2006 roundup: the lighter side of Swedish life

Here at The Local we've been striving throughout 2006 to keep our readers not only informed of weighty matters of state and business, but also of the lighter side of Swedish life.

This was the year, for example, when Swedish prisoners finally lost their knack of escaping from the country’s high security institutions. A group of prisoners was quickly apprehended when they tried to scale a fence by attaching knives and forks to their shoes.

Another Swede trying to make his escape this year was four-year-old Suljo Smaic from Landskrona, who thankfully emerged unhurt after crashing his father’s car as he tried to get to McDonald’s.

This was also the year that female pupils at Stockholm’s Björkhagen School were ‘disgusted’ when they found a model in their school gym wearing only a thong and smoking a cigarette.

Another scantily-clad Swede caused even more trouble when the Albanian military were called in after she took her bikini top off on a local beach.

With all this female nudity around, what is happening to Swedish manhood? Well, worring intelligence emerged in August in a study from the Karolinska Institute. Apparently, one in eight Swedish men has admitted spying on others having sex, while one in twenty men say they have been turned on by exposing themselves to a stranger.

Also getting into trouble for their interest in the opposite sex were two passport control officers, who kept passport photos of “exceptionally beautiful women” in their “Britney Temple”. The two officers were issued warnings.

Swedes have a reputation for enjoying a tipple, but it seems that the local fauna deserves to share the reputation. Schoolchildren were reportedly terrified when a “completely crazy” drunken elk started skulking around the schoolyard. Another unfortunate drunken animal drowned after falling through the ice on a lake in northern Sweden.

Another member of the animal kingdom to meet an unfortunate end this year was the mink who found himself in a toilet being used by 15-year-old hunter Niklas Larsson. The mink, which had crawled up through the pipes, was promptly blasted to bits by one of Niklas’s colleagues.

With Christmas marking the birth of Christ, it would only be appropriate to remind readers that this was the year that a Swedish hospital told Jesus to change his name. The Jesus in question, a nurse, was asked to make the change as patients had tended to worry when told ‘Jesus will soon be with you’.

And in a fitting 21st century version of the nativity story, a taxi functioned as the stable and a taxi driver took the place of the Innkeeper as a baby called Jesus was born in the back of his cab.

God Jul!