Rabinovich-frammenti-1 © Photo: Baracchi e Campanini

Rabinovich & Popov - Text fragments

So why is it that capitalism has won and communism has lost?

A little story will make it clear.

Stanley Weinstein wakes up in New York one morning in the nineteen-seventies. He goes into his office and says to his secretary:

"Meybele, tomorrow I'm going to Moscow to see Lenin's body in the Mausoleum. I miss him. Anyone who phones, you tell them: Mr Weinstein is in the Soviet Union".

On the next morning, the Jewish financier stops a taxi. The driver recognizes him at once and says:

"What an honor Mr. Weinstein, where to?".

"Airport Kennedy, Soviet airline Aeroflot. Yesterday, suddenly, I decided to leave for Moscow".

"Mr Weinstein! You'll never find a ticket!"

" Take me to Aeroflot, Airport Kennedy!"

At the Aeroflot counter he says to the employee: "I want ticket for next flight to Moscow. Not too forward, not too backward, left window seat".

- "Ticket, please?".

- "No ticket. Last minute decision."

- "Are you joking? Mr. Weinstein, we're overbooked for the next 6 months!"

Mr. Weinstein slips his hand into the inner pocket of his jacket and takes out two-thousand dollars right in the employee's face.

"What a fortunate coincidence, Mr. Weinstein! Right at this very moment, a seat just like you wanted it became free".

Mr. Weinstein departs and arrives at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, where he goes through the usual formalities. He exits, stops a taxi and: "Please, take me to Red Square, Rossìya Hotel, famous hotel of nomenklature!".

The taxi driver, a loquacious muscovite, starts talking: "Are you here for the Party Congress?"

"No! – answers Weinstein – I made last minute decision last night in New York. I vas missing Soviet Union".

"No reservation? You won't even find a broom-closet! You'll have to stay 300 kms away from Moscow!".

"No. You be calm, don't vorry. Just take me to Hotel Rossìya, please", answers the financier, who, when he arrives in the lobby of the Rossìya says to the chief concierge:

"I vant suite, not too high up, not too low, facing west. I love sunset in Moscow".

"Your voucher, please?"

"No voucher. I decided yesterday to come, from nostalgia".

"Are you kidding me? We even have guests sleeping in our offices...".

Mr. Weinstein slips his hand in his pocket and and extracts two one-thousand dollar bills and puts them on the counter in front of the chief concierge. The man pockets them and voilà: "Mr. Weinstein, how lucky! In this very instant, the reservation for a suite matching your description was cancelled. Just think, not too high up, not too low and, above all, facing west...".

Escorted by stand-offish waiters and bell-boys, Mr. Weinstein goes to his room where he changes his clothes. A few minutes later, he deposits his key and announces to the chief concierge: "I'm going to see Lenin at Mausoleum".

The man replies with amazement: "Haven't you seen the 10 km line in the Red Square? Everyone wants to see Lenin: you'll have to wait for hours in the freezing cold".

"Not to worry - says Weinstein -. Be calm".

As soon as he arrives at the Red Square, Weinstein dribbles the line which stretches out like a serpent of frozen and devoted human beings, and proceeds speedily towards the Mausoleum. With agility, he reaches the Guard of Honor and stands before the two soldiers, who are freezing under their military bearskins high on their heads, complete with red stars and hammer and sickle, and as the traditional iconography commands, armed with shiny kalashnikovs.

Weinstein approches the taller of the two guards and makes the usual gesture. He takes two one-thousand dollar bills from his pocket and slips them into the soldier's jacket. Without skipping a beat, the guard asks: "Mr. Weinstein, how lovely to see you again! Will you be coming inside this time, or shall we bring him out to you?".
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