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I was sent this meme by a friend, and although I can read and understand it in a literal sense, I am failing to understand what about the usage of these words is comical.

I believe the text roughly translates to "Andre Ilyich is stern yet gentle to himself on the timetable- he glued a sticker of a cat"

I understand that the gun would be the timetable. What is the play on words?

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  • The text lacks punctuation, this making it harder to understand. There should be ":" or at least "," after "нежен". And comma before "но", but this is obvious.
    – AlexVB
    Feb 4 '18 at 17:02
  • @AlexVB this type of text (poroshki) usually lacks punctuation, it's part of the genre.
    – Alissa
    Feb 5 '18 at 13:11
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I think you misunderstood the timetable thing. ТТ is Тульский Токарев, a handgun. Табельное [оружие], or служебное оружие is a service pistol, issued to, e.g. police officers. (By the way, ТТ is not used as a service pistol anymore, as far as I know.) As Токарев is a male surname, the adjective is used as табельный.

So, the guy sticked a cute cate™ pic to his service pistol, which should be a pun.

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Andrey Ilyich is stern yet gentle
onto his service "TT" gun
he glued a sticker with a kitty from a gum

"Котэ" is a Runet meme meaning cuteness, kind of kawai in Japanese terms but less syrupy.

So it's a play on the contrast between fondness of guns or occupation in some enforcement agency and having a cute bubble gum sticker on a weapon.

Here's a relevant article with some background on the meme (rus).

The poem itself is incidentally written in a meter similar (likely unintentionally) to the Japanese haiku.

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    I don't think poroshki poems are in any way related to haikus. They're a development on pirozhki, the deadpan blank-verse quatrains which are AFAIK a wholly Russian internet phenomenon. perhaps with a small nod to limericks. Poroshki shortened the last line to a single mora and introduced a rhyme in it. Feb 4 '18 at 14:33
  • @Nikolay Ershov thank you for mentioning them, although i'm familiar with the phenomenon i admit i didn't know or remember their name, that's why i glossed over them... the similarity of the genre with haiku could have well been unintentional, but here i think it works well with cuteness which can be alluded to Japanese pop-culture Feb 4 '18 at 14:41
  • still there's some affinity to Japanese poetry as according to the Lurkmore's article on pirozhki their original creator was a user of the now defunct hokku.ru Feb 4 '18 at 14:55

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