“When they forced Khruschev out, he sat down and wrote two letters to his successor. He said – ‘When you get yourself into a situation you can’t get out of, open the first letter, and you’ll be safe. When you get yourself into another situation you can’t get out of, open the second letter.’ Well, soon enough, this guy found himself in a tight place, so he opened the first letter. Which said – ‘Blame everything on me.’ So he blames the old man, it worked like a charm. He got himself into a second situation he couldn’t get out of, he opened the second letter. It said – ‘Sit down, and write two letters.’”
There’s an old (possibly apocryphal, but widely re-told) Russian story that says the deposed outgoing shoe-banging Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev wrote two letters for his successor. In a jam, Brezhnev was to open the first envelope, which reportedly read ‘Blame everything on me.’ It worked. The second, to be opened in the next crisis, was alleged to have read, ‘Sit down, Leonid. Write two letters.’”
Today’s Herald-Leader tweeted a link to today’s transcript from outgoing UK Coach Joker Phillips’ weekly press conference, not all of which, they wrote, can “make it into the family newspaper.”
In that press conference, asked how he would assist with the transition to a new regime, the deposed Coach Phillips said, “nobody ever asks a guy on their way out…I know you did a shitty job while you were here, but help me.”
So, will he have any advice for his incoming replacement? Probably not. But he might have two letters.