MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Lesson # 20 : SWEDEN
Right, you horrible lot, it's time for another mental smear test. Lie back in the chair as I prepare my speculum of learning. Open wide and say "Ahhhhh!" this won't hurt a bit, so relax. Sorry if my hands are cold. I just got back from Stockholm.
Yes, Stockholm, in Sweden, and as part of an occasional series throwing light on different European cultures, Summy here thought it might be illuminating to shine a mad knowledge torch up the innermost crevice of that kink in the Scandanavian fallopian tube that is Sweden. But before we get balls-deep into this moistened love-chute, let's take a few precautions.
AMERICAN READERSHIP: PLEASE READ THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH CAREFULLY
Sit down, breath deeply, put that greasy Taco to one side and dispense with your uzi. What I am about to tell you may cause more confusion and distress than a blind puma in an infant school. Ready? Good. It's like this.... outside of the magnificent trailerparks and downtrodden slums of your fine nation, there exist other nations whom you arm, throw bombs at and open crass McDonald's restaurants in. This territory is known as "the rest of the world."
I realise it is of little consequence for many Americans, but much can be learnt from their different lifestyles: hence this column (see also previous Ministry Of Culture columns). When you are ready and have checked this basic assertion in an atlas, please continue with this column at your own pace. If you find the thought of this concept disturbing please go back to your weaponry and fast food.
SWEDEN? What's that all about then? Eh? Eh? Tell me that feller-me-lad!
Bigger and Emptier than Jay Leno's head, twice the size of Britain with a total population smaller than that of London, it's one vast empty IKEA showroom (without the hordes of scrapping newlyweds). All the floors are stripped pine and tasteful scattercushions are spread liberally around the place - so it's like a rich hippy's idea of the afterlife.
So big is it, they put it on top of the globe to stop us floating into space. So empty is it that all people passing too close actually get sucked in via osmosis. Or is that Brownian motion? Who cares. Not I, you arse, and that's the truth. It's big and empty, and that's all you need to know. Apart from this….
SOME POPULAR MYTHS EXPLODED.
The Myth: To say a Swede loves sex is like saying Hitler was a little bit naughty. They love it. All they do all day is run butt naked, from sauna to jacuzzi with nothing but sweet love on their minds and petroleum jelly on their probing fingers. It is, of course, a positive boon that all the men are handsome and all the women are beautiful - if this attitude were adopted in Maidstone, Kent, UK it would be a truly disturbing spectacle.
The reality: During Uncle Summy's visit, he only encountered 30 - 40 gorgeous women, and didn't find any of the men attractive. Apparently it's better in the summer. My hotel was in Upsalla, not Stockholm, and that's where they send the ugly ones. (Yeah, I know, I know.) Angry looks greeted my own attempts at a nude frolic, resulting in mild embarrassment and a milk-curdling incident in the hotel lobby.
The Myth: When they are not munching on each other's privates, they're topping themselves. Be it hanging, gassing, shooting or simply staving their faces in with bricks, they can't get enough of it. It's a wonder there's anyone there left at all by jiminy.
The reality: Sweden, contrary to popular myth, does not have the highest suicide rate in Europe. That belongs to the Fins. No, the Swedes love life and are fed up to the back teeth with this "Suicide Capital" malarkey. So wash your mouth out, and say sorry to Sven for even daring to suggest such a thing. They actually have the second highest, and that's only because there are people who are so angered at the unjust reputation Sweden has, they take their own lives.
The Myth: It's dark for 4 years at a time, and then you get four years of agonising bright white light that blinds everyone, causing them to blunder around madly flailing their arms shouting "Ohhhh - lorks, vot iss going awwwwn? Ya?"
The Truth: You have twenty hours of darkness in midwinter and twenty of sunlight in summer. Whichever way you cut it, let's have a party.
The Myth: Swedes gave us Abba, and a legion of bady frothy-haried Euro-rockers in spandex.
The Truth: Swedes gave us Abba, and a legion of bady frothy-haried Euro-rockers in spandex.
WHY DO SWEDISH PEOPLE HAVE MULLET HAIRCUTS AND DRAINPIPE JEANS LIKE SOME SORT OF MIDWESTERN JOHN HUGHES HIGH-SCHOOL MOVIE EXTRA?
Beats me, but many of them do. Bruce Springsteen is still, ahem, "The Boss" over there. White trainers with the tongues hanging out and really dark denim jackets are de rigeur over there as well. Still, we can't all be the same, or who'd buy assorted biscuits?
An examination of Sweden would be woefully incomplete without a mention of the Vikings. Therefore this analysis is woefully incomplete.
Oh, alright then. The Vikings were a barmy-daft horde of destroyers, whose only interests were warfare, drinking and facial hair. Their high salt intake and preponderance for psychedelic mushrooms led to them forging plans to take over the globe with nothing but a big boat and loads of yobs with axes. Wahey. A bit like Motorhead then.
Historians are often puzzled by the sudden disappearance of the Vikings, but as usual I have an answer. The Vikings did not cease to exits. They are in fact getting ready to return to reclaim their rightful place as world leaders. They are presently targeting Washington DC, and let me warn you now, when those longboats come up the Hudson, you'd better learn how to fight.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?
Sweden is full of badly dressed good looking people who want to have sex with you
Although sex and nudity are not taboo in Sweden one should remember that wanking at a funeral is often frowned upon.
The Vikings are coming.
Until next time
Bajern 4 eva