It's holiday season in Sweden, which traditionally means the whole nation near-literally shuts down as Swedes flee the cities to hole themselves up in their countryside 'sommarstugor' (summer houses).
This puts a strain on newspapers, which still have to find something to fill their columns every day. We have collected some of the very best (or worst?) stories from this year's extremely silly season in Sweden.
1. Woman opens fridge. Finds exploded dairy product.
One Swedish woman left a jar of quark behind in her fridge when she went on holiday. When she returned, the lid had come off and some of the fermented milk had seeped out. Being the newest in-vogue food item among the health obsessed and trend sensitive Swedes, the country's biggest newspaper was quickly on the case, writing headlines about the “quark explosion” and asking her what she wanted to tell other quark enthusiasts. She replied: “I don't know. It's a tough question. I don't think you have to worry.”
Click here to see the pictures. Warning: may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
Please note these are not the dairy products mentioned in the story. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
2. Thieving cat steals hot dog
One second you have four hot dogs on the barbecue, the next second there are only three left. That's because the neighbour's cat casually strolled into the garden and nicked it. The Swedish woman in this story was interviewed after she shared a picture with her friends of her rather petite pet, Snuttan, returning with her jaws firmly clutched around the oversized sausage. We should add that although this is clearly a silly season story, we have to admit that we giggled at the picture.
— Nyheter24 (@Nyheter24) July 16, 2016
3. Don't worry, there are enough blueberries for everyone
There's no news like good news and Swedes love their fruit and berries. So newspapers were quick to report on figures from Sweden's biggest agricultural university (SLU), which told major news agency TT that their forecast indicated it was going to be the best year for blueberries since they began keeping records 13 years ago. Oh, Sweden. You just have to love a country that keeps official statistics on blueberries.
At least it came as a relief after last year's “disastrous” strawberry shortage.
Blueberries to the left of them, blueberries to the right of them. Photo: Vidar Ruud/NTB/TT
4. Dog bites man
In journalism, unusual events are often considered more newsworthy than something that's commonplace. A plane that crashed is more likely to grab headlines than a plane that did not crash (because most planes don't). This phenomenon is described in the saying 'man bites dog' – meaning that a story about a man who bit a dog is news, but a dog who bit a man is not, because it happens so often.
Except if it's July, and it's Sweden, and you are desperately trying to find something to write about. Then it is good enough for the country's public broadcaster.
— SVT Nyheter Småland (@svtsmaland) July 24, 2016
5. Guinea pig in hedge
Once upon a time there was a resident in Bromölla, southern Sweden, who had been hearing strange rustling noises emanating from his garden hedge since last summer. He thought it was hedgehogs. It wasn't. After a year of suspense it turned out to be a guinea pig. The end.
We can only imagine how the local news reporter heard about this and went “thank goodness, finally I've got some actual news to write about after all these blueberry booms and man-biting dogs”.
6. Postman delivers mail to the wrong Andersson
Seriously, life ain't a walk in the park when you have Sweden's most common surname.
— Svenska ettor (@svenska_ettor) July 25, 2016
7. It just gets sillier and sillier
We recognize it's not easy trying to squeeze news out of the proverbial rock. So why don't you join us in making fun of ourselves by reading about these pooping birds plaguing a Swedish tourist town, the weather presenter who went viral after he left his fly down on live television, or this Swede who really looks like Vincent van Gogh (complete with follow-up of TWO Swedes who really look like Vincent van Gogh).
What most of Sweden is doing these days. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT