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 9. Tolik and Vagram

Fruit and vegetable depot "Gastronom" of Kemerovo is between Kemerovo and Yagunovskaya mine. My grandmother lived in Yagunovka. So in early autumn or rather in September I was going from my grandma by bus #8 and passed the "Gastronom" depot. I already had experience, worked there once in a while, so when I saw several wagons-refrigerators at the depot, I realized that some freight was brought there, and they would hire loaders to unload it. I quickly got out at the stop and found out that there were three wagons with grapes, which had to be loaded into other wagons to be sent around the region, and that the loaders were not hired yet. The loaders were found each time in the same way: they called student dormitories and invited students. I did my best to convince the people at the depot not to call the dorms, as I would go home and bring my friends, and we would reload all the three wagons. I do not know why, but they trusted me.

There were no cell phones at that time, so I went to collect my team as quickly as public transport made it possible. I decided to go to Tolik Lopatin and Vagram Agadzhanyan, who shared an apartment. They both were tall and strong guys.

Tolik and Vagram

Tolik and Vagram turned to be at home and agreed to go and do the work, especially as because I learned at the depot, that for each wagon they promised to pay 150 rubles. They were the rubles of the times when one could eat for 50 kopeks in a canteen! We knew that we were fooled anyway, even though that much money was paid to us, so we brought Tolik's huge veneer suitcase to take grapes with us. Yes, in lawyers' language that sounded like "defalcation of socialist property" and provided corresponding liability. Though, we did not care about all that then. That much stupid we were! Further there is a stenographical report: we came, worked all night long. In the morning our bodies were shaky because of fatigue, but we were satisfied. While the stockkeeper was out once in a while at night, we picked out and put the best bunches of grapes into the suitcase until it was full. The grapes were terrific. As we read, it was some kind of a muscat. Generally speaking, in the morning each of us received the promised 150 rubles. Then with a suitcase full if grapes, by bus #8 and then by tram #3 we went to Kirovskiy district, Sevastopolskaya Street, where Tolik and Vagram lived. I stayed over night at the guys' place as well, though lived not far from them - was too exhausted to go home.

Though this story is not about how hard we worked and chose the wrong path of "defalcation of socialist property". The most interesting started when we woke up and saw what a huge heap of grapes we brought from the depot. The grapes were the most delicious. But what should we do with it? It was not possible for the three of us to eat that quantity of grapes. So we decided to sell it. Without any hesitation we agreed to sell the grapes in the yard and call it Armenian as if it was sent to Vagram. The trade was brisk, we gave generous overweight; the bunches of grapes were gorgeous. In less than an hour we sold everything and earned extra about one hundred rubles. We divided the receipts and forgot about our enterprise.

In about three days this muscat was sold for one ruble fifty kopeks at every corner of Kemerovo. We were selling the grapes for five rubles. Yeah, Tolik and Vagram had some tough days; they heard a lot of nasty things from their once grateful customers.

Our luck was also in that that our commercial activity and initiative passed unnoticed by the competent authorities. But since then we never went to the depot "Gastronom" again.

july 4, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202091770

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content