“Through the marketplace is ochumelov police superintendent in new coat…” — this picture of Chekhov’s “Chameleon” we observed whenever in a different provincial town fan of big boss from the center (no matter what rank and Department). Like 130 years ago, the official lighten up, just rolled his eyes, pretending that his touch aspirations… And the people-something fumbling, something excitedly trying to convey their innermost thoughts, they say, the king did not know, I must say to the king… And we thought — why not comical to play in the scenes “Visit the big chief in the provincial city of N”? Invented to Reprise clown (i.e. chief), accustomed to hard contact work with random people, boarded the Yak-42 and traveled over a thousand kilometers in the famous cute town of 800 thousands inhabitants (the name of political correctness is not voiced). Hurry over us.
…”Go to the people” idea of aerobatics, there are no conventions of the performers and audience, here you are, sticking to passers-by can easily obtain Mordasov, the outcome of each Reprise was not obvious. In the end, it was important for us natural slice: Russia as it is, with all an open mind and absolute nonsense. So, put the recorder to authenticity in his breast pocket…
Actors and performers:
Big chief — Vladimir Shmeleva, Russian star clown, a real intellectual from the circus (now that is a rarity), celebrated on the day of the campaign its 60th anniversary, but not refused to participate in our madness (despite the fact that his friends were waiting for the jubilee table).
Fool-Secretary — accionista Xenia.
Sneak big boss — actionist Jan.
The guard — to boast in their original clothes.
“Fire! Little rascal!”
The first GEG for practice. The grandmother on the street sells hammers.
From census sneak travels legs, head with the Secretary under ruchenki trying to drag him, sneak down to earth. Head — Babka:
— Hello, citizen. Nice day, isn’t it? Slave here… sick. Get crushed whole.
— And what am I?
— And you say there is a cure… splash.
— So at night. Now go to the pharmacy.
Sneak reaches for the axe:
— Crazy, stupid? Said, to the pharmacy! Vaughn, on the contrary. Tigran!
Out of nowhere Ivan Tigran:
— You say where, and you and your findings do not go there! Who you about us navasari? (Seeing our guard, tihomirovy. — Ed.)
…On the way to the pharmacy pavilions “Antiques”. Some medals, dishes, samovar. In the hands of the chief — an old brown box, apparently from a small pipe, more like a suitcase. In the box — striped rope. Go?
— Commander, — says the head of the seller — take to implement? XIX century. Thing. From the heart tear…
The seller frowned trying to open the case a long time fiddling with locks. A moment or two. We are closely following his actions. Finally got it — puzzled looks at the rope:
— What is it?
— A folk remedy for depression. Tied around the neck — ow!
— I do not understand. Where is the tool?
Was. And you didn’t take now?
What did I take? — permanently inhibits the seller.
— It means that subordinates are drunk — they just stand there, confused. They are ashamed, see? You ashamed of that? Case take. XIX century. Here rivets, upholstery… all For 90 roubles.
— Not interested.
— How can this masterpiece not be interested? From the Museum. Tchaikovsky played…
— Hoarders give. Why me a simple case? I got the silver! Where do you get off?
* * *
From the car guy sells knitted socks.
— So. Trade law? You got a license?
— Of course, legally, dear. Here the car was parked — and trade. All legal, my car is not stolen.
— Of the sheep socks?
— Why sheep? RAM — this man, cold. Sheep — woman warmer. The arithmetic is simple.
* * *
…In a conventional pharmacy and foremost.
— Miss chief, sternly yells Secretary — check!
— So what we have here… the alcohol trade? — sticks his head in the window head.
— There is no such. Why queue? — tenses prowizorka.
— Do you not recognize me? Subordinate to my need. See, hardly worth it man… Log position. Only a little rascal, huh?
— Little rascal no. Tinctures are… internal. 27 rubles.
Sneak opens the bottle and gulp all the “drinks”, in Chaplinsky tilting the collar of his shirt.
— Feel better? A I have a bite?
“Shave it and burn it!”
From the porch down a bunch, a group of Roma women in black shawls.
What’s your problem, girl? Do you need help in your difficult task?
— Yes, you are God himself sent us! A cigarette you can get hold of?
Sneak hands a wad the most severe, with yellow teeth.
