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September 23, 2013 / Gregory Williams


The empty bottle pictured is an American grain vodka that was pretty good. This bottle went with us  to a work outing over the

Today the girl looked at it and said, “That’s a neat bottle. Can we keep it?”

“I’m going to fill it with beer,” was my answer. I am too. With the flip top seal it’s perfect for home brew and a fifth of good beer makes for a good night.

Americans usually drink vodka with mixers, and pretty much any juice, soda, or energy drink mixes with vodka pretty well. My personal preference has always been Dirty Martini’s served up, or White Russians.

Then one day I started working with a guy who served in the Soviet army. His friends and family would have us over for cook outs and parties and I quickly learned to drink my vodka straight, and according to them, vodka distilled from grain was the way to go.

That’s how we had it at the work outing over the weekend. Unfortunately, our friend wasn’t there but I did remember a story he once told me about his days in the Soviet army. What I don’t remember is if this story was about him and his buddies, or was just a barracks legend.

Here is my telling as I remember it.

It seems that the Soviet army had a train, and on that train there was a detail of troops and some officers. The commanding officer had an office on the train and in that office he would lock his stash of vodka up in a small safe.

This particular officer was a bit of a hard ass, and in no way endeared himself to his men, and on top of that… there was the vodka.

So one night when the officer was away a few of his more disgruntled and daring men got together and hatched a plot. They were going to steal his vodka, which as I recall being told was against regulations for the officer to have in the first place. The sweet spot of the whole plan was that they could not be reported, lest the officer expose his own malfeasance.

As an amateur gunsmith I’ve developed a fondness for cold war era communist made guns. They are inexpensive, simply designed, have very forgiving tolerances, and they always work. Those qualities happen to be very indicative of some their maker’s best virtues I think.

These particular Soviet solders approached the primary obstacle between them and the vodka with a like mindset.

Getting into the office was easy, it wasn’t locked, so no rules were broken.

Getting into the safe meant breaking the law if they were to force it open, which was possible. They even entertained blowing it open with a Mosin rifle, not only would such an act be noticed, but it would likely ruin the vodka inside. That and the fact that firing a 7.62x54R cartridge in small room, into a sealed steel box filled with glass and flammable liquor is a terrible idea, so of course they quickly disregarded that notion.

Then, as they stood in the office regarding the safe and questioning how they would get inside one of the men reasoned that opening the safe wasn’t necessary. The safe he explained was neither bolted down, or airtight.

They fetched some rope, devised a simple pully, and hoisted the safe until it swung by the rope freely.

With a clean bucket at the ready they swung the safe into the wall of the office until the bottles of vodka inside broke, then they caught the flowing booze in the bucket before anyone came to check up on the noise.

The officer returned to find a an unopened safe, a vodka scented office, and a few of his men with hangovers.



Leave a Comment
  1. unicorn panama / Sep 23 2013 5:39 am

    Absolutely beautiful Picture statement. Not only thought provoking but very a very interesting for watch.


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