Study of Beelzebub's Tales




34 Russia


“From these thousands of good customs and useful habits, let us take for example at least two: the custom, after using the first being-food, of chewing what is called ‘keva’; and the usage of periodically washing oneself in what are called ‘hammams.’


Keva is a certain mastic prepared from various roots which is chewed after eating and which however long it is chewed hardly ever decomposes, but on the contrary becomes still more elastic.


“This mastic was also invented by a certain being with good Reason who belonged to one of the old Asiatic communities.


“The use of chewing this keva consists in this, that by chewing it, much what is called there on Earth ‘saliva and also other substances are formed in beings, which are worked out by their planetary bodies so that their first being-food may be the better and more easily transformed in them, or as they themselves say, so that this food may be the better and more easily ‘digested and assimilated.’


“Thanks to this keva their teeth are also strengthened and the cavities in their mouths too are cleaned from the remains of the first food; the use of keva is very necessary for your favorites, particularly for this second purpose, as these remains, not decomposing owing to the chewing of keva, do not give off that disagreeable ‘odor’ from their mouths which has already become proper particularly to the contemporary three-brained beings there.


“Now as regards the second of the good customs taken as an example by us, the fulfilling of which two centuries ago was still organically needed by every being of this community Russia, namely, the custom of chewing keva after the use of the first being-food, this custom already no longer exists there at all now among contemporary Russians.


“It must be remarked that at the present time the custom of chewing keva without meanwhile understanding its purport, began to implant itself while I was still there among the beings dwelling on the continent called ‘America,’ where the use of such keva, or as they have already called it, by another name, ‘chewing gum,’ is very widely spread and even takes on the dimensions of a great manufacturing branch of commerce there. Meanwhile it is interesting to notice that the fundamental part of this American chewing gum is exported just from Russia, namely, from the locality called ‘Caucasia.’ The beings dwelling in this locality do not even know why these ‘mad’ Americans import this unnecessary root good for nothing and for nobody.


“Of course to no one of them does the thought even enter his head that these Americans importing this ‘good-for-nothing’ root are indeed, though in a subjective sense, ‘mad,’ yet in an objective sense they are merely, as they themselves express it, ‘daylight robbers’ of the beings of this Russia.


“In general, to follow the example of others or set an example to others is considered and cognized as fully reasonable and inevitably necessary everywhere in the Universe among all three-brained beings, and that the three-brained beings of this large community Russia follow the example of the beings of the community France, this on their part is even very sensible. Why not take example from what is good?


“But these unfortunates, on account of the said particular property of their psyche, and of still several other specific features of their strange character which have finally become fixed in them, thanks to the total disappearance from their common presences of the usage of sometimes actualizing being-Partkdolg-duty, became what is called ‘adopters-by-compulsion,’ and began to follow the example also of what is bad and even to reject their own good customs only because they do not exist elsewhere.


“They could not for instance consider even this, that conditions of ordinary existence among these French beings are perhaps being built up all the time abnormally and therefore they had not yet had time to become aware of the necessity of sometimes, as in the given case, washing themselves in hammams and chewing keva after using the first being-food.


“But to throw away good customs already acquired, for the sole reason that they do not exist among the beings of this France from whom they take example—this is already indeed genuine ‘turkeyness.’