— Work to do, lovelies! — calls the boss.
— Their men are not allowed to work — standing up to the Secretary.
— On the contrary, they send, but in the wrong direction, says toady.
— Here, my dear, you understood us! — happy Gypsy. — Yes where will we go, who do we need? Still think we’re stealing… But, to tell the truth, the country is so cleaned out that we have nothing left.
— Know the anecdote? — fun boss. — A woman runs through the village, yelling: “Shoot underwear, shoot! The Gypsies are coming!”. Passed. Then Baba again runs: “Take off clothes… and rope too! Circus ride!”. You’ll do the left…
— I’m going to say, listen to me, says galtsova, as I go to work, if the document is not present? To read and write also do not know how. I think I have not worked in your life? I know all of it! Plasterer-painter, autodidact. The glass worked, unofficially, of course… Break the glass and melt it, heavy is the labor of men. Resigned after the birth of their fourth child…
— Where are the kids?
— Go to school. And there is extortion what… every day for 50-100 rubles asking for lunch, give — children will remain hungry. Other feed and no money, and not ours. Because I have no passport… all shy away from Roma. Has anyone got a passport — those living on welfare, 6000 per month, as a large…
— I won gave the law of the land in Mariy-El, — turn on second — and what he told me in Mariy-El, if I live here? There is no school, no water, no gas — desert… Wrote, went to change or opt — all to no avail…
— So, okay. The question of the administration will deliver. Where can I find you?
— Yes, here we always stand. Are you a real chief? You have the whole coat in spots.
* * *
Go past the Barber shop. Idea!
“Hello,” the chief takes off the scarf, have you by chance you cannot make the good haircut?
— We have a women’s room, yet not tense, bored hairdresser.
The Secretary sits in a chair.
— Lena, Lena, come here! — call someone master. She appears in the doorway.
— Lena, honey, look, gently took her hand head, my ponahvatali in the capital of any infections in the head horror that… can’t send one. Where have you wandered?
I don’t know…
Sneak rummages in the mind of the Secretary:
— Head right. Lice is just huge. Everywhere. The skin is red.
Lena looks hair aktivistki (for reference: from Moscow Barber shop, barely hearing about lice, driven at the time).
Completely shaved, or what, her? — said as if nothing had happened. — 20 rubles. Yes, I see. Lice lot…
— Well! — hot head (rounding, however, his eyes on an unexpected remark of the Lena river about lice). — Now we will infest all kinds of infections. Over itchy all already.
And now I’m itchy, Pavel Semyonitch — echoes-sneak, — itching, foot itching… the guard also itches. Shave the damn thing!
— Shave and now the hair to burn! — ordered the chief.
— Well, to burn I can’t, we don’t have a disposal, take and burn on the street is another matter. Go for the machine…
— Explain, please, my boss is a Secretary filled with tears (and she is), maybe not shave? Who am I then?
— What are you really? Why girl under the razor? For the winter?! Over in the pharmacy so much money is for sale! All-taki the XXI century! — start screaming all masters chorus, whereupon with them and say goodbye…
“I tell you what, cats should run?”
Included in the indoor farm market. Worker pulls on the wagon a whole leg from the horse. Hundredweight, not less. Toady purposely moves to the side.
“Wait,” stops the head — horse? As a gift to us the big man we need the whole leg. How can we on a spit to roast whole and then send a thousand miles?
— It is well roasted, soft. How will take?
— In the compartment. A blanket will cover. Will not turn?
— Smell is. Maybe chop? Do we carry? You’d better to buy…
— We’ve got permafrost, horses do not go.
…At this time by the chief toady walks in as a stranger, from his back pocket sticking out women’s cosmetic bag. Head, without thinking, again! — hand in your back pocket and in front of the astonished porter pulls out a purse (it’s in Europe, now the thieves in clown suits clean people).
Thank you, dear, with horsemeat! — head snorts contentedly.
— What you just did? — not cut guy.
So, horsemeat earned!
* * *
The traders on the right — sausage, sketched on the left of the pumpkin. The Secretary whispers to the shop assistant in my ear that the big chief shall check the goods for import substitution…
— Turkish pumpkin? — urged on sneak, blowing the head dust.
