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 27. Delicacy

Why I started on writing a story about delicacy, I cannot understand. Perhaps, I wanted to show off. So what? If a job is once begun, never leave it till it's done. To start with I decided to brows the internet to have a clear understanding of what I was going to write about.

I found a whole lot of synonyms to the word "delicacy"; they are "tact", and "politeness", and "tenderness", and "courteousness", and "ticklishness". And there were only two antonyms: "rudeness" and "boorishness". Well, it's up to you to judge, whether the narration is about the delicacy in the following stories.

Anatoliy Lopatin
and Vagram Agadzhanyan

Vagram Agadzhanyan and Anatoliy Lopatin that was how close amplitude of their bio fields was, their residence together was similar to an episode from the film "Diamond Hand", when one of the characters says: "Maybe we should?.." and the second replies: "No, we shouldn't". The first: "Then this...", the second: "Yes, try this." Yes, they understood each other, and that helped them to live in piece and comfort.

One was an Armenian and the other was a Cossack from the Don River area, one was a hearty eater, but the other loved good food not less. The second as well had a talent for cooking. Quite often he had no time to make anything, but once in a while...He was especially good at making lobio (a Georgian dish made of beans). He never started boiling beans right away, they had to be soaked in cold water, which had to be changed often for not less than twelve hours, and only then he started boiling them.

One could salt the beans at the beginning of boiling, but no, he salted them closer to the end of the boiling and determined the right moment for that by the signs known only to him. I always wanted to call him a virtuoso of a beater or at least a magician of a ladle. He was spectacular when he was cooking! I suspect that those were the very moments, when Tamara was inspired with love to him, which was kept till now. Though let's get back to the lobio. Tolik liked to say: "Potherbs will not spoil the lobio" and used everything he had at hand. Then that were deal, parsley and spring onions. These days he would have also added to the beans a little bit of basil together with deal, parsley and medium-sized spring onions. Then there came the turn of walnuts. He fiddled with them for a long time, examining and sniffing them. To my question he once answered: "One fusty walnut can spoil the whole dish." After he sniffed all the walnuts, he fried them in vegetable oil. Tolik divided the fried walnuts in two parts, and chopped one part, and practically ground the second one. He added them to the beans and stirred the potherbs and the nuts. He was stirring in a special was as well: slowly, with measured moves. The last ingredient was onions. The onions could be sliced, but no, Tolik diced the onions and fried them in vegetable oil till they became completely glassy and only then added lemon juice into the onions. He surely covered the frying pan and kept it closed for a couple of minutes. Well, and after that he mixed the onions with the beans.

Even now, while I am writing these lines, my mouth is watering. Tolik never let eat lobio immediately after it was cooked. Minimum half an hour had to pass before it could be eaten. Why am I writing about this in so many details? Just because I want delicately move on to the main part of the episode. You already realized that Tolik was a fan of dishes made of beans. So, one day the landlord of the apartment, which Tolik and Vagram rented then, solemnly announced that she wanted to treat them to bean soup, and, if my memory does not fail me, at that time they lived already not on Sevastopolskaya street, but on Myzo, 6. I was not there then, and I knew about that from Tolik and Vagram's words. The guys became curious and started asking the landlord questions. Without any answer she brought a plate of bean soup to each of them. As the guys told me, the soup looked appetizing, but when they started eating it, they felt a very unpleasant smell, and its taste was of similar quality. Tolik, the fan of beans, was in shock. "How is it possible to spoil a bean dish?" - that was what Tolik kept asking Vagram. No wonder, the very moment the landlord left the room, both of them ran with the plates to the bathroom and pushing one another emptied the plates into the toilet. And now about the delicacy: they were expressing indignation and protest only between themselves, and delicately praised the landlord, though as well delicately and flatly they refused to have another helping of the soup. The second episode of our student life is also about delicacy. Yes, the topic, which is discussed in it, also requires special delicacy.

Docent V.A. Shakul

Everything I will be telling about took place at the Forensic Medicine Department. This course was read by V.A. Shakul in our group. One should be a real forensic medic to do this job day by day, year after year. Here is only one episode, after which I told myself that I would never be a forensic medic.
In general I am not fastidious, but one day we were dissecting a corpse of a man. It was in spring. The whole group was present. Shakul himself was doing the dissection, and we were standing and staring around. So after the stomach was dissected, such a smell spread around the room, that the whole group burst into vomiting. Sorry for this not delicate thing. The dead drank the wine "Solntsedar", which was popular among the alkies then and ate ramson before his death.
After that case more than half of the group quitted attending the course. We agreed with V.A.Shakul, that he would conduct the exam ahead of the schedule. In general, all of us were aware that we would pass the exam and pass it just fine, but Shakul decided to have some fun. He provoked practically everyone into some joke. But the question, which Zhenya Romashov got, did not require any provocation. It was provocative by itself. So Shakul squeezed everything he could out of it.

