The Cinch Review

Commies love concrete

From an article written in 1986 by P.J. O’Rourke:

Usually, a plane ride gives me some distance on questions of dogma, the way a martini or a lungful of hashish does. We don’t call it “high” for nothing; that was slang three centuries before the Wright brothers. Whatever those microbes down there think is no concern of mine — unless I fly into the Soviet Block. Something’s wrong when harebrained ideas can be spotted from Olympian heights. On the outskirts of Warsaw, the whole countryside is scarred with the gravel pits and gray dust plumes of cement factories. Commies love concrete.

Commies love concrete, but they don’t know how to make it. Concrete is a mixture of cement, gravel and straw? No? Gravel, water and wood pulp? Water, potatoes and lard? The concrete runway at Warsaw’s Miedzynarodowy airport is coming to pieces. From bumpy landing until bumpy take-off, you spend your time in Poland looking at bad concrete. Everything is made of it — streets, buildings, floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, window frames, lamp posts, statues, benches, plus some of the food, I think.

Lest we forget.

Available in O’Rourke’s book, Holidays in Hell.