(A Tale of Unfortunate Circumstances)
Raymond Rebans, known among his colleagues and friends as "Rabbit," worked as an electronic engineer at the VEF factory in Riga, the capital of Latvia, which was then a part of the Soviet Union. Rabbit, a thin, lanky, slightly hunched man, completely gray-haired in his fifty-five years, had light blue eyes partially concealed by convex lenses of glasses in reddish plastic frame. He possessed an innate talent for engineering and design, accompanied by a gentle and compliant demeanor. Both the factory management and his department coworkers highly regarded Rabbit for his expertise. However, despite his respected position, Rabbit's younger colleagues found joy in playfully teasing their occasionally awkward yet endearing colleague.
Rabbit was married to a robust and stern woman who exerted complete control over him, meticulously claiming his meager Soviet engineer's salary along with any occasional bonuses he received. His colleagues were well aware of his situation, acknowledging the unfortunate reality that "Rabbit never has money because rabbits simply can't have any." Nevertheless, they consistently extended invitations to social gatherings and willingly covered the cost of the beer he enjoyed together with them, demonstrating their unwavering camaraderie.
And one Friday, something incredible happened.
As the workday drew to a close, Rabbit, his voice slightly stuttering and his demeanor shy, unexpectedly extended an invitation to the entire department for a round of beers, declaring that he would cover the cost for everyone. His colleagues burst into laughter, playfully reminding him that rabbits, in general, never have any money. However, with a sense of restrained pride, Rabbit announced that he had managed to save up an impressive sum of 50 Rubles, cleverly concealing them from his controlling spouse in a specially designed hidden pocket of his well-worn jacket. Intrigued and amused, his colleagues believed him, and with laughter and banter, they set off, with Rabbit leading the way, to their cherished pub.
For a couple of hours, Rabbit and his colleagues enjoyed their beers, exchanging anecdotes and discussing their vacation plans. As the time came to settle the bill, Rabbit, wearing a satisfied smile, dramatically pulled out a thick thread that had sealed the secret pocket containing the coveted fifty-ruble note. With anticipation, he inserted his fingers inside, searching for the note. After half a minute of anticipation, he finally retrieved a folded piece of paper. However, it wasn't a greenish banknote but just a note folded in half, on which Rabbit's wife had written in firm handwriting: "Confiscated to buy some grocery"...