This was my dream. Last night.
• • • • •
I was a Captain in the United States army, stationed as a NATO Liaison Officer/Advisor at a Russian Military Academy outside Moscow.
At one time we had a visiting dignitary—a Colonel from the USA—who was treated to the finest of Russian hospitality.
He and the other Russian Officers had all sat down in the Mess Hall to a lunch of Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn, much to the Colonel’s delight. He ate at a leisurely pace; his hosts enjoyed the time as he regaled them with stories of life in the Southern United States.
Sharply at noon, the Mess staff hustled all of them away from their table—500 or so cadets were due to flood through the doors in moments for the midday meal. The Colonel hadn’t finished his meal.
It was shortly after this when I came to meet the Colonel in the Commandant’s office for the first time.
He was livid, in a forceful-with-a-Southern-charm kind of way. He was there to complain about his treatment in the Mess Hall, and I had to act quickly.
The Commandant did not know how this Colonel could not possibly understand that feeding 1,500 cadets in shifts required clearing the Mess Hall every half hour starting at noon, hence the abrupt end to their otherwise leisurely midday meal. He was embarrassed, but he certainly did not want to receive a lecture on how to run his school and his Mess hall.
I translated the Commandant’s concerns and apologies in the most diplomatic of terms to the Colonel, and explained that no slight or insult was intended by the Russians when they terminated his lunch, fabulous as it was, with all haste and no warning.
I explained in Russian to the Commandant that the Colonel was an American celebrity of sorts, and he must be treated with the utmost care. I told the Commandant exactly who this visiting American was.
The visitor was Colonel Sanders.
• • • • •
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