The Russian village of Bolotnikovo, where Stalinist Brainwashing remains the religion of choice, is renowned as a peaceful place. Just east of Moscow, it has always been a place where children roam the streets unafraid of kidnappers or bullies; a place where women and men aren't hampered in their romantic evening walks by muggings or drive-by shootings.
It has always been a place where dogs and cats huddled close together on frigid Russian winter nights and plotted prejudiced social policies against rats and mice.
In short: it has historically been a haven for peace, love, beauty and more peace. But, the greatest pride of tiny Bolotnikovo, the beaming joy of its happy and well-educated serfs turned scientists, was its lake - its splendor slightly greater than a mud hole, but not as extravagant as an oil slick rainbow on wet tarmac.
Briefly: it was a place that Americans were monstrously envious of.
"It's no secret," said U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. "The Nizhegorodskaya region in Russia is the pearl of eastern Europe, and the world. And we hate them for it." Vershbow then angrily shook a clenched fist in the air and grimaced.
In what appears to be a surprise rogue venture by U.S. President George W. Bush, the U.S. launched a top-secret military expedition to make sure the Bolotnikovoians would no longer hold the grandeur of Lake Bolotnikovo over American citizens ever again.
Twelve Navy S.E.A.L.S, armed with a bucket, 4000 rounds of ammunition, a bazooka and a length of garden hose, siphoned the entirety of Lake Bolotnikovo into a 3-gallon gas can and stole away into the night.
The lake's current whereabouts are unknown.
On the morning of Thursday, May 19, the villagers of Bolotnikovo awoke with screams of anguish.
"Where? Where has our beautiful lake gone? AAAAAAAAHHHH," cried Nizhegorodskaya official Vladimir Stolachev.
"We were devastated devastated you know when uber-human Vladimir I mean, Ivan Drago gets the snot kicked out of him by Rocky at the end of 'Rocky IV'; that's how it felt, but worse," Stolachev choked out through flailing arms and mucus-thickened tears.
The United States and Russia, even in its previous guise as the former Soviet Union, have historically been the closest of allies - a picturesque image of friends shaking hands of hammers and sickles, eagles and strips. But in the last couple years, the two countries' long and fabled friendship has soured, becoming mired in an increasing embroiled ballerina defection fiasco.
"At one time, we were as tight as brothers, like Siamese twins who share the same liver," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan speaking on the one-time relationship between the U.S. and Russia. "But now they've turned into jerks; jerks with the personality of an ugly, stupid snail. They borrow our things and never return them, leave dishes in the sink when they come over; ya know, stuff like that."
When approached about the lake's disappearance by Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Bush shrugged his shoulders and blinked, "What'cha gonna do 'bout it," then hit Putin in the groin with the current version of the Senate's proposed Energy Bill.
Vice President Dick Cheney, in a rare public appearance with the President, croaked, "Git 'er dun."
Vladimir Zaitsev, an emergency Ministry official in the Nizhegorodskaya region, said that the "brutish" American lake theft operation had placed many villagers at the cusp of danger, let alone leaving them terribly saddened, with many not feeling like going to work today.
"Imagine if one of the villagers, or a duck, had been sucked up by the hose," hollered Zaitsev. "That would have been a tragedy."
He then quacked quietly to himself.
A U.S. Navy operative insists that "The Russians have misplaced the lake" and that "it'll turn up the last place they look," or "in a couple weeks after they've totally given up searching for it."
When asked to respond to the claims by Zaitsev and President Putin, as well as being shown Crayon drawings by President Bush that detailed plans of the U.S. military strike, the operative replied, "Yeah right, we all know what really happened," and went on the record by making the "GLUG-GLUG" drinking motion with his left hand and winking conspiratorially several times.