Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

The sort of secret blog of Beans, a.k.a. Jules, a.k.a. "Legs for Miles" a.k.a. "Rackie the Boob Queen." Fine, ok, not the last two. Starting July 2006, sometimes "Mike," aka "fagadoccio," is a co-poster on the blog. The co-poster child, really.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Balls-Out Perdition, Finland-Style

Yesterday I went to my first Finnish house party. It started at 2 pm and ended at around 3 am, when I entered rigor mortis with a Cohiba cuban cigar smoldering in my lap.

I don't know what this picture illustrates, aside from "smoldering" and "terrible breath."

Anyway, I assumed, based on previous European field research, that young people everywhere party the same. Sure, the intoxicants may differ-- in Germany it's beer, in France it's the date-rape drug--but basically, the world over, young people stash the 'rents somewhere, get a couple of bottles of the local poison, put on some music, and peel back the confining layers of civil code until someone's, say, trying to pan-fry a Pop-Tart, pants down.

But in fact this assumption was wrong. This party's host was exceptionally thoughtful and detail-oriented (or, as I like to say during job interviews, "detail-orientated...fuck") but apparently, according to one Finn at the party, it's not exceptional for even "rough" parties to follow this pattern.

- Start by raising the national flag and giving short speech praising the weather and thanking the guests for coming, followed by public introduction of each person ("This is Paivi, Paivi is a traditional tanner from Oulu who enjoys chemical burns, sausage and Kanasta")

- Champagne toast. The American version of this would no doubt involve magnums of Freixenet hoisted in the air and drained directly into faces to the gargled shouts of revelrous intent("Pants-shitting time!" "Let's get hurt!" "Skippity fuck fuck!")
Here, glasses were filled halfway, and they lasted guests at least an hour, as discussion began to simmer on the sun-dappled terrace. SHOCKING, I realize. These people, p.s., were in their early 20's.

Americans in their early 20's

- Dinner. Table for 18. Grilled chicken, ribs, wine, pickled herring, potatoes, brown bread, vegetable skewers. A nice spread. Buffet-style.

- Drinking, dancing. Truthfully I left for about 4 hours to go to a family gathering, but when I came back, people were finishing off ice cream and it was time for sauna.

- Fresh pot of coffee.

- Sauna: women first, then mixed sauna, then men's sauna. The mixed sauna sounded like a trap to me, a trap for a whore to fall into. What woman declines the women's sauna and prefers to sauna with men? Alternately, what man refuses to sauna with the woman and wants only to sauna with other men? Why is there this option? Questions for a later date. No one opted for the mixed sauna at this now officially slut-free party: women went first, came back with a beer in hand, fresh-faced and ready to chit chat while the men went down to steam up. Where am I in all this?

I couldn't figure out whether I was a man or a woman, so I just abstained.

- So the men take 3 times as long as the women in the sauna. This is a well-known thing in Finland. They go in and out a thousand times and drink a lot of beer.

- Fresh pot of coffee for the women. Eventually the women went down to get the men out of the sauna because they were taking too long. The men are drunk and wearing tiny towels and sitting around.

- Everyone gets dressed (that step happens HOURS later at American parties) and we proceed to table again.

- Sauna gives you an appetite. Sausage and salad.

- More coffee. (It's about 1 am) Chocolate cake and cognac.

- Cigars, chocolates, more cognac.

This is where they lost me. I had to crash. Unlike them, I wasn't hopped up on wad-loads of caffeine. Who knows what they did after I left. But I bet it was 700% more civilized than Mike falling asleep in a papoose on my back as I vom in a gutter.


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