This witty tale by Jerzy Łukosz can be understood on many levels. One of them deals with the process of transformation Poland has been going through. We observe mental twists and turns of a Polish family under the oppression of capitalism. An individual bound by the newly born system is getting less compassionate and more self-centred. Another important field of the author’s interests is a dynamic nature of human relations.
When Mr Nunek appears, professor Jan’s family is struggling with poverty and chaos. They are overburdened and cannot bear the old, battered house they are living in. The roof is leaking, the walls are shaking, the electricity doesn’t work and the clock doesn’t make sense, striking the hours every few minutes. In the dark corridors of the basement there are mice running. Mr Nunek, a man of Herculean muscles, an unemployed, homeless victim of a mysterious accident (“Somebody has pushed me!”) emerges – silent and miserable. He is a house worker and according to the ancient council law he believes he belongs to the house he works for. He is able to take control of the electricity and the basement. He moves around like a ghost, a spirit of the skittle-alley that used to live once in the building. Having been offered food, bath and shelter, he starts repairing the structure of the house. Owing to his efforts, many subconscious processes have been released inside the family. Everybody displays some newly acquired features. The family has been successfully adapted to the new conditions. Their life improves wonderfully. Finally the man takes over the family and replaces the Father who starts taking upon himself all the features of Nunek. After the last completion of the building, professor Jan is no longer needed in the house. The wife and the children prefer Nunek’s company. Eventually, Jan is being accused of attempting homicide and illegal distribution of alcohol. Having experienced a mysterious accident (“Somebody has pushed me!”), Jan takes to heavy drinking. Now he emerges in front of the family – dirty and silent, like a pile of old rags.