An elderly man stands in line for hours at a Warsaw meat store (meat
is severely rationed). When the butcher comes out at the end of the day and
announces that there is no meat left, the man flies into a rage.
"What is this?" he shouts. "I fought against the Nazis, I worked hard
all my life, I've been a loyal citizen, and now you tell me I can't even buy a
piece of meat? This rotten system stinks!"
Suddenly a thuggish man in a black leather coat sidles up and murmurs
"Take it easy, comrade. Remember what would have happened if you had made an
outburst like that only a few years ago" -- and he points an imaginary gun to
this head and pulls the trigger.
The old man goes home, and his wife says, "So they're out of meat
"It's worse than that," he replies. "They're out of bullets."
- -- making the rounds in Warsaw, 1987