Mankind's only alternative 28   JAN.   23  
Mankind's only alternative

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Unfiled March 3, 2003
A High-Altitude Cure for Slavophilia
By John Dolan Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
I just prayed that he'd stick with Mark and leave me alone. Don't lose hope, sir -- keep shaking! Persevere, my skull-emblazoned friend!

And he did, shaking Mark more and more roughly until Mark woke up. At which time the drunk made the same "Drink with us" offer, poking the nearly-empty bottle at Mark, who got mad once he figured out why he'd been woken up. I was behind Mark one hundred percent-silently, of course, but very sincerely. The exchange was heated:

"Maaaaark...DRINK with us!"





"I said NO!"

Skull-shirt headed to the back of the plane to consult with HQ. There was some muttering, and then they sent their secret weapon, the Good Cop. He was a plump, jolly blond fellow, a real people-person. He brought along the same nearly-empty bottle, flashed it at Mark, and said, "You MUST drink with us! It is a Russian custom!"

Mark said, "I'm not a Russian."

Good Cop smiled excitedly: "Ah! You see, I am not a Russian either!" He seemed to imply that this was even more cause to celebrate.

Mark said "This isn't Russia." Good Cop nodded eagerly, implying that this was just another excellent reason to revel.

Finally he gave up and returned to the brain-trust at the back of the plane. They decided to send Skull-Shirt back up to work on me, the Weakest Link. He sat in front of me, no more Mister-Nice-Guy, and said grimly: "We see you buy it."

Seeing the puzzlement distorting my fake grin, he insisted: "Duty Free! We see you buy!"

At this point I started to get it. We'd zipped into the duty-free store at Vnukovo to get a bottle of something-gin, as it turned out, because it was cheap. I remembered now -- we'd run into these guys in the narrow aisles of the kiosk-sized duty free shop.

Seeing that I'd got the point, Skull-Shirt demanded: "Where is bottle?"

I glanced toward the overhead bin, that fatal glance that they say allows pickpockets to see where you've got your stash. But Skully was too drunk to pick up on it. He just went on saying, "You must share!"

I shook my head, and he settled in to stare at me for -- oh, say, ten minutes. Eye to eye, except I was pretending to read. I don't think I absorbed much of the book, though. I could hear him breathing, muttering, and, towards the end, cursing. I just tried to wait it out, like they say you should lie still if you're attacked by a grizzly.

He wobbled to the back at last, but before I could breathe again up came Good Cop, to make a new offer: "We buy! Yes! Bottle!"

It still irks me that I didn't accept the offer. We didn't even want the damn gin. Ended up leaving most of it for the hotel maids in Sharm. We could've had any price from these desperate junkies -- could've had their last dollar in exchange for that crummy floor-polish tasting Gordon's. But it was too late, somehow, to deal with them. All I could do was keep shaking my head and hope that the plane would crash or get shot down, ending the horror.

For the rest of the flight they settled for sitting in the back cursing us, mocking us. For some reason my Russian always becomes fluent when I'm being insulted, so I heard exactly what they said about my baldness, my stupid glasses, my advanced age, corpulence and general distastefulness. I agreed with most of it, but still.....

Skull-Shirt made one last foray. As I finished a plastic bottle of mineral water -- you know, one of those blue 1.5 liter bottles, He zoomed up the aisle and grabbed it right out of my hand. But before he'd run another meter, he shook it, shouted "Puskaya!" and threw it away. At that moment he turned around, and in the way he was staring at me and Katherine, the pure lethal hatred in that glance, I understood for the first time that this had been a very serious business. As Mark said later, if this had happened in a podmoskovye village they would have killed us.

Skull-Shirt stomped on up the aisle, grabbing every bottle he saw -- sunscreen, soft-drink, water -- and throwing them aside with a snarl. I suddenly realized: hey, this is that mythical creature, the "crazed junkie"! The first actual crazed junkie I've ever seen -- and it turns out to be an ordinary alcohol-junkie. Stands to reason, really: we're trained to dismiss all the drug horrors spawned by alcohol, while publicizing the few involving "drugs." I've known a lot of junkies -- I mean the opiate sort -- and I'd have to say that in general they were some of the quietest, most polite people I've met. Not always trustworthy, but uniformly gentle. But God damn, keep me away from the crazed alcohol junkies.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Browse author

eXile ComiX: Al-Dilbert :

Russian Academia Under Fire :

The Fortnight Spin :
Ofis Space
September Sadness : Back to the office, where it’s the same old shit, plus tans.


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442