PUTIN: A wonderful dinner, Anna Overandoutna. And I hope you have enjoyed the beautiful view of Lubyanka Square from atop the old KGB headquarters. And now dessert. Try a slice of this cake. It’s like your mother used to bake …

OVERANDOUTNA: (Accepts slice of cake_.) Thank you. I can’t get over the fact that I’m eating dinner with the president of Russia in the former offices of the secret police! (Takes bite of cake_.) So it really didn’t upset you that I wrote that you were guilty of using Russia’s reserves of oil and natural gas to force up prices in Ukraine and Europe? (Drops fork, puts hand to throat in alarm.)

PUTIN: As I was saying, it’s like your mother used to bake … if your mother was Marie Curie.

OVERANDOUTNA: (In a tiny, strangulated voice_.) And you weren’t irate when I criticized you in print for trying to interfere with the democratic elections in Georgia and Moldova? (_Slumps over in chair and dies.)

PUTIN: (Chuckling.) Bye-bye, Miss Polonium Pie.