VOICE: It is I, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia.
STEVEN SEAGAL: (peering inside limo) You are very short. Almost too short to kick. Are you sure you are Putin, and not Tom Cruise trying to punk me?
PUTIN: I am sure! Perhaps you would like to spend a few months in Lubyanka prison? That is the way I punk people.
STEVEN SEAGAL: There is no prison I cannot kick my way out of, but I respect the way you overreact to any perceived slight with a threat of punishment that is so disproportionate that it borders on psychopathy. We can be friends. (Gets into limo)
PUTIN: That is good, Comrade Seagal, for I have long been an admirer of your films. When I am confronted with difficult decisions, particularly ones concerning children held by terrorists and little countries that think I will not invade them, I ask myself, WWSSD, or What Would Steven Seagal Do?
STEVEN SEAGAL: When I am under siege, although hostages may be marked for death, I am hard to kill. Just like you.
PUTIN: See, even the titles of your movies provide inspiration for me and my oligarchs! How is your new wife?
STEVEN SEAGAL: The same as yours—a beautiful Eurasian woman much younger than me. She is terrified of me.
PUTIN: After a hard day of bullying at work, it is good to come home to that kind of naked, unrehearsed fear, nyet? How is your friend Sheriff Joe? Does he still make his prisoners wear pink underwear?
STEVEN SEAGAL: Yes, but I am a little worried about that. He confessed to me that he just likes looking at young Mexican guys with firm brown rear ends in pink underwear.
PUTIN: All of our friends have faults, Comrade Seagal. But they also have their strengths. If we had Sheriff Joe running the Gulag, I think he would have been the greatest concentration camp commander of all time. We would never have lost the Soviet Union. But we are getting it back, bit by bit! It will be my proudest achievement! What was the greatest moment in your career?
STEVEN SEAGAL: When Jean-Claude Van Damme cut off his pointless little ponytail. People stopped getting us mixed up.
PUTIN: It is good to have your own brand, comrade. Yet, not everyone admires us. Angela Merkel thinks I'm a preposterous little lying toad.
STEVEN SEAGAL: That's okay--Jenny McCarthy thinks I'm a bloated bag of dull-eyed perversion.
PUTIN: But others still believe in us. Some people really think I invade places because I actually care about what happens to other Russians, even though I've let hundreds of them die in badly botched hostage rescue attempts.
STEVEN SEAGAL: (touching his head) And some people believe this isn't a hair weave.
PUTIN: But our fans are dwindling, Comrade Steven. I fear I've won my last unfixed election.
STEVEN SEAGAL: And I'm stuck in a direct-to-video rut.
PUTIN: But we still have each other! So if I were to annex a little old peninsula south of Ukraine, would you have my back?
STEVEN SEAGAL: As long as I can always get cheap extras and English students writing tense, crappy dialogue for two bucks a page here in Russia so I can keep my films as low budget as possible, sure.
PUTIN: Comrade! (They lean towards each other so their heads are almost touching. A moment. Putin sighs contentedly, then pushes a button) Care to listen to some Michael Buble?