Vladimir Poutine was born into a family of KGB agents and apparatchiks during the early days of the Khrushchev regime. The family apartment was quite spacious by Soviet standards, denoting the respect and regard in which The State held papa Poutine. Vladimir was a short child; perhaps he could uncharitably be called scrawny. Which in fact his older brothers did. They often bullied him, throwing him into the Volga saying,
“Пан или пропал” (Sink or swim).
He was a bright lad, and unlike Donnie applied himself in school. But he was often scorned by his peers for his diminutive size. Also unlike Donnie, his father wasn’t rich and couldn’t afford to buy friends for him. So he was often alone.
In addition to his studies, Vladimir delved into what was known in the ’50’s as “physical culture.” He bought muscle magazines, did weight-training exercises pumping bulk bags of uncut spelt, and performing the squat thrusts and jumping jacks as delineated in the Russian Army Training Manual. He was also fascinated by photos of Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan, much as Donnie was rapt by the hairstyles of Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell. He dreamed of having a rippling chest, bulging biceps, and well-defined deltoids. If he achieved this dominant look, his peers would think twice about demeaning him. He could retaliate in a powerful and decisive manner. Oh yes, he would make them pay who looked down on him.
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