This article is being written in red font because, well, it involves the last communist leader of the Soviet Union. I’m talking of course about Mikhail Gorbachev. Let me run through, for a moment, a very abridged list of this man’s multitude of accomplishments:
- Awarded Nobel Peace Price in 1990
- General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- Repeal of the Brezhnev Doctrine
- Playing a crucial role in reducing nuclear weapons and ending the cold war
- Democratization of the USSR.
Clearly a very impressive man. Despite each of those accomplishments being worthy of their own article, this article focuses on something much more memorable about him. The thing I (and, I submit, everyone else) will remember about Secretary Gorbachev first and foremost? That huge red spot on top of his balding head. In case you missed it, this is it:
Think I’m being ridiculous? Ask anyone you know who was alive during this period of time to name 1 physical characteristic about Gorbachev. I guarantee 99.9% of the people you ask will say the red spot. I’m not exaggerating. Remember how he was portrayed in the Simpsons?
It’s no joke. The thing was massive. It was this guy’s calling card. If this guy had a card on the Hasbro board game “Taboo,” it would look something like this:
REALLY BIG RED SPOT ON HIS HEAD
[In case you’re not familiar with Taboo, the premise of this game is to get your teammate(s) to say the subject word (on the top of the card) by describing it using anything but that word or the five words (and any derivative thereof) listed on the card. My crude sketch above is an example of a card.
As an aside, when we used to play this game as a family growing up, I was the annoying little sh*t who absolutely loved the damn buzzer. The buzzer was a AA battery-powered device with an exceedingly lame early 90’s color scheme that, when used, sounded both more pathetic and more annoying than the horn on a Honda Civic. The point of it was to hit the buzzer when someone used a word they shouldn’t have in describing the subject word, giving the other team a point. Here’s what it looked like:
But, I digress…back to Gorbachev.
According to Wikipedia, knower of all things, the red spot is a type of birthmark called a “naevus flammeus,” also known commonly as a “port-wine stain.” Basically, it’s a bunch of superficial and deep dilated capillaries in the skin. And, on the Wikipedia article for the Naevus Flammeus – guess who is in the main picture demonstrating an example of one? That’s right. Gorbachev. See for yourself:
So, I guess that’s all I have to say on that topic. None of the preceding was meant to be in any way disrespectful to Secretary Gorbachev. For better or for worse, the man brought about significant changes for Russia during his tenure in control.