Aug 16 2010
Remember when we were kids and we would stroll down to the local penny candy shop to buy as many World Sauna Championship cards as our messy handful of nickels and dimes would allow? We would run home, with old Mrs. Walker’s crazy dog nipping at our heels the entire way, to see which of our favorite sauna athletes we got.
After gathering together in one of our various secret backyard clubhouses, the ritual would begin. First, the wrappers were carefully opened and that horrible pink gum stick was devoured as if it was $1,000 caviar. Next, we began to sort though the cards and the faces of our heroes would reveal themselves. It was glorious! Soon our secret fort would fill with the sound of excited young voices saying, “I got a Bjarne Hermansson!” or “No way, a rookie Annikki Peltonen card!” and “Timo, I got a Timo Kaukonen!” Of course some very serious wheeling and dealing took place for the next hour or so. Timmy would trade a sack of marbles for Skippy’s Ilkka Pöyhiä and Bobby would be forced to give up his pet toad AND a slingshot for his chance to own an extremely rare Katri Kämäräinen.
That night, next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.
Anyway… Oh yeah, and it kills you.
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