Tag Archives: drunk

International referee officiates match drunk

A scandal ensued after a Belarus league match between Vitebsk and Naftan.

Renowned international referee Sergey Shmolik officiated the entire match drunk. By the ninetieth minute, he couldn’t leave the pitch on his own two feet. Vitebsk’s administrator escorted him off the field. All the while, Shmolik tried to slip loose from his grip. The referee officiated at Wembley for England’s victory over Luxemburg in 1999.

As Shmolik was dragged off the pitch, he waived to fans and received a loud round of applause.

On July 15, the Belarus Football Federation will decide how much Shmolik drank. It’s likely the referee’s 247th match in the league will be his last. A blood test taken at the stadium’s medical unit Shmolik had a blood-alcohol content of 2.6 — or about one glass of vodka.

Shmolik says he took painkillers after the match as his spine hurt and went to the medical unit on his own initiative. Experts said Shmolik did in fact have a spinal injury.

Fans say Shmolik probably drank before coming onto the field. He kept cool until the thirtieth minute. Then he began moving awkwardly, half-slouched over. During halftime, a football inspector at the match told him he needed to move more. At the sixty-eighth minute, the referee stood in the central circle waiting for the end of the match. He was escorted off the field. READ MORE


My brief stint as a district police officer. Part 2

Brief description of previous installment: Most city residents don’t trust the police and slightly fear them instead. KP journalist Pavel Bukin decided to find out why by taking a job at a local police station. After fibbing on the computerized psychological testing, Bukin was deemed worthy of a uniform. On his first day at work, police officer Bukin learned he would have to regularly check in on convicts and the mentally ill. He also learned how to handle official statements about individuals who faced losing their apartments. Bukin decided that the line between what’s acceptable and what’s not is thin for the police.

Cozy little nest at work

My instructor Sergey and I went to the store for a bite to eat. It was long after lunch break. Our meal was a bun and yogurt.

“A healthy life is healthy eating!” Sergey said smilingly. “Let’s go get some food back at the operating room. It’s something like a personal office. That’s where we handle civilians and stamp papers. The whole area is divided into zones, and the zones into districts. There are around 4-6 districts in every zone. And each zone has its own operating room.”

“What’s that computer over there?” I asked when we got there. “Is it for games or something?”

“Haha,” Sergey laughed.

“We still use this thing to type?!” I said after getting a closer look at the typewriter circa 1980s.

“Yep,” Sergey said. “Higher technology hasn’t yet crossed our path. But we plan to buy computers in the near future.”

Regardless, though, Sergey wasn’t bored. It turned out kayaking was our mutual hobby. In a few days he headed off to Karelia for a little rest and relaxation. And I was passed along to another officer.

Quotas for drunks and debauchees

My training period passed relatively painlessly. Soon I was a real police officer wearing a grey uniform with red lining. It wasn’t easy! The statements and paperwork were abundant. And the deadlines were inhumanely tight. It was physically impossible to finish on time.

The police have to check each and every statement even if it was written by an obvious loony.

Most of the time they’re old ladies who think they’ve been poisoned by an incomprehensible source like a toilet. One woman said she was being followed by a Saint Petersburg gang that planned on killing her and taking her apartment in the city (that didn’t actually exist). She said the murder weapon was going to be a syringe and deadly dose of heroin. Another woman demanded that we find the criminal who stole her wallpaper and pasted a different pattern instead.

So unfortunately little time remains for those who actually need the police’s help — not a visit to the psychiatrist. A husband smacks his wife, a wallet is stolen, a kid skips out on the army, an ice sickle falls on a car… Such incidents result in endless checks that are so numerous it’s just impossible to meet deadlines. And everything needs to be finished within 3-10 days.

In addition to written appeals for help, verbal complaints are also made to police officers continuously. Of course they aren’t controlled in any way at the station. But they might weigh heavy on the conscience.

I was also tasked with managing administrative protocol. The district police still has a quota like back in the Soviet days. On the one hand, it’s understandable. If there wasn’t a quota, a lot of officers wouldn’t do a thing. On the other hand, though, how can a police officer plan how many drunks he’s going to arrest in a month for indecent exposure in a public area? READ MORE

My brief stint as a district police officer. Part 1

In his first days on the job, Pavel had to disperse the homeless.

It’s no secret that few people respect the police.

“They can’t do a damn thing!” some say. “All they know how to do is dig around in drunk people’s pockets!”

“Policemen are just bastards,” others enjoin. “You really don’t know who to fear more — criminals or guys in uniforms.”

Few people hold the police in high esteem. Many believe they are stupid and indifferent to mankind’s suffering.

So I decided to join the ranks of the district police to get an inside look at a world closed to civilians.

Computer almost caught me

So, Kukin, you’ve skipped out on the army to relax here at the station, have you?” the head of the HR Department at a local police station in the Yaroslavl district said unceremoniously.

“No…” I said a bit timidly. “I’ve just wanted to join the police since I was a kid!”

“Aha, a Romantic, are you?” the colonel said shaking his head. “Well, you’ll lose that quick enough. Like to put back the booze, do you?”

“Sorry? What?” I said, not quite getting his point.

“Everything’s clear now,” he said, smirking under his thick moustache. “You just haven’t made buddies with booze yet.”

And off they sent me for psychological testing. I had to say “yes” or “no” to the 600 questions in what must be the longest psychological test in the world. “I love my father,” “Sometimes I see what other people don’t,” “I almost never feel pain when urinating…”

Should the truth be told, I tried to answer honestly. It turns out I shouldn’t have. The computer processed my answers… For example, I answered “no” to the question about my father. What exactly did they mean by “love” anyway? I mean, I don’t have anything against him! So I flunked the test outright, and also learned some interesting things about myself. It seems I had a strict childhood, hated my father and suffer from hallucinations. But I was just talking about completely realistic things that might go unnoticed by others. Like a green sprout popping out of the city asphalt.

Later, though, I spoke with a living psychologist who understood I was normal and sent me back for a repeat test. The second time around the computer was satisfied with my answers. READ MORE