'[The] cult of Stalin was at its height at the celebrations held for his seventieth birthday in December 1948. Celebrations, festivals and processions were held throughout the USSR, culminating in a vast balloon floating in the sky about the Kremlin, with Stalin's face projected on it. None of his colleagues took seriously Stalin's statement before these events that he did not want excessive celebrations.'They thought he was being modest, but what if he just really hated birthdays? I like to think that conversation went something like this:
Stalin: Now comrades, you know why I've gathered you here, right? We need to talk about my upcoming birthday.
Unnamed Communist 1: We've got some awesome things planned, boss!
Stalin: Like what...?
Unnamed Communist 2: We can't tell you! Then it wouldn't be a surprise!
Stalin: Oh come on guys! You know I hate birthdays!
Unnamed Communist 1: Yeah, yeah.
Stalin: No, seriously: no parties, no singing, no nothing.
Unnamed Communist 2: But...don't you want us to celebrate your glory?
Stalin: No! Just give me a bottle of wine or something. I don't want any fuss.
Unnamed Communist 1: So...no party? What will you do instead?
Stalin: Oh, I don't know. I was thinking of having Molotov over to watch Sex and the City re-runs. He's always free since I put his wife in prison.
Beria: But what about me?!
Stalin: Beria, you know I'm not going to invite you over until you stop perving on my daughter, right? Cut it out. It's creepy.
Beria: Sorry... It's just... I think she's really hot.
Stalin: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that.
Unnamed Communist 1: So, what you're saying is that you don't want us to do anything for your birthday?
Stalin: That's right.
Unnamed Communist 2: Not even sing the song?
Stalin: DEFINITELY not sing the song.
Unnamed Communist 1: Oh come on, we all know you love the song really!
[All sing, except Stalin] Happy birthday to you!
[singing] Happy birthdayyyyyy to youuuu!
Stalin: That's it. I'm out of here.
[Stalin storms out. There is an uncomfortable silence]
Unnamed Communist 1: He was totally kidding, right?
Unnamed Communist 2: Yeah, totally.
Unnamed Communist 1: So we're still going to float a giant balloon with his face on it above the Kremlin?
Unnamed Communist 2: Oh yeah! He's going to love it.
Beria: You guys don't think I'm creepy though, do you?
Unnamed Communist 1: Err... Oh! I just remembered! I have to...return...my...library books
Unnamed Communist 2: Oh yeah, me too! I've been reading...Lenin...books...
[He leaves too]
Beria: Wait, what?! Guys...! Guys!
[He runs after them]