A bumper headline sampler from today’s web media here is decidedly surreal. Inept teen thieves, parents up in arms about toddler TV programming changes, a footballing icon considering a career move to Norway, and some serious X-Files type action in an island community in Hordaland County.
Although there must have been a terrific temptation to work in either Satanists, UFOs or chupacabras into the story, tabloid VG’s web site carried a very sober version of a story broken by Bygdanytt.no – about goat mutilations.
Between Christmas and New Year’s, six goats were found in gruesome form in the mountain terrain of Osterøy. The animals had been shot, cut up and had their heads and some flesh removed. Trails of blood indicate that the animals had been dragged around the area, and a newly dug ditch was found, partly filled with bits of carcass. Some of the goats had their feet bound with rope.
Local police said that they had seen similar incidents before, and given the incredibly difficult terrain – best suited to goats – they conclude that whoever is responsible must be very well acquainted with the territory. Their working theory was that the horns or heads had specialist market value ‘in Europe’, though they did not specify exactly what kind of a market this might be.
State broadcaster NRK was barraged with complaints from furious parents after the scheduling of the extremely popular yet distinctly odd BBC children’s program ‘In the Night Garden’ (search YouTube for it, if you dare) was yanked from its usual slot on the station’s new kid’s channel.
Tabloid Dagbladet reported scenes of hysteria from parents unable to cope with the loss of the daily dose of hypnotic TV. Elin Skjeltorp, who started a Facebook protest group said she didn’t think she would have survived parenting a toddler without the show. The absence of the show resulted in graphic scenes:
“The children stood there wide-eyed and burst into tears. At our house Lego bricks were thrown at the screen. The under-4s aren’t interested in watching all that other rubbish,” Skjeltorp told Dagbladet.
Skjeltorp went on to admit that the program could be “horrible for adults to watch” but that it had an amazing relaxing effect on the little ones before bedtime. NRK has promised the show will be back, though in an earlier time slot. Skjeltorp has not taken that news well.
Even the sports news was odd, with Brazilian striker Denilson, once the world’s most expensive soccer player, reportedly announcing his interest in playing for an unnamed Norwegian club. Since his plummeting career arc has recently included a one-match stint in the Vietnamese league, maybe this news isn’t really so strange.
In an event certain to convert teen angst into lifelong trauma, a bumbling 15-year-old bandit was seized by police just hours after robbing a gas station attendant at knife-point. Described by the victim as ‘160 centimeters tall, wearing dark clothes and with a huge red pimple on his forehead’, lawmen had no trouble making an arrest, as the youth was ‘an acquaintance of the police’, as they say here. I wonder if he bothered to cover his face during the raid, and if so, how he forgot his forehead. The lad confessed, and hopefully didn’t add insult to injury by reading the papers afterwards.