A ‘Clone-a-Willy’ kit? The things one needs to do to integrate

Tipping Point: Shocked by the adult nature of some of the literature landing on her doormat, Kathleen Harman goes in search of a family-friendly feast.

I don’t know if you have had Teknikmagasinet’s latest catalogue through your letter box yet but if you haven’t, you are in for a real treat.

For those of you unfamiliar with the above, Teknikmagasinet is a high street retailer of electronic gadgets and associated semi novelty toys like remote controlled cars and disco globes. At around this time of year, they, like many other companies, mail shoot households. I don’t think that the marketing is very sophisticated – it’s just blanket junk mail that Sweden seems to produce so much of, which is quite surprising for such a nation of avid recyclers.

So, most things do just go from the door mat to recycling bin but a brief scan of the front cover revealed that if I turned to page 163, I could find out all about their new ‘Clone-a-Willy’ kit. Those cunning marketing people certainly had me hooked with that catchy strap line.

And sure enough, sandwiched in between pedometers and electric kettles, are Teknikmagasinet’s selection of vibrators and ‘Clone-a-Willy’ kits (that’s a ‘Clone-a-Schlong’ kit for those of you not used to the British vernacular), complete with a set of instructions and pictures, that seems to depict a plaster of Paris concoction and a model of a man’s enthusiastic rude parts.

The final picture shows a lady being presented with this fetching facsimile. There is a speech bubble above her head saying, ’That’s wonderful darling’, although you can see from her fixed smile that she would rather have had the electric kettle, featured on page 164.

Anyway, the reason for describing page 163 in such lurid detail is not really to be salacious but rather to highlight the fact that this must be one of the biggest cultural differences I have come across to date. I cannot think of any other country where a catalogue containing sex toys and photos of replica down-below parts, is mail dropped indiscriminately.

Mind you, it is also hard to imagine a high street retailer actually selling sex toys. Can you imagine the shopping list? Pack of CDs, a USB cable, an extension cable for the phone, and, oh yes, a Double Seduction dildo (page 162, I couldn‘t help but notice). Golly, the things one needs to do to integrate….

It’s right up there with the proprietor of our local DVD shop telling me that ‘Borat’ was an entirely suitable family film. Which of course it is, if your five year old enjoys watching naked wrestling Kazakhstani men sniffing each other’s bottoms. While I accept that the average five year old would probably find this very funny indeed, it is really not what would be classed as ‘suitable’ viewing in most other societies, including, I suspect, Kazakhstan. But hey, what do I know?

However, one entirely suitable place to bring young and old alike is the Dragon House restaurant by Hornstull on Södermalm. Every week day lunch time they do an Asian and sushi lunch buffet costing 75 kronor for grown ups and 55 kronor for small people, that is if they can be prized away from watching naked wrestling Kazakhstani men on the television.

The food is great and you can keep going back for more. One of my friends even has a special pair of ‘Dragon buffet trousers’, with extra elasticity, to take full advantage of the occasion.

The buffet menu changes on a daily basis but basically every day there are five hot dishes to tuck into, ranging from Gong Bao Beef through to Szechuan Chicken, together with a selection of sushi.

The restaurant is very popular and can get fairly busy at traditional early lunch time. I would recommend that you aim for slightly later, say around one o’clock, when things have died down a bit. This means that you can get the table you want, and avoid all that unseemly elbowing and jostling in the queue for the food.

The Dragon House is a really good venue if you are trying to get quite a large group together. I am often in a party of about eight or ten people, but because of the banquette seating, everyone can be accommodated together. This has the added advantage of making yourself seem really, really popular. As soon as people have been once, they will always reschedule to make a repeat date at the Dragon, even if it does mean putting off plaster casting their nether regions for another time.

Kathleen Harman


The Local’s Swedish film of the month: Jönssonligan

Film writer Peter Larkin reviews Swedish classic 'Varning för Jönssonligan'.

The Local's Swedish film of the month: Jönssonligan
Gösta Ekman as Sickan in one of the other Jönssonligan films, 'Jönssonligan gets Gold Fever' (1984). Photo: SF

Legendary Swedish actor Gösta Ekman passed away earlier this year. One of his best known roles was as criminal mastermind Charles Ingvar 'Sickan' Jönsson.

Nine Jönssonligan films have been made between 1981 and 2015. Ekman starred as Sickan in the first four films. The films are based on an original Danish film series (The Olsen-Gang).

The first Swedish film was 'Varning för Jönssonligan' (1981, international title: 'Beware of the Johnson Gang').

Ragnar Grippe's light and thoughtful piano theme sets the audience up for what is an enjoyable film very much of its time. 

Sickan and his chums Rocky (Nils Brandt) and Ragnar (Ulf Brunnberg) plan revenge on villainous businessman Wall-Enberg (Per Grunden). It's innocent and fun, and no doubt very nostalgic for many Swedes looking back at the Stockholm society of the 1980s.

Ekman's brilliant comic timing is displayed in many scenes, such as his failed escape attempts from crime scenes. Brunnberg's lean figure stands in between the madness while he comments and cringes at certain moments. Brandt's physical strength is put to hilarious use as he blocks a villain from exiting a shed door.

Brandt, Brunnberg and Ekman together make a fantastic team as they scheme very elaborate plans to crack safes masterminded by Sickan. Ekman has great fun in the role.

Peter Larkin is an Irish film writer currently based in Sweden. Read his blog here.