One day, a visiting Leningrad poet drops in on his French colleague in Paris. The distinguished French poet is embarrassed because he has not had time to get in something to drink, and he happens to know that the distinguished Leningrad poet likes his alcohol. He excuses himself repeatedly before the Russian, but this only makes things worse.
Suddenly the Leningrader exclaims, "What do you mean: 'nothing to drink'? What's this?," and picks up a small bottle from the Frenchman's writing desk.
"You can't drink that!"
"We can. We can," says the distinguished Russian poet, twirling the cap off the typewriter-cleaning fluid, and passing the bottle under his appreciative nose. "Quickly: glasses. The small ones you use for liqueurs."
The glasses are brought, the distinguished guest from Leningrad carefully pours out a small shot into each glass, drops the contents of his own glass neatly down his throat - and breathes a heart-felt sigh of relief: he has had nothing but vintage claret to drink all week.