April Fools' Day

Sweden’s silliest April Fools’ Day tricks

Sweden's silliest April Fools' Day tricks
Could Swedish supermarket shelves look like this? Photo: TT
Alcohol is set to be sold in a Swedish supermarket, buses are introducing 'selfie zones' and Malmö football club's new grass contains cannabis, if you believe the country's newspapers. Here's The Local's round-up of this year's April Fool gags.
1. Supermarket to trial selling alcohol
If you live in Sweden you'll know that apart from a few low alcohol beers and ciders, alcohol is absent from grocery stores and only available at state-run Systembolaget branches. So you can imagine the joy that readers of the NSD paper felt when they were told that the Luleå branch of supermarket chain ICA was going to be the first in the country to experiment with selling British gin. The paper reported that specially-trained staff would sell the spirit over the counter.
2. Ice Hotel renamed to avoid Isis links
A bad taste report in Nyheter24 suggested that Sweden's Ice Hotel was being renamed to avoid confusion with the militant Islamist group Isis, also known as IS. The news site suggested that Snow Star Hotel would be its new title. While this joke might seem far fetched, Swedish police recently got caught out by some 21st birthday balloons that they thought were IS propaganda.
3. Malmö gets wrong type of grass for pitch
Southern Swedish regional paper Skanska Dagbladet wrote that new grass for Malmö's football ground purchased from the Netherlands included cannabis seeds, which were now growing into plants and damaging the pitch. Journalists speculated on how to resolve the crisis ahead of the start of Sweden's top football league, Allsvenskan, which gets underway on April 9th.The story wasn't so far away from a real event four years ago when mould spread across the pitch at Trelleborg FF, forcing them to play their first home game away.
4. Selfie ban on buses
Swedish bus company Swebus announced that it was banning selfies in common areas on buses, after some passengers disrupted drivers with their behaviour. The company said it would instead allocate a several special 'selfie' seats per bus where people could take photos of themselves or with others.
5. Banking happy hours
With interest rates at record lows in Sweden, newspaper Dagens Industri joked that customers could be charged "the price of a cinema ticket" for meetings with banking staff, as part of fresh efforts from banks to generate income. The paper said that banks would offer "happy hour" periods at discounted rates. The move was said to have been arranged as an alternative to closing branches.
6. The Swedish Viking town using a Scottish sound
Here at The Local we reported that the way Swedes say 'no' is slightly different in one isolated town in the south of the country, where many Vikings settled in the 10th century after returning from Scotland. We went to Åkeby in Kalmar to investigate why the strange, Scottish-sounding phrase 'ach nae' had stuck around for centuries and interviewed a renowned linguistics professor from Stockholm university. Our story was retweeted by members of the Scottish National Party and lingustics forums. But the town doesn't exist and neither does the expression.
All photos: TT