The play takes place in Tambov: the first three paintings – in 1929, the remaining six paintings – in 1979.
Former worker, former party member Ivan Prisypkin, who renamed himself for euphony in Pierre Skripkin, is going to marry Elzevir Davidovna Renaissance – a hairdresser’s daughter, a cashier of a hairdresser and a manicurist. With the future mother-in-law Rosalie Pavlovna, who “needs a professional ticket in the house,” Pierre Skripkin walks around the square in front of a huge department store, buying everything from what he thinks is necessary for future family life: a “dancing people from ballet studios” toy, a bra, accepted by him for a bonnet for a possible future twins, etc. Oleg Bayan (former Bochkin) for fifteen rubles and
Inhabitants of the youth worker of a hostel discuss marriage of Prisypkina on a hairdresser’s daughter and change of a surname to them. Many people condemn him, but some people understand him – now it’s not 1919, people want to live for themselves. Bayan teaches Prisypkin with good manners: how to dance the foxtrot (“do not move the lower bust”), how to scratch unnoticed during the dance – and also gives him other useful tips: do not wear two ties at the same time, do not wear a starched shirt, etc. Suddenly a sound of a shot is heard – Zoya Berezkina shot herself.
At the wedding of Pierre Skripkin and Elsevira Renaissance Oleg Bayan utters a solemn speech, then plays the piano, everyone sings and drinks. Shafer, defending the dignity of the bride, starts a quarrel over a quarrel, a fight is tied up, a furnace is overturned, a fire arises. Arrived firefighters are missing one person, the rest all perish in flames.
The whole world press enthusiastically reports about his upcoming resurrection. The news is provided by the correspondents of the Chukchi News, the Warsaw Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestia of the Chicago Council, the Roman Red Newspaper, the Shanghai Poor and other newspapers. Thawing is carried out by a professor assisted by Zoya Berezkin, whose suicide attempt failed fifty years ago. Prisypkin wakes up, from his collar to the wall crawls thawed with him bug. Upon discovering that he was in 1979, Prisypkin fainted.
The reporter tells the audience that in order to facilitate the transitional period of Prisypkin, the doctors were ordered to give him a beer (“a mixture that poisons in huge doses and is disgusting in small”), and now five hundred and twenty workers in the medical lab that have been drinking this potion are in hospitals. Among those who listened to Prisypkin’s romances, performed by him under the guitar, there is an epidemic of “falling in love”: they dance, mutter verses, sigh and so on. At this time, the crowd led by the director of the zoological garden catches the runaway bedbug – the rarest specimen of an extinct and most popular insect at the beginning of the century.
Under the supervision of a doctor in a clean room in the purest bed lies the dirty Prisypkin. He asks to get drunk and demands “to freeze him back”. Zoya Berezkina brings several books at his request, but he does not find anything “for the soul”: books are now only scientific and documentary.
In the middle of the zoological garden on a pedestal a draped cage surrounded by musicians and a crowd of spectators. Foreign correspondents, ancient old men and old women arrive, a column of children comes with the song. The director of the zoological garden in his speech mildly reproaches the professor, who thawed Prisypkin, that he, being guided by external signs, mistakenly attributed him to “homo sapiens” and to his higher form – to the class of workers. In fact, the unfrozen mammal is an anthropoid with an almost human appearance, responding to the announcement by the director of the zoo: “Based on the principles of the zoological garden, I seek a living human body for constant biting and for keeping and developing a freshly acquired insect in its normal, normal conditions.” Now they are placed in one cage – the “normal bedbug” and “
Prisypkin croaks in the cage. Director, wearing gloves and armed with pistols, takes Prisypkin to the podium. He suddenly sees the audience sitting in the hall, and screams: “Citizens, Brothers, your own! Native, when are you all thawed? Why am I alone in the cage?” Why am I suffering? ” Prisypkina is taken away, the cage is pulled up.