My grandfather and his friend Tonino went to the doctor together. They sat in front of the doctor’s office and waited their turn. Tonino was reading the newspaper and my grandfather was cleaning his fingernails. Then Tonino said: “Sweet lord, are they ever going to bring down this devil?” My grandfather asked him: “What devil?” Tonino said: “What do you mean, what devil? Vucic!” My grandfather raised his eyebrows and looked at Tonino. Then he asked him: “Why do you give a flying fuck about Vucic?” Tonino said: “What do you mean, why? He’s a tyrant and a mean old fuck, man!” My grandfather said: “Well, I know…” Tonino kept going: “He rules with terror! He occupied the media, declared himself king, his goons beat up someone from the opposition every now and then. We’re one step away from mass arrests! All those Serbs are now in the streets asking for his resignation, because they’re fucking sick of him! I can’t wait to see the bastard fall!” My grandfather said: “All right, I get that Vucic is a real piece o’ work. But I don’t get why you’re so passionate about it! You’d do better to hope the Croats fuck up our own bastard!” Tonino rolled his eyes: “Come on, man! Croats taking someone down, come on! When has that ever happened!?” My grandfather scratched his head and said: “Well, shit, you’re right. Croats wouldn’t protest in the street if you gave them a hundred kuna each!” Tonino said: “No way, man, Croats are the biggest pussies on God’s green Earth, believe you me! No devil could evoke an ounce of revolt in them!” My grandfather said: “You’re right, they always piss themselves when the going gets rough. No matter how hard you press them, they never complain. You can beat them to death and they’ll still nod their heads and thank you!” Tonino said: “If a tyrant could choose a people to rule, instead of people choosing tyrants, he would most definitely choose Croats! He would say: Wow, awesome, I could shit on their heads and they would still be silent and not do jack shit about it!” My grandfather said: “Vucic would be so much luckier if he ruled in Croatia instead of Serbia. He would say: This is heaven on earth! As a respectable dictator, I can’t even think of a terror horrible enough to make them raise their heads and speak up!” Tonino said: “No way, man, Croats are world champions in being a cunt.” My grandfather said: “The biggest pussies in the history of the world.” Tonino said: “Maria Theresa’s house servants.” My grandfather said: “Viennese stableboys.” Then Tonino said: “You see, that’s why I want to see Vucic fall! Maybe it would be a kick in the butt for the Croats, what with being right next door and all! Maybe it could spread like a virus! See what I mean?” My grandfather asked: “You think that bringing down a dictator could be contagious?” Tonino said: “Who knows, man! Maybe it could make the Croats say: If those fucking Serbs managed to bring that asshole Vucic down, maybe we could do the same with our own asshole… that… that… what was his name…” My grandfather said: “I know who you mean… that… I can’t remember his name… that…” Tonino said: “Fuck, it’s on the tip of my tongue… that…” My grandfather said: “Mine, too… my god… I just had it…” Tonino said: “Me, too… what was his name… his name… motherfucker, I hate it when I get stuck like this.” My grandfather said: “It’s on the tip of my tongue, man… that guy…” Then the nurse opened the door and said: “Next!” Tonino said to my grandfather: “You go first, you’ve got worse memory!”
Inside the office, my grandfather set across from the doctor. The doctor asked him: “So, how’s your health?” My grandfather said: “Not bad. I get tired quickly when I walk up the hill. My left knee hurts, my back kills me in the morning, it hurts when I piss, I think it’s my prostate, my stomach is giving me hell, I get dizzy when I get up fast…” The doctor said: “Well, that’s all normal for your age! Do you have any problems with dementia?” My grandfather asked: “What do you mean, dementia?” The doctor said: “You know, do you sometimes forget to turn off the stove? Lock the house? Or find that you can’t remember the prime minister’s name?” My grandfather said: “Me, leave the stove on? No way, man! I’m as sharp as a tack!” The doctor said: “Well, that’s very good…” My grandfather said: “Look, I can list off all of Ivic’s legendary outlaws right now! Meskovic, Dzoni, Rozic, Peruzovic, Holcer, Buljan, Zungul, Muzinic, Oblak, Jerkovic and Surjak! Not bad, huh?” The doctor said: „And what’s the prime minister’s name?” My grandfather scratched his head and said: “That… that…” The doctor said: “Who?” My grandfather said: “The one who should be brought down like Vucic!” The doctor spread his arms wide and said: “Come on, please, don’t make me laugh. Croats bringing down a tyrant, have you ever seen something like that?” My grandfather said: “Fuck, you’re right…” The doctor said: “When Croats have it lousy, they go to the doctor to see what’s wrong with them, instead of going out into the streets and demanding the sonuvabitch resign! Not only do they not want to bring down the bloodsucker oppressing them, they don’t even know his name!” My grandfather said: “I couldn’t agree more! That’s one lousy race…” The doctor said: “If tyrants could choose a nation to rule, every last one of them would choose Croats!” My grandfather said: “Definitely, I was just saying the same thing to Tonino…” The doctor said: “If I were Vucic, I wouldn’t even bother with the Serbs! Fuck them, I would work on my Croatian a bit, move here and find a job!” My grandfather looked at the doctor in confusion. The doctor said: “At least as a doctor!”
Robi K. (IIIa)1
Translated by Marijana Simic
- Viktor Ivancic’s popular, ongoing column, which chronicles the adventures of the boy Robby K, a kind of Croatian Tom Sawyer. Told in the first person, in the dialect of the Dalmatian town of Split, the column ridicules Croatian (and Serbian) reality.