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Field Guide To Moscow

Rassclotus Chichimanus

Russian Rasta

Distinguishing Features: dreadlocks; numerous marijuana-themed accessories; bloodshot eyes

Habitat: Phlegmatic Dog; Club Infiniti; Kitaisky Lyotchik; drug dens in Marino

Danger if Provoked: none. Rassclotus Chichimanus is perhaps the most docile species found in Moscow.

Mortal Weakness: African students who grow tired of humoring him; Skinheads; Head lice; overheated banyas that could melt hair weave

Comments: The Rassclotus Chichimanus has only recently been discovered. He is one of the few species in Moscow with protective coloration, attempting to project an image of poverty when in fact he is a member of the zolotoi molodozh.

This strategy has largely failed and tends to attract the attention of several Moscow predators, including the militsia and skinheads, who regularly prey on the Rassclotus Chichimanus. He can usually be found moving slowly, wearing a grin and squinting at nothing in particular. Only when he eats does the Rassclotus Chichimanus display a sense of urgency, and has been known to devour entire Shok bars in two bites. The best-known specimen of Rassclotus Chichimanus is Kirill "Detsl" Tomaskiy.

Dolor Recto

Babushka Dezhurnaya

Distinguishing Features: Permanent scowl; reading glasses; floral-print skirt and headscarf; vehement distrust of any and all persons who enter her building; odor of old kefir.
Habitat: The podyezdy of most upscale Moscow apartment buildings.
Danger if Provoked: Deceptively High. This species of babushka has an uncanny ability to make the lives of those who anger her a living hell. Since it is impossible to tell who or what angers her, all residents and their guests are subject to her rage.
Mortal Weaknesses: Embarrassment when you bring her granddaughter home from Night Flight; paranoia that the building is being taken over by Jews and foreigners.

Comments: Dolor Recto evolved into its own species shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Moscow residents began to demand stricter feis kontrol for their own apartment buildings. The babushka dezhurnaya spends most of her time watching Latin American soap operas while reading anti-Semitic pamphlets, and the visitor who enters her domain during an important plot development will witness the full wrath of this vicious species. Among the weapons at her disposal are devastating gossip, drafting letters of petty complaint written in Soviet-ese which begin "Respected Residents!" and placing said letters in everyone's mailboxes, and allowing your girlfriend to visit unannounced while you're having an affair with another woman in your apartment.

Humbertus Humbertus

Horny Expatriate

Distinguishing Features: Business suit; five o' clock shadow; total lack of rhythm and/or shame
Habitat: Doug and Marty's Boar House; The Real McCoy; Safari Lodge; Club Platinum
Danger if Provoked: Low. Once this species becomes fixated on copulating, it is nearly impossible to distract it from this task. Thus, the naturalist risks very little by observing Humbertus Humbertus in its native habitat. Even if this species is disturbed, it will choose to recommence its mating rituals rather than confront the intruder.
Mortal Weaknesses: Easily suckered into buying overpriced drinks for ugly friends of 19-year-old blonde from the Language Institute; occasional phone calls from wife in London can disrupt mojo; risk of official reprimand for putting visits to Shandra on corporate expense account.

Comments: Humbertus Humbertus spends most of its time in office buildings within the Boulevard Ring attempting to add a veneer of European propriety to the Russian oil conglomerate it works for. This species only leaves the office at night, when it prowls the bars of Moscow in search of its prey after purchasing Viagra (the one Russian word it knows) at an underground kiosk. Although the Horny Expatriate prefers to win its sexual conquests by charm and false promises of marriage, it often finds itself hailing a cab to Oh La La at 3 a.m., its instinctual urges having overcome its stinginess.

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(Taken from "the eXile", Moscow-based alternative newspaper)

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