Explore Daniil Kharms
Daniil Kharms
Download the Latest Issue of AMR
Absurdist Monthly Review
Click Here
Search: Browse Stories

They Call Me the Capuchin

They call me the Capuchin. For that I'll tear the ears off whomsoever it may be necessary, but meanwhile I get no peace from the fame of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Why did he have to know everything? How to swaddle infants and how to give young girls in marriage I would also like to know everything. In fact I do know everything, except that I am not so sure of my theories. About infants, I certainly know that they should not be swaddled at all -- they should be obliterated. For this I would establish a central pit in the city and would throw the infants into it. And so that the stench of decomposition should not come from the pit, it could be flooded every week with quicklime. Into the same pit I would also stick all Alsatian dogs. Now, about giving young girls in marriage. That, in my view, is even simpler: I would establish a public hall where, say, once a month all the youth would assemble. All of them between seventeen and thirty-five would have to strip naked and parade up and down the hall. If anyone fancied someone, then that pail would go off into a corner and there examine each other in detail. I forgot to say that they would all have to have a card hanging from the neck with their name, surname and address. Then, a letter could be sent to whomever was to someone's taste, to set up a more intimate acquaintance. Should any old man or woman intervene in these matters, I would propose killing them with an axe and dragging them off to the same place as the infants -- to the central pit.
I would have written more of the knowledge within me, but unfortunately I have to go to the shop for tobacco. When walking on the street, I always take with me a thick knotty stick. I take it with me in order to batter any infants who may get under my feet. That must be why they called me the Capuchin. But just you wait, you swine, I'll skin your ears yet!