Chicken Run

Summer gives newspapers a headache. Everyone who is anyone is either sheltering from the rain in their summer cottages or making the suntan-crazy Swedes mad with jealousy by developing unnaturally orange hues on some Croatian island. This means that relatively unremarkable events are reported in often mind-numbing detail.

A case in point might be the ‘drama’ of the decoupling train carriages, reported in Tuesday’s DN. The night train, which was on its way from Gothenburg to Östersund, was delayed for over five hours after some of the carriages came detached near Uppsala. Over five hundred people were on board, but according to DN, the vast majority slept through it all.

DN, perhaps sensing that “train slightly delayed – passengers sleep through it” wasn’t going to give an immediate boost to circulation figures, tried to spice the story up with a few quotes.

“I’ve worked for the railways for twenty years, and never seen anything like it,” Swedish Railways’ spokesman told the paper. Well, at least now the Swedish Railways’ press office won’t be short of dinner party conversation for the next twenty years.

Perhaps more aware of their situation than the sleeping train passengers were the eight thousand chickens that blocked the E6 motorway last Monday, after the truck they were travelling in overturned. The accident, near Varberg on the east coast, resulted in “live and dead chickens blocking the road in both directions.”

Over 1,500 birds were killed in the accident, reported Göteborgs Posten.

“It was really macabre,” fireman Magnus Petersson told the paper. “It was lucky that the accident didn’t happen when the weather was at its hottest, because even as it was the stench was indescribable.”