Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: News_Berlin_Wall_1: WCU’s Berlin Wall via West Chester University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology’s Facebook (This image was created as a parody for The Quak.)

Disclaimer: This article is part of The Quak, a satirical series of articles that are released in commemoration of April Fools Day. 

As readers of this publication might already know, WCU’s campus is home to a section of the Berlin Wall, also known as the graffitied concrete slab outside the old library building. Of course, the university’s decision to maintain a large piece of Germany on our campus is interesting enough in itself, but what you may not know is that, just a few days ago, two students discovered a KGB bug in a hole in the concrete! The students, who wish to remain anonymous, stated that they were stunned by their discovery — especially when they realized that they could use the device to speak to its original owner, a KGB agent who’s been living in an underground bunker in Siberia for the last 30 years. Hard to believe? I thought so too, until I spoke to these students and watched them demonstrate the nifty little Soviet device. Here are some excerpts from our conversation. 

E.K.: So, it’s come to my attention recently that you found a KGB bug in the Berlin Wall here on campus. Tell me a bit about that. 

Student 1: Well, I was walking past the old library building the other day with Student 2 [NAME REDACTED FOR PRIVACY REASONS]. All of a sudden, we heard this weird buzzing emanating from the concrete over there, so we went to check it out. 

Student 2: It turns out, we found a crack in the concrete where the noise was coming from. We reached in using a bobby pin and ended up pulling out this little guy [holds up the KGB bug, which looks like a little gray box with an antenna]. 

E.K.: And how does it work? 

Student 2: You just press this little button here [points to a button]. It connects you with this guy named Sergey living in Siberia, who this bug was supposed to be reporting to, but they put it in place about a month before the Berlin Wall came down and he’s just been listening to WCU students for the past few decades. 

Student 1: I was very impressed when speaking to Sergey. He’s learned English fluently by eavesdropping on student conversations, and he even knows all about Rammy. 

E.K.: Can we speak to Sergey now? 

Student 1: Sure, let me just … [presses the button on the device]. Hey, Sergey, are you awake? 

Sergey: [in a muffled voice] I am always awake. The last time I took a nap, Gorbachev was still the president of the USSR. When I woke up, the USSR had collapsed and I was out of a job. So I decided I will not sleep again. And it worked. Now I have a good job and the USSR did not fall anymore. It is a good system. 

Student 2: Sergey, we’re speaking with a reporter here in the USA. Can you tell her a bit about your backstory?

Sergey: Hello, American reporter. Yes, I was a KGB agent in East Germany until 1989. This bug got put into the Berlin Wall by my dear friend, Klaus, who was a bit of an idiot and didn’t warn me that the bug never turns off. So I have to constantly listen to it, except for that one time when I took a nap, which I will never do again. When Germany was reunified, I got reassigned to Siberia, but I had to keep listening to this cursed bug, so I built myself a bunker under the city of Novosibirsk and I have been listening ever since. It is very interesting. It is better than sleeping, although I don’t really remember what it is like to sleep, since it’s been about 30 years since I’ve tried it. 

E.K.: Thank you for telling us about this, Sergey. Do you have anything else you’d like to share? 

Sergey: I would like to thank you, American students, for teaching me English. When I started this job, I only knew Russian and German. But now, in your language, I can complain fluently about math exams and gossip about your friends’ relationships. This  is much more interesting than listening to Germans yelling “Achtung! Your papers, please!” [Pause.] Well, thank you very much for the interview, but I must go now. I have business to attend to. But I will keep listening, and I promise you that I won’t fall asleep again, because if I do, the bug will turn off, and the Berlin Wall will explode, and your university, and possibly the whole state of Pennsylvania, will become uninhabitable. [At this point, Sergey’s voice cut out, and indistinct beeping noises were heard.]

E.K.: Well, that was a fascinating conversation. Thank you, Student 1 and Student 2. 

Student 1: Certainly. We’re glad to be spreading awareness about this important matter. 

Student 2: You know, maybe we should send Sergey a coffee! It’ll help him stay awake, so he doesn’t fall asleep and accidentally trigger some cataclysmic event. 

E.K.: And how do you plan to get a coffee to him in a bunker under Novosibirsk? 

Student 2: I mean, there’s always DoorDash, right? 

You may not believe that this is a true story, my dear readers, but I promise you I am accurately reporting everything that happened. You can stop by the Berlin Wall yourself to check it out. Maybe there’s another device in there that’s being monitored by a German agent. You never know. And, if you’ve made it this far in the story, take this as your reminder to get at least seven hours of sleep tonight, because sleep is important. And next time you pass by the Berlin Wall, say something to Sergey. You can tell him, for instance, about the disturbing Rammy mascot from the ‘60s. This will be certain to keep him awake. 


Emily Karreman is a third-year student with majors in Russian and History and minors in Spanish and Global Studies.

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