253. Making Peace with Russia

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The late Boris Nyof is becoming a nonperson. was president of Akmenistan, a tiny but oil-rich near Russia. The new president, Ivan Gurba, has all media use of Nyof’s name. Gurba has all the photos, posters, and statues of Nyof. the capital city, Gurba has ordered the destruction a stainless steel spire honoring Nyof. Gurba shut the spire's floodlights and mechanisms.

“From the steel, will build a Museum of Peace,” said Gurba. 100-foot-tall spire was brilliantly lit every night for last 10 years. At its top was a of Nyof’s head, 16 feet in diameter. The made a complete revolution every 59 minutes. Then paused for one minute, while flames shot out Nyof’s mouth, accompanied by the roar of a .

Every day at noon, “Nyof” gave a three-minute talking about what a great president he had . There was a different speech for each day the year. Every January 18, for example, Nyof about how he had paved all of Akmenistan’s roads—by himself. Every July 3, he described how had invented the Internet.

As president, Nyof actually renamed the days of the week after his , and the sun and moon after his parents. had banned marriage. Instead, couples in love signed -year “Friendship” contracts, renewable yearly—if both “friends” agreed.

Although thought Nyof was a little weird, they liked for boldly standing up to occasional threats from . Now that he was gone, Russia seemed more on acquiring Akmenistan’s oil—one way or another. Gurba that he might help prevent a Russian invasion removing all traces of Nyof and by building Museum of Peace.