ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — Just when you thought this summer was going to be really, really boring, our worldwide network of associate solitary reporters is required to inform you that Japan's Emperor Akihiko is at this very moment aboard an American C-130 cargo plane hovering over the Heritage Museum here in St. Petersburg, Russia, pondering what to do.

This all comes about because Russia's Vladimir Putin is right now directing the largest war games since the Soviet era, in the Russian Far East, just above Sakhalin Island, which the Soviet Union grabbed from Japan at the very end of World War II. Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty because Russia refuses to give up the Kuriles, islands near Sakhalin, which Japan claims but which Russia occupies.

In swift response to Russia's overwhelming and menacing military and naval presence just north of Hokkaido, Akihito tweeted President Obama for advice, and Obama promptly dispatched a solitary reporter to Tokyo's Imperial Palace, following which the solitary reporter accompanied Akihiko aboard a US Air Force C-130 (selected to include the entire Imperial Household) which eventually reached the airspace above St. Petersburg.

In fluent Japanese, the solitary reporter advised the Emperor to summon up his best Shinto and Buddhist meditation practices while the C-130 hovered conspicuously above the Hermitage, which was established in 1764 under Catherine the Great. Thus enlightened, Akihito wrote a haiku and gracefully handed it to a courtesan, who asked the solitary reporter to bless it before delicately dropping it from the C-130, where it floated down to the waiting hands of Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Museum's director.



Piotrovsky, in a state of high agitation, tweeted Putin, who was diligently observing the war games, eleven time zones away, begging Putin for direction. The contents of the haiku are the exclusive property of the US National Security Agency, and even Edward Snowden is unaware of its content.

After making sure that Snowden was firmly locked down in a secure, undisclosed location three miles below Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, Putin told Piotrovsky to offer Emperor Akihiko Catherine the Great's bed, where she entertained her numerous lovers, for Akihiko's pleasure.



Akihiko graciously accepted Putin's offer and accompanied the solitary reporter back to the Imperial Palace, where the solitary reporter remains, fully engaged in an elaborate tea ceremony with Empress Michiko, awaiting his next assignment.

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