The Russian

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 He fell into the water, his belly submerging at least 12 inches before his face made contact.  Conversation on the beach stopped as people watched to see if he stayed under and drowned.  The atmosphere was hopeful due to a waning tolerance of his antics that had been disrupting peaceful sun bathing time throughout the morning.    Before his muscled minders had a chance to fish him out, or his harem of leopard print clothed, bottle blond women could start screaming, he resurfaced  and  staggered through the waves back  onto the sand.  Exuding a 2 bottles of vodka bonhomie, he waved his arms around, roared with laughter shouting all the while that he was in fact ok.     The disappointment from the onlookers was palatable.

 Supported by his bodyguards he weaved his way up the beach and stood under a cold shower, struggling to stay upright as they  carefully ran their hands over his body to wash off the sand.   The women, seeing that their meal ticket was unharmed, resumed drinking their cocktails, admiring their nails and pouting provocativley.  Shouting and laughing all the while the short stocky Russian, who looked like he could snap a man’s neck between his hands and probably had – many times, tolerated the ministrations of his paid minders with an air of someone who was used to being waited on.  Regaining some sobriety he shook himself like a dog, adjusted numerous gold chains and bracelets he was wearing and lurched towards a  food strewn table surrounded by a mean looking, squint eyed men.

 Calling for another bottle of vodka he light a cigar and sat back in a fug of smoke as the hangers on fawned over him, laughing at jokes that were delivered in Pidgin English with a heavy Russian accent that is to say totally incomprehensible.   However, the riotous laughing from the Russian which accompanied these monologues  gave the game away  and the cue to laugh with him.   They plied him with  food and drink , patted  and stroked him on the back, simpered and smiled, all the while keeping an eye on the minders and calculating how much money they could make.    Fuelling  their greed the Russian produced wads of cash at regular intervals and sent them scuttling off on purchasing missions.  Although he portrayed an air of a hapless drunk I got the impression that underneath the facade there was a calculating, ruthless mentality lurking.  The Russian was one scary man– we left and didn’t return.

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