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The International Writers Magazine: Around The Block Again:
The Further Adventures Of Guy Block


Soviet Block
Mark Cunliffe

T
hey sold it well to Guy Block, philandering lecturer and confirmed bourgeoisie, which on the face of it, selling anything for a former soviet state is a little ironic. We must exchange cultures they said. Lennon For Lenin as it were. We send one of our great academics to England and you come to us, and Guy Block, realising he had come into a rut, thought 'why not'?

Why indeed, not?
A mistake.
And he should have known really that all Euro lecture circuits are a mistake after last year’s disastrous trip to Germany that coincided with a football riot. But no, Russia tops that.
Guy Block has gone from bad to wurst.

For now whilst some Vlad The Impaler lived Block’s comfortable leafy and suburban life, he was living the Soviet nightmare with no chance of impaling anything remotely feminine.
Why the hell not?
And to make matters worse, he was trouserless.
And cold.
Walking across Red Square at night without your trousers, in the snow, was not what Guy Block had in mind at all. This was just too unfair.
He’d protested against Vietnam, he’d read Marx, he’d even attended a Workers Revolutionary Party meeting once, for a sniff of Vanessa Redgrave of course.
Hadn’t he done enough for these people?
Nyet.

It all started hours earlier after a particularly tiresome lecture he’d given which was mostly attended by the largely built borsht eating ladies this country seemed to churn out. He spoke and spoke and spoke but all the while dreamt of the hotel minibar patiently waiting for him to return.
Then as he wrapped up and was about to escape from the academic Archangel, a vision of beauty appeared.
Like gold amongst the dirt.
A Soviet Keira Knightly
And Guy Block was hooked.
He caught her eye and smiled what he believed to be his winning smile, and to his delight she smiled back, her lips parted to reveal glorious white teeth. In an instant he was over there and ready to speak to her.
Accept his mouth was dry, drier than a Saudi stag night. It was like being a teenager again, a teenager who hadn’t seen a girl in years.
Well he did go to a boys only public school.

Luckily she made the first move. It was Guy’s dream.
As she spoke to compliment him on his speech Guy stared at her lips, her big pouting lips, so invitingly large, as if to resemble a doorstep.
Such a vibrant red too, as red as his beloved MG.
Hang on, she’s talking from those invitingly large red lips!
"I am here Professor Block to act as your guide, Messrs Bilton and Macdonald from your British Cultural Dept sent me"
Ah, ‘Burgess and Maclean’, Block thought, and was instantly reminded that they didn’t like his joke pet names for them.
Tough. Though he could forgive them their sense of humour bypass for bringing him this delectable angel.
And so the night looked much more promising as Natalya the owner of those lips guided Guy across the great city of Moscow.
Well, that is what she called it, but to Guy it was no better than some cold and frosty provincial Northern town back in Blighty.
Except, as he thought later, Guy has never trekked across some provincial northern town back home sans trousers
No, he’d have remembered that.

He should have realised it was too good to be true, but if Guy Block has one thing, it is an overwhelming sense of vanity and so when in one of Putin’s new cocktail bars, this Pasternak pretty whispered into his ear that she found him very attractive, both physically and mentally, what a mind he must have et sexy cetera, that he ran his hand through his long hair and merely snorted a laugh, before suggesting they do something about it.
Bad move.

She bundled him out of the bar ecstatically and proclaimed a desire to reach a cultural climax as it were, out doors, by one of the great architectural monoliths that Moscow have littered everywhere. How cool would it be, she babbled, how neat would it be (why do these former communists speak like Molly Ringwald?) to throw off the shackles of socialism once and for all if she was to succumb to the charms of a western academic alongside a physical representation of what the old country once stood for!
It was at this point Guy’s academic brain went into neutral allowing some other part to do the thinking
Pretty neat huh?
Nyet.

And so it comes as no surprise to anyone, except dear daft old Block when having found a suitable former socialist spot, and having removed his trousers in anticipation the lovely Natalya ran off with said garment, wallet and all at a speed that would surely see her enter the country’s next Olympic squad.
Trudging alone this historic city semi naked, Guy had no problems finding someone to direct him to the British Embassy.
Well, everyone was around to look at him
And there was no denying he was British, just one look at the Union Jack boxers that hung above his knobbly knees gave the natives an indication.

And once there, wrapped in a government grey towel and clutching government Earl Grey Tea he complained to ‘Burgess and Maclean’ about the ‘guide’ they sent him and demanded as an esteemed visiting lecturer and British subject, as you can clearly see from his choice of undergarments, what they were going to do about it.
Would you believe that ‘Burgess and Maclean’ had sent no guide whatsoever, and that this was a Bulgarian Beauty well known to them as being bogus.
Damn
And would you believe that ‘Burgess and Maclean’ had suddenly got a sense of humour again?
Wouldn’t they bloody just
He left for the safety of his rooms at his University back home the next day, amidst sniggers and titters determined.
Never again.

© Mark Cunliffe Sept 2006
markbc@hotmail.com

Until next time:
More adventures with Mr Block here
Block Head
Writer's Block

Memory Block
Block Out
Mark Cunliffe
It was a crisp January morning at Trenton University.
All was normal.


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