Tuesday, October 23, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Len Deighton

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The factory workers say that it’s impossible to do anything right. If you arrive five minutes early you are a saboteur; if you arrive five minutes late you are betraying socialism; if you arrive on time they say, "Where did you get the watch?"
--
Funeral in Berlin (1964; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966) pp. 144-5
--
Described there as a joke current in 1960s Czechoslovakia

 
Len Deighton

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