Spomenik nepoznatom kupcu / The Monument to the Unknown Buyer

Croatian

Šesnaestog kolovoza, u podne, po najjačem suncu, neki je čovjek izišao iz ugodne klimatizirane atmosfere jednog od liburnijskih supermarketa, gurajući ispred sebe kolica puna kupljenih namirnica. Ni po čemu poseban čovjek; proćelav, u dobi od šezdeset do šezdeset pet godina, u majici s likom Mickeya Mousea i japankama na nogama. Koraka neodlučna, kao da ni sam ne zna kud bi ni kamo, zaputio se prema parkiralištu, a onda zaustavio i iz džepa izvukao račun za kupljene artikle. Prema iskazu očevidaca, gostiju s terase kafića smještenog odmah pokraj ulaza u supermarket, lice mu je poprimilo intenzivno plavoljubičastu boju dok je, mrmljajući sebi u bradu, gledao u ispisane brojke. I tada mu je, tu, pod vrelim liburnijskim suncem, iznenada pozlilo. Odgurnuo je kolica, pao na zemlju, isplažena jezika i očiju uprtih u vrata što su se nečujno otvarala i zatvarala, posljednja pogleda upućena prema odjelu delikatesa, velikom izboru ukusnih salata, narezaka i sireva, prema akcijskoj ponudi četvrtkom, gotovim hladnim i toplim jelima koja on, nažalost, više neće imati prilike kušati. Kola hitne medicinske pomoći došla su za par minuta, ali našem nesretnom, ni po čemu posebnom čovjeku više nije bilo spasa.

I cijela bi ova priča završila kao tek još jedan članak iz crne kronike, jer slučajeva smrti izazvane zatajenjem srca uslijed velikih vrućina u kolovozu je na pretek, da se u njoj nije javila velika i nerješiva misterija, pitanje na koje do dana današnjeg nitko nije pronašao odgovor: tko je bio ovaj, ni po čemu poseban čovjek?

U pismu upućenom javnosti, svojevrsnom obrazloženju inicijative, navodi se da kad već postoje spomenici i biste raznim neznanim junacima, vojnicima, dezerterima, političkim zatvorenicima, pomorcima, što ne bi postojala i jedna nepoznatom kupcu, potrošaču?

Kako se zvao, odakle je bio?

To se ne zna jer kod njega nisu pronađene nikakve isprave, račun je podmirio u gotovini, kreditnih kartica ili drugih dokumenata koji bi mogli pomoći u njegovoj identifikaciji isto nije imao, nijedan automobil na parkiralištu nije bio njegov i povrh svega, nitko nije prijavio nestanak nekog tko bi imalo podsjećao na njega.

Za boga miloga, tko je bio taj čovjek?

Je li se radilo o turistu? Lako moguće, ali u svakom slučaju o neprijavljenom jer iz opatijskih hotela nitko nije nedostajao, svi su gosti bili na broju, čak štoviše, imali su ih i viška.

U šturom policijskom izvješću objavljenom u novinama koji dan poslije piše da utvrđivanje identiteta provedeno korištenjem metoda i sredstava kriminalističke tehnike i taktike te primjenom medicinskih i drugih odgovarajućih postupaka, nije dalo rezultata te da se radi o zasad nepoznatoj osobi.

I ništa nije pomoglo razrješenju misterije: otisci prstiju, DNK analiza, status zubala iz zubnih kartona. Ništa. Kontaktiran je i Interpol, no unatoč svim pokušajima nije se došlo do saznanja o identitetu tajanstvenog kupca.

Je li bio hrvatski državljan ili stranac; Nijemac, Čeh, Bosanac; je li boravio u gradu kao turist ili poslovno – samo su neka od pitanja na koja, izgleda, nikad nećemo saznati odgovor.

Njegova je slika objavljivana u svim dnevnim novinama, stajala je zalijepljena na stupove javne rasvjete i panoe, visjela po autobusnim i željezničkim kolodvorima, o njemu se pričalo na radiju, televiziji, tražilo ga se putem interneta, ali sve uzalud i kao da nikad nije ni postojao.

Ostao je tek anonimni kupac taj i taj, broj prepisan s računa kojeg je tako grčevito stiskao u šaci.

Zar nikom nije nedostajao, zar ga nitko nije tražio? Kuda se uopće zaputio s tim kolicima?

Žalosno, ali istinito, poslije svega, jedino što se o njemu moglo zaključiti jesu njegove potrošačke navike – ono što se dalo isčitati iz namirnica koje su ostale tu pod vrelim liburnijskim suncem, nakon što su se kola hitne pomoći udaljila, isparila u odjecima svojih sirena. A to je da je izbor kupljenog bio više nego mudar, pa se nedvojbeno radilo o čovjeku koji je znao prepoznati kvalitetu. U kolicima se tako nalazilo mnoštvo proizvoda iz najatraktivnije i najjeftinije ponude bogatog asortimana supermarketa, posebno s akcija Kupuj i uštedi, Super cijena, Gastro užitak; bilo je tu gumenih bombona, zobenih pahuljica, kiselih krastavaca s 18% popusta, pakiranje pudinga 3+1 gratis, kompot od bresaka, pralina s cijelim lješnjacima, antibakterijski sapun, pureći Cordon Bleu po cijeni od 34,99 kn i još mnoštvo zanimljivih i pomno odabranih artikala.

Uprava supermarketa izrazila je žaljenje što se cijeli ovaj tragičan događaj zbio baš ispred vrata njihova dućana i kao znak dobre volje darovala sadržaj pokojnikove potrošačke košarice Socijalnoj samoposluzi za najsiromašnije građane. A sladoled su htjeli darovati dječjem domu, ali se nažalost otopio i završio u smeću.

Dani su prolazili, nove informacije nisu se pojavljivale. Ljeto je prošlo, turisti pobjegli, ulice su preko noći iznova osvanule raskopane, što je stara neizbježna i nezaobilazna tradicija liburnijskih cesta, tužna opatijska jesenja priča bez kraja. Lice ni po čemu posebnog nepoznatog čovjeka, zamijenjeno je novim licima, namještenim osmjesima, najboljim božićnim shoppinzima, bržim i povoljnijim tarifama. I svi bi zaboravili na njega da početkom veljače sljedeće godine umjetnička udruga Ne, hvala! i društvo za zaštitu potrošača Rok uporabe nisu javnosti predstavili svoju zajedničku inicijativu, projekt kojim se zalažu da se pokraj ulaza u supermarket, na mjestu na kojem je preminuo, postavi rad akademske kiparice Alemke Z. Dude, brončana skulptura nazvana: Spomenik nepoznatom kupcu.

Skulptura prikazuje stiliziran lik čovjeka koji gura potrošačka kolica, a ispod nje je pločica s ugraviranom posvetom na nekoliko jezika: Neznanom kupcu – napokon slobodnom od terora izbora!

U pismu upućenom javnosti, svojevrsnom obrazloženju inicijative, navodi se da kad već postoje spomenici i biste raznim neznanim junacima, vojnicima, dezerterima, političkim zatvorenicima, pomorcima, što ne bi postojala i jedna nepoznatom kupcu, potrošaču? Spomenik anonimnom puniocu proračuna, neumornom pregaocu konzumerizma! Spomenik s vječnim plamenom koji se aktivira ubacivanjem kovanica od 2 ili 5 kn, po sistemu: koliko para toliko muzike ili, u ovom primjeru, koliko novaca toliko vatre! (Op. a.).

Nažalost, do trenutka pisanja ovog teksta, još se o njihovoj inicijativi nisu očitovali iz mjerodavnih institucija, kao ni od strane uprave supermarketa.

English

At noon on August 16th, when the sun was shining at its brightest, a man pushed a loaded shopping cart out of the cozy, air-conditioned atmosphere of a Liburnian[1] supermarket. The man was no one special. Balding, between sixty to sixty-five years of age and wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and flip-flops, he headed toward the parking lot, then suddenly stopped and pulled a piece of paper from his pocket (later found to be a receipt). According to eyewitnesses — guests from the terrace of a café located right next to the entrance of the supermarket — his face turned purplish-blue while he muttered to himself, looking at the listed numbers. And then, under that hot Liburnian sun, he got sick. He pushed the cart, and knelt on the floor, his tongue hanging out and eyes fixed on the doors as they silently opened and closed. His last sight was of the gourmet section: a wide range of delicious salads, cold cuts and cheeses, Thursday special offers, and finished dishes that he, unfortunately, would not be able to taste again. The ambulance arrived in a matter of minutes, but the poor man could never be saved.

And probably, this whole story would have ended as yet another news item — sudden death cases caused by a heart seizure due to extreme heat in August are in abundance — if questions hadn’t remained, which no one has answered to this very day. Who was this ordinary man?

What was his name, where was he from?

In a letter addressed to the public, a sort of explanation for the initiative, it stands that there are existing monuments and busts to the unknown heroes, soldiers, deserters, political prisoners, sailors, so why wouldn’t there exist one to the unknown buyer, a consumer?

Was he a Croatian citizen or a foreigner? Czech, German, Bosnian? Did he stay in town as a tourist or businessman? Easily possible, but in any case undeclared, though no one from any of the Liburnian hotels was missing. In fact there were more than enough guests.

No identification papers were found with this mysterious man, the bill was settled in cash, he had no credit cards or any other documents, not one of the cars in the parking lot was his, and above all, no one reported the disappearance of someone looking like him.

A few days after his death, the police report published in the newspapers said that identity confirmation using forensic science — including fingerprints, DNA analysis, and dental records — as well as other appropriate procedures bore no result. Nothing shed light upon the mystery. Even Interpol was contacted, but despite all efforts, there has been no concrete information about the identity of the unknown buyer.

His photo was published in all the daily news. It was glued to lamp posts and billboards, hung around bus stations and waiting areas, he was talked about on the radio, on television, and he was searched for on the internet.

All in vain and as though he never even existed!

Only anonymous buyer this or that, a number determined from the receipt he clenched in his hand.

Did anyone miss or wait for him — and where was he heading to with the cart?

Sad but true, after everything, that the only possible thing to conclude about him were his spending habits, what was visible from the groceries that stayed under the hot Liburnian sun, after the ambulance vanished into the echoes of its sirens. His purchases were more than wise, so he must have been someone who knew about quality. In the cart, there were many different products, from the most attractive yet cheapest assortment of goods, including Buy-and-Save special offers, Super Prices, Gastro-delight; there were jellies, cereal, pickles with an 18% discount, a pudding pack deal of buy three get one free, stewed peaches, pralines with whole hazelnuts, antibacterial soap, turkey Cordon bleu costing 34.99 Kn[2], and many more interesting and carefully chosen items.

More days passed, and new information did not appear. The summer was over, tourists fled. The streets, overnight, had been dug, which is already an unavoidable tragedy of Liburnian roads — the sad never-ending autumn story of Opatija. The face of the in-no-way-special man was replaced with some new faces, fixed smiles, best Christmas shopping sprees, faster and cheaper tariffs. And everyone would have forgotten about him if it weren’t for the Thanks, but no thanks! artistic association and the Society for Consumer Protection Shelf Life that, at the beginning of the following February, presented their joint initiative: a project for an academic sculptor, Alemka Z. Duda, a bronze sculpture named The Monument to the Unknown Buyer, near the entrance of the supermarket, at the place he had died.

The sculpture shows a stylized figure of a man pushing the shopping cart, and below it, the inscription in several languages: Unknown buyer — finally free from the terror of choice!

In a letter addressed to the public, a sort of explanation for the initiative, it stands that there are existing monuments and busts to unknown heroes, soldiers, deserters, political prisoners, sailors, so why shouldn’t there be one to the unknown buyer, a consumer? A monument to the unknown budget-filler, the relentless zealous worker of consumerism! A monument with an eternal flame activated by inserting 2 or 5 Kuna coins, according to the system: you get what you pay for or, in this example, you burn what you insert! (Author’s comment).

Unfortunately, by the time of writing this text, no one from the relevant institutions or from the supermarket administration has as yet commented on their initiative.


REFERENCES

  1. Liburnia is a region located in the northern Adriatic Sea between the peninsula Istria and the northern Croatian coastline.
  1. The Kuna (Kn) is the currency of Croatia.

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