“Chekhov Shorts”: Oh! The Public

Title: Oh! The Public
Date Read: 18 August 2009
Word Count: 1263
Briefly: It’s 1am in the morning and determined that he’s finished with the bottle, head ticket collector Podtyagin sets off along the train to inspect passenger’s tickets. His resolve and determination soon takes a battering however, when he runs into a passenger, who for good reason doesn’t take too kindly to being awoken at such an ungodly hour.
Afterthoughts: A superbly comical tale from Chekhov. One I’d definitely recommend to those looking for a taste of typical Chekovian humour A classic.
Notable Quote: “My God!” moans the scraggy-looking man, pulling a woebegone face. “Good Heavens! I’m suffering from rheumatism. . . . I haven’t slept for three nights! I’ve just taken morphia on purpose to get to sleep, and you . . . with your tickets! It’s merciless, it’s inhuman! If you knew how hard it is for me to sleep you wouldn’t disturb me for such nonsense. . . . It’s cruel, it’s absurd! And what do you want with my ticket! It’s positively stupid!”

Rating: ★★★★½

*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).