— Why Turkish? From his garden. About the Turkish not seen, not heard. Your pumpkin before God. Our pumpkin loves manure, no manure anywhere. And the manure we have some! It is still small, last year at 24 pounds more manure! What manti work, Ah!
— But the sausage is still Warsaw you! Is it not forbidden from Poland to carry?
— Nonsense. Here “doctor” from the doctor, or what?
* * *
Hello, citizens! How much is the goldfish? Themselves caught?
— From the Kama river carp, 150 per kilo.
— Very cheap. Spoil people. 300 sell. No, 400. Hey, Petrovich (the security guard. — AVT.), for nothing! But we didn’t. The new regulation has lowered the top — Patriotic tripe not to throw, and to allocate feed to animals is useful. In particular, cats.
— We don’t have tripe. Svezhak full.
— Well, can you clean the fish?
— Here is the tripe. Cats eat?
He lived here alone, sleeping somewhere.
— Wake up, please.
I don’t know that you need?
— We need to fix the process of feeding. Us for documentation…
And I’m supposed to? Cats catch? Who invented this?!
“On the chaise under the accordion would be fun!”
The last point of contact with the people, the local bus station. Chilly. Two female students on a bench waiting for the buses to their villages.
— But tell me, — head lighten up — we have a question. The most pressing ecological issue on the agenda. All gasoline pollutes. But if you would have launched a chaise instead of the bus — would you come?
— Cartage, science — tells sneak.
— The city horse crush — squirts out a girl.
— As a crush? In the capitals won, all have been on the cart… the Bus was canceled.
— So cold in the winter…
— Everything is thought out, well not fools sit! People will go to gig and self-heating warm breath. And cheaper! Each with their hay comes…
— No, to far-Mozhga on the cart, six hours to trudge. You che, do?
— Back to basics, ladies. Show awareness! You sit in the cart, cell phones are not caught, look at nature, breathe! Sing songs under the accordion! Suchecki-candy…
— Beer-biscuits-pancakes? Cool, but not in the winter… ‘ll frost down here to Mozhga.
* * *
…A lonely girl is bored near the schedule.
— The citizen, we, the Commission, interested: here you have the city and the village does not want to come back forever?
— Yes, I your fucking village here where! There’s all collapsed, there is no work. All rural businesses are closed, and closed, as I understand, deliberately to kill the competition… So even if we wanted to go back, we go there. The day zero. Know what sort of salary? My mother is a milkmaid: at four in the morning was leaving at ten in the morning came back. Then in the evening as well. It is not their children seen. 10 thousand for everything! And what will I do there, explain to the Commission?
An elderly couple — it is clear that the man is clearly eager to communicate, no one to speak, to turn the entire soul.
— Such an initiative now we have young people in the village to return calls to his boss — that we monitor the mood…
This politicians don’t understand: if there is no work, say, ride to Moscow. Well, the whole country will not move to Moscow! We have such a large farm was a millionaire. Took closed. Why? No plowing, no sowing. Pension — penny garden living. To feed cattle unprofitable. Beast expensive.
— And hay?
— Grass and nettle can not feed. Flour need, bread. Beast requires. Grain. If one tractor was bought earlier — you can still keep cattle. And without the tractor anywhere. The youth is not, fools no. They’re all sitting at Nightclubs. Teach youth not to work. Although television said, Ali ten twenty thousand will be a penalty for parasitism. As before.
— Do you think, is this right?
— Yes, of course! The government itself has led the people… well, I do Not this all my fault! Dismissed! For free live. Who have grandparents begging who are the parents. I have a daughter in the school works in two shifts. Seven thousand gets. There she is one young, the other teachers and the elderly. Where is the youth?
— That is, the gadget need to tweak people?
— A must!
— And in what way?
— The thread should be spun on the threads.
* * *
…Event proved, that in the Russian province absurdity and reality merge together daily and naturally. The big boss easy to use the gullibility of people wrapping their sentiments in their favor. Pelevin’s words, “in Russia, traditionally the reality seems more absurd than any fiction, so than fiction stranger, the more his faith.”
Yan SMIRNITSKY, Ksenia KOROBEINIKOVA,
the County town of N 1000 km from Moscow.