By William Markiewicz

Wasted Einstein
An overhead conversation of two older Jewish women: One said, "Einstein, had he learned the Talmud, with his head he could have really become somebody. Now he is just 'Einstein the Professor.'"

Eternal Russia
One fellow, rather simple, was drafted during the Second World War into the Soviet Army. He didnít know heíd been assigned to the paratroopers. With something strapped to his back he boarded the plane with the others. Once in the air they were ordered to jump. He protested, "I never jumped before!" And was answered, "If you didn't know how to do it you wouldn't be here. Jump." He screamed, refusing, and they just pushed him out.

He was falling, screaming, and suddenly he saw something hanging and pulled it. The parachute opened and he landed safely. They told him later, "And you said you didn't know how to jump? You opened your parachute later than anybody else!" They made him an instructor to teach others how to open the parachute so late. I didn't ask him how it turned out. I think I had goose pimples but he was here, so obviously he had survived. For him everything was a matter of fact.

"Good Ol' Spain"
The lady was French though she'd either been born in Spain or came as a little girl. Her father was a diplomat. He didn't request Spanish citizenship for her so though she stayed in Madrid she always remained a French citizen I believe. I donít know what happened to her father but she and her brothers remained in Spain. During the Spanish Civil War she was a teenager and became a Socialist. She was denounced and arrested and spent the whole war in prison. Almost every night women were taken to be executed and each time she expected her turn. But she survived. After the war she was released with orders to leave Spain. She was horrified. Spain was impoverished but it was the only country she knew. She didn't even know her family's whereabouts in France. She absolutely wanted to remain in Spain and went to some office to speak to a functionary: "Here I am ordered to leave Spain. Could you advise me how to stay in Spain?" He angrily replied: "You criminal. Wrong thinker. Foreigner. And you dare to ask to stay in Spain?!" She answered, "I know that I am a criminal, wrong thinker and foreigner. Could you tell me, please, how, with all this, I can stay in Spain?" He opened a small notepad, wrote a telephone number and gave it to her: "Say that this came from me."

You can get a lot from the Spaniards if you don't push too hard.

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