Two Potatoes


Two Potatoes
Gideon D. Asche

My old partner, Heinrich, was Estonian. He ran an anti-Soviet newspaper in Leningrad – He was not popular with the Militz.

Eventually, he had to get out or go to the Gulag, so someone decided to extract him, and he was recruited to work for our side. He originally did propaganda broadcasts in Russian aimed at Soviet Soldiers in DDR. Then went into the field on the ground.  I met  him at the course.

Heiney had a weird habit of using the phrase “Two Potatoes” …  He said it all the time.

I’d say “Hey Heiny lets go get a beer and a Pizza” – “Two Potatoes”

Rothosen (Red Pants – His Soccer team) would win a game – “Two Potatoes”

I’d point out a hot tourist chick with hairy armpits – “Two Potatoes”

Finally, I asked him just WTF “Two Potatoes” was supposed to mean cause no matter how or to what I translated it to; it still just meant 2 edible tubers – “Two Potatoes”

Heiney grew up under Kruschev and Breschnev, during the heyday of Soviet Democratic Socialism. His parents survived Stalin –  He lived it during the darkest years since Stalin.

Heiney explained “Two Potatoes” was exactly that – 2 edible tubers.
It stems from the days of Stalin and the purges and the starvation that came with each “Five Year Plan.“

Two Potatoes” – meant just that: “Two Potatoes.”

Two-potatoes equaled Two meals … Two more days that your family would eat.

“Two Potatoes” meant you wouldn’t starve this week.

As the years passed, the Soviet system began to crumble, and things got better with US Wheat shipments and western influence, It became an expression for “good.” “Outa-sight,” “Kool” “Excellent” etc.

Think on that a moment…   “Two Potatoes” was just about as good as it got.

Behind the Iron Curtain,  just surviving was considered an accomplishment.

The best you could expect is the prospect of not starving before Friday.  I can remember even in the 80’s we always took loads of canned meats and baby formula anytime we made a run into a Communist country.  First it was effective in a bribe, and second, the odds were that our contact person needed it to feed his family.

Next time some fool in office snuggles up with Putin.

…. throw a brain cell at it

–  Let’s not forget what we fought for 5 decades. – or that it oppressed 1/3 of the world for 50 years.

Or that Putin has actually held power for better than 20 years.

I know Putin better than most, I can even tell you what Vodka he drinks and his preferred way to kill someone when he wants to send a message….


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