Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 130. Déjà vu

For the life of me I cannot understand meaning and educational effect of the saying "A drop of nicotine kills a horse". Why a horse? What kind of criterion is that? Is it its weight? Then an elephant or a hippopotamus are heavier. And will a drop of nicotine kill them? Stop! I believe you've heard many times about this, and you can have an impression of this being already heard and seeing. This is deja vu. This is the reason because of which I am not going to talk about how many horses went under because of the nicotine. I am not going to talk about people, who smoked and continue smoking, and in order to show off puff smoke in rings, they do not give a damn about a drop of nicotine. Your most humble servant does not smoke now, but, oh boy, how he used to smoke. It was like a song how he smoked, a fairytale about carrying on. And how nicely everything started. In those old compared to now days there were available cigarette brands of "Drug" and "Troiyka".

A pack of cigarettes was like Tretyakov's gallery. It opened not like now, but as a cigar case, and there was golden foil there and a golden cigarette holder also made of golden foil for a cigarette not to become limp in a mouth. They were considered to be extremely expensive back then, just horribly expensive. However one could afford to show off with them. And all that accumulated to the following situation: it was winter examinations session of my third year at the institute. The internal diseases propaedeutics examination was on the next day. That was the exam, at which an associate professor Grigoriy Lvotitch Khasis almost had a stroke, when Zhenka Romashov, when answering his examination question, explained to him that when performing percussion, he put his finger on a chest not parallel to a rib into intercostal space, but perpendicular to it, because it was more convenient to him that way to percuss a patient. That was the exam during which I explained to Khasis how to treat bad cold with pepper vodka and a bunch of green birch twigs at Russian baths without resorting to derivant and expectorative therapy. All that would be on the next day. And on that day I wanted to smoke. I could not study propaedeutics. I could not bring home why in some cases of percussion the sound was muffled and in others it was like in a box. I could not squeeze into my head Damoiseau's lines, or Garland's triangle, or Traube's half-moon-shaped space. I wanted to smoke, and there was nothing to smoke. And it was three in the morning. The exam was already not the next day, but today, but I did not sleep and could not sit studying a textbook. I felt as if a spring appeared in me in a certain place. Like a wind-up toy I was rushing around the room. Though, I was quiet, as a landlady and her kids were sleeping in other rooms. I do not remember already how my feet brought me to a restroom, but what I saw there was better than Alladin's treasures. They are right saying that a reserve does not make one's pocket heavier. In that very case the reserve saved the student from receiving a bad grade at the exam. And it not just saved him, but helped him to get an excellent grade in propaedeutics from Khasis. Grigoriy Lvovitch was not bad in students' eyes, but he was not a "goody-goody" either. Khasis loved and knew his subject and did his best that the guys like us if became not therapists then knew therapeutics anyway. So coming back to the restroom and the treasure, which as it turned out was waiting for me there. Only, please, for God's sake, do not make association like "toilet – treasure". During my student years I had a bad habit of smoking in a toilet. However because even then I was a save-all, I carefully put out semi-finished cigarette butts and stacked them behind a nail in the door upper plank. The situation was a comic one; I was on a toilet, unintentionally looked up (or maybe not unintentionally) and before I realized what was going on I felt butterflies in my stomach, this is a ticklish very nice feeling, I always had as a sign of delight and comfort. I was staring at the nail and could not bring it home that behind it there were about twenty or maybe thirty "big fat cigarette butts".

The goose bumps were not just tickling, they were rushing up and down my body. Only my extraordinary will power made me not scream because of utmost joy. Well, what are you talking about, forget the restroom. I wonder how I did not forget to put my pants on. The biggest cigarette butt I smoked right in the restroom. Then it started: my feeling of responsibility made me take the textbooks, and very soon I already knew very well what Joseph Skoda, a Czech physician had done with the percussion. I learned that Damoiseau's line, Garland's triangle and Traube's half-moon-shaped space, all of them were signs of exudative pleurisy, and I also learned lots of other most different things.

It's not my fault that I got an excellent grade, that was the way cards fell, but Zhenka and Vagram got satisfactory grades, though they were almost late for the exam anyway. Dimka Mkheidze was soothing Vagram and Zhenka saying that "Satisfactory is health". The academician-to-be calmed down, but Zhenka for a long time after that was making plans of how to revenge himself upon Khasis for the satisfactory grade.

6 August, 2012

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #213112901063

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content