The Vlad Putine

Barry Gander
4 min readFeb 28, 2022


In the spirit of contempt for an imbecile invader, I’m putting forward the Vladimir Putine! (The “Vlad”)

Putin’s invasion of a sovereign neighbour calls out for protest and derision. As a Canadian , I feel authorized to invent this educational variation on Canada’s contribution to the world of cuisine, the poutine!

Before I go on, let me fully acknowledge the pain of the Ukraine today. We see however a spirit of resolve so strong and so buoyant it bubbles over into humour. Have you seen the gif of the farmer driving off with the Russian tractor?

The Vlad Putine is based of course on the real “Vlad” who has, with a few simple mistakes, shown us how one can:

- Instantly transform a peaceful neighbour into a foe and instill resolve in him, all at once;

- Unite your enemies against you;

- Trigger a flood of military and civilian aide to said foe;

- Let the people of the world think you are an idiot; and

- Serve it up with the speed of fast-food French fries!

So the Vlad Putine has to incorporate these key ingredients:

- A curdling acid;

- An unwanted bonding agent;

- A side-order of grief; and

- A sign that you are a moron.

Before we start, let me describe a typical poutine for those who have not enjoyed this treat yet.

A poutine is a dish of French fries, covered in melting cheese curds and smothered in gravy. It can often have meat add-ins.

Poutine was invented in Quebec. According to Google: “It is widely accepted that poutine was invented in 1957 when a trucker stopped in at the Lutin Rit (Laughing Leprechaun) in Warwick, Quebec (about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City). He asked cook Fernand Lachance to add cheese curds to his fries. Voila!

Naturally, other places compete for the honour of the invention. I can’t judge.

“Poutine”, BTW, is Quebec slang for “a mess.”

Very apt for Vlad.

Side-note: do not judge Quebec by the Poutine. It is arguably the most civilized region of North America. There are more varieties of wine served in a back-street in Quebec City than in New York City.

Speaking of which, by the 1970’s, poutine had penetrated to New York, where it was sometimes called “disco fries”. Maybe like “freedom fries.”

The record for eating the most poutine at once goes to Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti of Chicago who ate 5.9 kg (13 pounds) of poutine in a 2010 contest in Toronto.

According to Macleans magazine, the largest poutine in the world was made in Saguenay, Que., and weighed 654 kg — about as much as a large horse.

The average male would have to jog 2.5 hours to burn off the 1,422 calories contained in a regular-sized country-style poutine (bacon, chicken, gravy, fries, onions and mushrooms).

I confess to loving poutine. I have had it with lobster, and smoked meat, and pork, and buffalo… It is a real vegan treat! Based on the above calorie count, I should not had stopped running since 1990.

So it is was some trepidation that I offer one of the world’s best foods as a tool to ridicule a tyrant and maniac.

Here is how you make a Vlad Putine:

Fry your potato slices in axle grease. This way, they will be good for the road. They can double as wheel lubricant.

While they are frying, make up a pot of gravy. Make sure it consists of curdled milk and meat-like objects. This represents “policy-making”.

Get ready the cheese curds. Make sure they are very curded. In fact, rock hard. Diamond drills should break on them. They represent the will of your enemy to hold on to key fortresses.

Let’s add apples. Horse apples. The dung symbolizes the result of a policy that turns to S**t instantly.

Combine the ingredients in a box that cannot be opened. This represents the will of a world united against you and unwilling to let you nourish yourself.

Then carry your food to your car in a bag with the label “This brown paper bag has a higher IQ than its carrier.”

Serve cold.

Just like a Canadian winter.

(And BTW, to a Canadian, Russia does not have winter. The world’s coldest capital city is not Moscow, it is Ottawa, Canada. If Canadians had the kind of winter that they have in Moscow, we would be stocking up on suntan lotion and beach blankets, not coats. Just saying.)

Enjoy your Vlad. From the unity the Vad has brought the West, it will be recognized as a turning-point.



Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry