"My God," said Frank, "I thought he was going to say 'souvenir.' "
We wound up at a dim French restaurant. The Russians demanded vodka, inspected the label and decided, scornfully, "nyet." Shalomilov then stood and triumphantly drew a huge bottle from beneath his coat.
"Real vodka!" he shouted.
The New Zealanders fell to screaming Maori war chants. Shibuya sang a Spanish ballad in a steady tenor. The Russians crooned Caspian work songs and one of the Finns (Nikkari, since Rummakko refused to open his mouth) produced something characteristically unintelligible.
Robinson soon announced, "That vodka's great stuff. My blisters have gone away already."
Frank and I, under overpowering duress, sang Show Me the Way to Go Home and went home. We fell asleep in the taxi. I remember the last thing he said:
"I get like this after every marathon, so damn tired."