Silly season

Or ‘cucumber news’ (agurknytt) as they call it here. The time of year when you don’t have to feel a twinge of guilt for putting something odd out on the ‘net or in your newspaper.

So police and and the local doctor are dispatched when a fisherman in Sand in Western Norway lands what appears to be a human penis. Perhaps the scariest part of that story was that the doctor announced categorically that the catch was not what it appeared to be, but nevertheless, no one had been able to identify what it actually was.

As Norway sweltered in temperatures normally associated with the Punjab, a man in North-Trøndelag County took out an ad in his local paper Namdalsavisa, offering to pay NOK 5,000 (USD 785) per dried kilo of black fly, having been driven to his wit’s end by the pests. The paper noted that no one had managed to work out exactly how many black flies you would have to kill to get a kilo dry weight, and I have to admit coming up empty after trying to determine their average individual weight. So the job would probably have to have an element of love for the work.

2009 is a national election year, and with an autumn vote political coverage can’t stop for the summer,  it just changes a bit. That’s why the Progress Party (FrP) stole a few headlines when FrP politician Robert Kaastad was taken away by police in Os after a wild night on the town.

The police first responded to a call from a nightspot, where bouncers had subdued Kaastad after he allegedly caused a variety of disturbances. Police asked him to leave the area, which he did, but their paths crossed again at a gas station, where the politician reportedly gave them the finger before turning around, pulling his pants down, and giving them a lunar view.

In typically brash (and confusing) FrP style, Kaastad told newspaper Bergensavisen (BA) that he had not gestured or given the cops the finger, but happily admitted to mooning them. “But if anyone feels offended by the sight of my pale butt, I apologize,” Kaastad told BA. It will be interesting to see if quotes like that pull the FrP out of a recent slump in the polls.

Finally, Marius Langlete (28) from Trondheim apparently made it to all the major US news networks after tangling with a crazy naked man on a flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles earlier this week. The VG coverage of this event was wonderful summer reading, from the opening quote (“Excuse me, but you’re naked”) to the blow-by-blow account of the action.

Langlete told the paper that a stewardess only giggled when he tried to explain the man sitting next to him had gotten naked, and the Norwegian ended up helping a policeman on board subdue the passenger, who went berserk when the lawman tried to cuff him.  A temporary media darling, Marius said that he had more or less covered the cost of his holiday from interview fees and the press were still hounding him.

Even better (to me) was the revelation that Langlete had recently been in the news for being in a car collision with a moose in June, a story that ballooned thanks to the presence of a sexy reality TV star being one of the passengers. Marius seems to be riding some very strange karma.

VG also wins agurk headline of the week, with: “Monster ladybug threatens Norway”.

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