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One day the soldier stopped by the store and shocked the shopkeeper by asking for another condom.

“The regiment,” the Scotsman said, “has decided to buy a new one.”

As the laughter died down in the room, Mr. Fall explained, “I tell you that one purely as an illustration because we’re not allowed to tell that silly joke anymore. It’s also in extremely bad taste.”

Diplomatic traffic

In Washington this week:


c President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who meets President Bush at Camp David.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@