And Zhenya got the following question (I give my honest and delicate word, it was exactly that way) - "Virginity and it forensic characteristics". When Zhenya came up to the professor's table to give an answer, and when everyone who were in the examination room heard his question, and Shakul did his best: he loudly read the question out; everybody put their preparation aside and started listening, and as it could be said, hung on every word. All of us knew that something would come out of that. Zhenka was a bit embarrassed by the examination question and did not know from where to start. Shakul helped Zhenka and asked him only two leading questions: "Well, and you, did you see the virgin yourself?" Zhenka went without any thinking: "Yes, I saw her". Shakul: "And where?" And there like thunder, like explosion of a bomb came Znehka's answer: "In a maternity hospital".

Everybody went roaring, it was the very roaring! Shakul was flapping his hand on the table and slightly jumping on his chair because of laughter, Vagram Agadzhanyan and Marik Golubkov slipped down from their chairs and were sitting on the floor beside themselves with laughter, and Olya Ptitsyna and Sashka Salmayer hugged and were crying because of laughter, tears were running on their cheeks. Yeah, helothology had never experienced that kind of laughter before! And only Zhenka did not laugh. Poor thing, he was trying to shout everyone down and explain, that that girl was at Old Lyuba's (L.A.Reshetova) examination. Though who listened to him? Even those who stood behind the door in the hall, but heard everything were hysterical with laughter. Well, after Zhenya the examination was over. We collected our student's record books and said who needed what grade, and Shakul did as it was said, gave someone an "ex" and someone a "good". Zhenya got an "excellent".

We celebrated that exam in a restaurant "Kuzbass".

And the last delicate episode. Everyone who in those years lived in a dorm, which was near the regional hospital, for sure remembers, how once the dorm celebrated the 8 March (the International Women's Day, one of the most popular holidays in the USSR).

In the senior years of my study, I, even though I rented an apartment, had an official accommodation in that dorm. In a room on the fifth floor there lived Zhenya Romashov, Kolya Kozlov, Zhora Chernobay and I. The guys are from the story about the mini-dorm. Zhenya, Kolya and Zhora liked that a lot, as the occasions when I stayed in the dorm over night were once or twice a semester, and Zhenya had many night duties. He worked part-time as an X-ray laboratory assistant at a traumatology centre of Kirovskiy district. Well, there came the eve of the 8 March holiday. Its celebration began in groups, then many guys moved to restaurants and cafes. And only after that dorm inhabitants on their tired of the celebration and hardly moving feet, gathered in the dorm. So that time, I do not remember why, I also happened to be in the dorm, in my room. The dorm continued celebrating the holiday.

Some people walked along the hall back and forth, somewhere they were even singing. In our room all four of us got together. But all of us were in a different condition of drunkenness, and the most important was that Zhora Chernobay got drunk and slept in his bed. And the rest of us were brimming over with emotions; each of us was telling about how he spent the day. And Zhora was snoring, and doing that so loud that we felt sorry for the other inhabitants of the dorm, and the three of us: Kolya, Zhenka and I with great difficulty (Zhora weighted one hundred and fifty kilos), moved him together with his bed into the lady's bathroom. Why not, it was the Women's Holiday, after all! In that case we also had to be given a credit for that we were delicate till the very end. We did not strip Zhora stark naked, though we received such suggestion from those we met on the way, when we were dragging him into the other end of the hall.

The only thing we did was that we tied Zhora to his bed up, perhaps, for him not to fall down in the bathroom.

Well, what was a sheet for Zhora? He tore it up after three or four hours of sleep. As they said later, people came from all the five floors to have a look at Zhora, and someone tenderhearted woke him up. So when woken up, Zhora tore the sheet up and almost whacked "the tenderhearted" in the face (he'd better did that - as such a good joke was spoiled), and then he rushed into the room, where we were peacefully sleeping. Frankly speaking, that moment we had to wake up and swear to Zhora that that had not been us, that we kind of thought that he, Zhora, was out of the dorm celebrating the holiday somewhere else. And he believed us, or maybe did not believe, but did not start beating all three of us. Though, he did not speak with us for a month. I have a feeling that in this episode, it would be better to use not the synonyms of the word "delicacy", but its antonyms. Though what happened that happened, one cannot omit words from a song line.

july 16, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202101827

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content