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 48. His Majesty photographer

Zhenya Romashov was one of the students who did not receive any financial support from their parents. He provided for himself and even managed to support his brother, who studied a year younger at the Dental Department. I won't say that Kostya had it like in Christ's bosom, but Zhenya's care helped him a lot. Kostya always had butter to put on his bread anyway.

So Zhenya worked. I remember that he worked as an X-ray photography laboratory assistant at a traumatology centre of # 9 clinic of Kirovskiy district. As a rule he was on duty at night, on weekends and during holidays.

Staff members loved Zhenya, they knew that he would always substitute for them at night, and often asked him to do so. And in the payroll it was registered as if a staff member had been on duty that night, who paid Zhenya in cash later. It was then when black cash became known! In addition to that Zhenya used the facility of the X-ray laboratory for his personal needs.

He developed films and printed out hundreds if not thousands of photos there. Zhenya visited kindergartens around the district and according to the agreement with their staff took pictures of children in different situations - when they were asleep, or sat at tables or played; he made portraits and group photos. All in all there were oceans of variants of pictures. Then Zhenya made the sample photos and brought them to a kindergarten when parents were collecting their kids. He showed to moms the photos of their precious offsprings and wrote down who and how many photos ordered. I do not remember exactly, but Zhenya's prices were very affordable. It seems to me that he charged 10 or 20 kopeks for a photo depending on its size. So the parents ordered tens of photos. And Zhenya's expenses were only on film and photographic paper. He used the reagents of the X-ray photographic lab practically without any harm to the budget of the clinic.

And he also did not waste his time and did everything during his working hours. Except for the time he spent in the kindergartens talking to the parents. Zhenya said that it was better for him when he offered photos to moms, who were ready to buy tons of them. And when dads came to collect their children they, as a rule, were very displeased that their wives had made them do that, and the most important thing was that they did not want to spend even a kopek, but preferred to have a glass of beer somewhere in a pub.

Though there was a case, when a dad bought photos for 10 rubles and told Zhenka that he would lie to his wife as if he had paid fifty rubles. And so he did, but his wife came to the kindergarten to clarify the matter. Zhenka was saved by a teacher's assistant who had heard like the dad was planning the scheme to deceive his family. Zhenka was grateful; he decorated various posters with photos for free. Yevgeniy said that on the days when he was visiting the kindergartens he had plenty of semolina and rice porridge to eat; that was how teachers' assistants liked Zhenka. From Zhenka's words the personal entrepreneurship gave him five-six times more income that his salary at the traumatology center.
Quite often Zhenya told us about different situations he had had when on duty. I would like to share one of them with you, my dear readers.
One day before the International Women's Day of 8 March a resident of one of the buildings located nearby walked into the traumatology center. Everybody who was on duty that night came to have a look at him. The patient had quite a spectacular appearance: he was in his slippers (it was beginning of March in Siberia), without pants, in a quilted coat and wrapped in a white sheet, like Jawaharlal Nehru, to his toes.

Assistant V.G.Volkov


And he told the traumatologist on duty, who also was an assistant of the Operative Surgery Department and Topographic Anatomy of Kemerovo State Medical Institute V.G.Volkov and his assistant, an X-ray laboratory assistant, a student of the medical institute Y.D.Romashov about his personal tragedy, which was based on his love to his wife and the holiday buying craze. He bought a women's slip from a stranger by chance, it was used, but in a very decent condition and beautiful, though made of rayon. He was very happy, as his surprise was an expensive one, and he wanted to give a super great present to his beloved wife. The old lady who was selling the slip wanted to receive 15 rubles for it. The man thought it was way too expensive and started bargaining till he talked the granny into 11 rubles, so he had enough money left for "a little white one" (a bottle of vodka). He came home and found a minor defect - a tiny ink stain in the center of the skirt. And the presenter had had a sip already and was in high spirits: he had a present and "the little white one" was with him, and he had, thanks God, skilful hands. "I will remove the stain" - he decided to himself and had one more sip of "the little white one" and washed the stain with soap. And believe it or not, the stain became more faded, but did not disappear; on the contrary, it grew much bigger. Yeah, the matter could not be resolved without one more sip of "the little white one". He sipped and remembered that in a closet he had a bottle of acetone. He washed the stain with acetone, but it grew even bigger, practically of the size of a half of the skirt. So he decided to take a chance and poured the whole bottle of acetone into the basin and soaked the slip in it. And then he invited his next door neighbor to finish "the little white one" to good health of their wives. The latter gladly accepted the invitation. They had a couple of shots, talked "about life, like humans" and then checked on the stain in the acetone. And there life demonstrated to them that "knowledge is power" and vice versa. The rayon slip (one can say - synthetic) practically completely had dissolved in the acetone, there were some pieces floating in the basin. The drinking companions got very sad, not because of the loss of the present, but of the wasted eleven rubles. Though nothing could be done, and everything that was in the basin was poured into the toilet. The neighbor left. And the unaccomplished presenter got so excited that he was dashing around the apartment. He wanted to smoke, but his wife did not allow him to smoke in the apartment, only in a bathroom or at the stairway enclosure. Because of his bad mood he did not want to see any people, so he went to the bathroom.

Well, it is not customary to sit on a toilet sink with one's pants on, so he took his pants off and sat down. He rolled a cigarette between his fingers to soften it, stroke a match and lit the cigarette and habitually threw the match between his legs into the toilet sink. Then all he could remember was an explosion and a blow from underneath to his bottom and legs. The blow was strong; he even fell from the toilet down on the floor and lied unconscious for some time, just conked out. And then he took the sheet off and demonstrated the result. That what opened to Volkov and Zhenya's gaze was quite impressive. What used to be a butt was covered with black blisters, the testicles fell out of the torn scrotum, which stuck together with the penis; all that was in carbon black, greasy soot.

V.G.Volkov was a young assistant, but as a surgeon he was a virtuoso. He darned the scrotum, cleared and washed clean what he could and treated the burns.
We so much envied Zhenka that he had assisted Volkov during the surgery. And that was only our second year.

The story for the essay was kindly given by K.D.Romashov.

august, 22 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21204250920

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content