(Tasteless). According Svenska Dagbladet there is a row going on in Finland over pictures taken on the Russian front during the war (in which Finland was for a while, unwillingly, an ally of Germany). These have been kept secret ever since, because they are not conducive to good relations with Russia. The paper reproduced one of them: a spy with his hand in the air, about to be shot with an automatic pistol, but it says the real problems are the ones showing Russian soldiers reduced to cannibalism: in particular there is meant to be a corpse who has in his mess tin one of a comrade’s ribs.
Naturally, I went over the the Finnish papers to try to learn more. But the only one in Swedish has some kind of subscription deal going, which I could not be bothered to sign up for, though it does look very slick. Helsingin Sanomat has a little English-language edition, which made no mention of this story. On the other hand, it did have news of a fracas on one of the Silja line ferries, when the board of directors held their annual general meeting there. It was on one of these boats that I sat up till five in the morning once, drinking wth Vladimir Bukowski and a woman from Toronto whose father owned a Volkswagen dealership. But nowadays they seem to shut the bars more promptly. Predictable trouble ensued, and one of the Estonian directors punched a barman who refused to accept a bribe to keep open. The story continues:
“discussions continued in the ship’s office, where Mehtonen [the Finnish CEO] made it clear that because of poor service and lack of professional skill among the personnel, the ship’s whole crew would soon be changed for a new one, and above all, a cheaper one.”
In the morning the members of the group arrived at breakfast bringing their own beer and strong spirits with them.
They were so noisy that the other passengers complained.
“In addition, the group tried to prepare toasted fish for themselves from the buffet table, at which point the toaster that they used caught fire. Thanks to quick action by the personnel, the situation was brought under control.”
What kind of a hangover makes you want to put herrings in the toaster?