There lived a man who was in the habit of saying: “Be what may, but may there be order at home!” The man believed that people were created to put the world in order. Nature is, of course, a terrible mess and clutter – all one has to do is walk into an untamed forest and observe the chaos that reigns. Therefore, it was no wonder that the man wanted to see order in his own home as well. He believed his home was his castle – a bastion of order meant to withstand the attacks of the chaotic world.

True, he himself didn’t like to tidy up, but that was what his wife and children were for. The man’s own domestic affairs were also in perfect order: he issued commands and the rest of his family carried them out. To him, there was nothing more important than his family’s readiness to fight chaos in the name of cleanliness. The man even believed it necessary to regularly sow disorder at home to see how fast his family could restore order. Sometimes he flung an open pack of butter onto the floor, other times he unplugged the refrigerator or forced a roll of toilet paper down the toilet and then flushed repeatedly. Then, he would issue a clear command to his wife or children to take care of the mess. The man found it thoroughly entertaining to watch the way his wife or offspring restored order at a breakneck pace. He viewed himself as something akin to a teacher.

Occasionally, the man would invite his friends over. They would throw an iron through a window or dump jam into the washing machine, then crack open a bottle of vodka and watch how competently or incompetently his family resolved the issues. Sometimes, the man used a stopwatch to keep from getting bored. His oldest son set very good records, so the man came up with prizes for the boy – such as permission to drive the man to the nearest shop to buy vodka. The boy was a very proficient driver and whenever he violated a traffic law, the only punishment he received was a retributive slap on the back of the head.

One time, the two left home to buy a fresh bottle of vodka. The man climbed out of the car, made his purchase, and then decided to take the first swig to clear his mind around the corner of the store. Somehow, the man ended up drinking more than he’d planned to and dozed off. When he awoke, the bottle was empty and all he could hear was silence. The man staggered back to the parking lot and saw his worthless son must have sped off in the car. Then, the man noticed there weren’t any cars in the parking lot at all. So, he plodded home through the desolate city. When he arrived, there was no one there either. The man picked up his phone and called his friends. Not one of his buddies answered. Over the course of a week, it became clear that the man was completely alone in the world. Then, the electricity went out. The man locked the doors and drew the curtains tight. A year later, it was plain to see that nature was laying claim to the world once again – chaos was taking hold and there was nothing the lone man could do about it.