Lecture on nothing
ONE PERSON, LATELY GRADUATED FROM THE ODESSA STATE UNIVERSITY ASKED ME TO TELL AN INTERESTING STORY ABOUT A TEACHER OF HIS. WHEN I LEARNT WHAT HE WANTED TO TELL OF, I DECIDED IT HAD TO BE WRITTEN. SOMETIMES PEOPLE HAVE TO KNOW THE PERSONS, WHICH SEEM TO BE CLEVERER THAN THEY ARE…
You have to know it, because you must know it.
The first day
He is known at the faculty as a clever person. Probably he really was such a man, when he was young. In any case he has the titles of the professor and of the academician. His name is -- Stop!!! It is too famous name to be remembered here. I think that his nickname Carp would be more to the point. Ukrainian ethnography is not in his line, though he teaches this branch of science. But the main disadvantage is that he drinks and drinks much. There are people who can do nothing without drinking but everything if they are drunk, and our professor is not exception.
This happened four and a half years ago. It was the first lecture on that day. Carp, as always, was late. To the admire of the students in the auditorium he was away during three fourth of an hour. They were discussing their problems, which were too far away from ethnography. Two minutes later Carp"s yellow bag flew into the auditorium. Noise around died away. The students, sitting still, stared at the scene. The head of the "professor" with the pink nose on his face was already inside. Carp stood on the floor with his knees and hands, hardly trying to crawl into the class. An orchestra outside by the window was playing burial march, which accorded his state in the best way. The pointed cap on the Carp"s head told he had celebrated his birthday the day before. The fashionable suit was decorated immaculately by footprints. The broken glasses on his nose, an imprint of woman’s palm on his cheek, his pockets, turned inside out -- all those details formed a full image.
He hardly stood up and shaking made a step to the tribune. The students already were roaring with laughter. "Professor" did not hear the noise "round him. The Educational System in Odessa had not ever known such a shame. In a minute Carp lay helplessly on the floor, murmuring the only words he could say:
"It is our Slav life."
(Laughter and storm of applause).
With great efforts "professor" crawled to the tribune, thinking:
"Which one should I take? Probably left one and maybe right…"
There was only one tribune in that auditorium. Carp stood in the center of the class and pointed with his finger in turn the both sides of that tribune:
"Left -- right -- left -- right -- "
Finally he crashed down on that tribune as filed tree. There was no any border for the students" rapture. In vain he tried to draw himself up.
When the Faculty Dean, attracted by the loud laughter stepped in the auditorium, Carp was sunbathing, lying on the fallen tribune. An orchestra outside was still playing burial march.
The second day
Half an hour had passed since beginning of the lecture. Carp was still absent, so the first-year-students, who knew him badly, began to worry. The monitor even left the auditorium to find out what had happened. Suddenly she came with wide-opened eyes and announced:
«Look here, people, - a long pause - C-carp has just been taken away by militia!»
«IT MAY NOT BE!!!»
«But it is. I have just seen that with my own eyes.»
A few students raised and ran out to watch the scene.
Carp, iron bracelets on his arms, stepped through the hall to the car in a tight company with two armed militiamen walking with him hand-in-hand. Procession drove away. This scene called a lot of spectators to watch. Everyone wondered what Carp had been arrested for.
«He has drunk too much as he always does and then has done something dreadful,» - one said.
«‘Something dreadful’? What do you mean by that? He is not ruffian, you know,» - another said.
«He is not when he’s not drunk, but - »
«But - »
«But he is drunk, do you not see?!»
«Yes, he filled himself up like a pig. It was in the Ukrainian Language Chair. An old drunkard!» - the third student interrupted.
The play was over and there were less and less spectators. In an hour or later the hall was quite empty.
The third day
There were a lot of tales to answer the only question. Everybody wondered why Carp was taken away by militia.
«Did not give a bribe in time.»
«Tempted the Dean.»
At last the trite statement:
«Violated the Rector.»
And so on, and so forth.
However, the truth about Carp’s arrest seems to be a secret forever. To the amazement of all the students he quickly got free. Nearly in a week and a half he appeared at the University again. Yes, it was Carp and no one more. The same face, lost its academic self-respect, the same always red nose, the same blessing smile without any reason, the same yellow bag, filled with full bottles. Yes, it was Carp in his usual manner. «Professor», surrounded by surprised crowd of students, walked through the lobby of the faculty.
Twelve minutes past eight. Carp entered a room, put his bag on a chair near him and said:
«Good morning! Today we talk about ancient culture of Slavs»
«Excuse me, but I believe it is material for students,» - the secretary said, raising her head from printing.
«You want to say you are an academician already, do you not?» - Carp asked.
«I do not understand you…»
Such a clever man Carp is! Forty-five minutes are enough for him to realize he is leading the class at the Dean’s office, where he has got to mistakably. Forty-five minutes and no longer, because, having lost her patience, the secretary ran out to call the Dean. Getting back with the latter, she cried out:
«Only look! It is simply ugliness! Shame of the faculty, shame of the university… Professor, academician, famous through the world… Sick in the first turn!
«Professor» was sitting on a chair at his bag, covered with full and empty bottles, drinking and pronouncing disconnected words. Seeing the Dean, he raised murmuring:
«Would you like to join?»
«Less than everything I’d like to do!!!» - the answer was.
Carp did not hear those words. Without senses he blocked himself up the Dean, who hardly held back falling figure with her hands. Watching that, the secretary printed automatically:
No one was saved.
The fourth day
Carp and the secretary walked through the long faculty lobby. Carp’s face with the nose on it seemed to be lifeless. He did not think even that the great rape session was waiting for him. The secretary walked with him, rubbing her hands.
In a few minutes Carp was watching the Dean’s face, shining with malice. The secretary by the other side of the door put off her fashionable hat.
Carp stood before the Dean with his shaking legs and pale face.
«Well, sit down -»
She paused trying to find the proper address.
«Professor» sank on a chair getting ready for worst things.
«How long will it take? Are you not a professor? Are you not an academician?! You are, but judging your conduct, you are not! I do not understand, where your pride is. Have you forgotten, you are known by whole the world? You have lost your face: it has dissolved in the alcohol you drink!!! You muzzle is -»
«Say - I want to tell you I think -»
«SHUT UP!!!!!!! You are not asked about your opinion!»
«You are insulting me!»
«Poor man. I am insulting him. It is a little thing. You will leave with your red ass if I want that. Do you understand, a piece of shit? Shall I organize a lecture for you, with a belt to make a model boy of you? Got calming down?! Well, such a nice person I found to be the head of Ukrainian Language Chair! And maybe, I must call that as good - no - the best Ukrainian traditions, yeah? Hard drinking, problems with militia, circus instead of lectures - isn’t it much for one nuisance. Is my patience an endless one?! Probably you have never seen a belt in your childhood.» Hearing that Carp became white as a paper. He asked, trembling:
«And what about my academic self-respect?»
Hysterical laughter was the Dean’s answer.
«My God! I have remembered you were an academician, you were a clever man at all. How long ago it was!»
The more she spoke, the angrier she became. At last…
«Well, that is enough for my patience!» - exclaiming this she left. In a moment her voice could be heard from the lobby:
«Excuse me, can you lend me your belt?»
The situation was critical. It was quite obvious that a good lesson shall follow this lecture, a good practical lesson. «Professor» ran to the door and stopped. The Dean stood in the lobby quite near the door to the room. Well, the third floor is not too high - only to open the window in time, then -
The Faculty Dean entered with a long belt in her hand and stood still with her eyes looking like two balls. The only window was wide-opened. No one was around. She looked out of the window. The miserable figure was running away too fastly.
* * *
This story is an endless one as the world is. I only told of four cases in the real person’s life. If someone of you knows about him more than I do, please add your stories here, for it is not forbidden.
Свидетельство о публикации №202091900126