Thursday, May 8, 2014

Secret Swedish Fish Storehouse Explodes

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
The warehouse where the Swedish ski team keeps its supply of surstroemming has exploded, sending tons of the stinky fermented herring into a nearby village. We would normally not report this story because the BBC has already printed it. One of our intrepid reporters was dispatched to Sweden to give our readers the Blickbild's unique perspective on this story. Our reporter met up with our old friend and former Schladming police chief Hermann Mayer, who is now a special consultant for crime prevention on the FIS World Cup Alpine skiing circuit. We also had the chance to interview Lars-Ulf Olsson, who is an expert on exploding marine life. Let's find out what they have to say.

BB: Mr. Olsson, are you related to Hans or Matts Olsson?
Olsson: No. Olsson is a very common surname in Sweden. It is like Smith in England or the States, Schmidt or Mueller in Germany, or Li in China. Hans, Matts, and I may have a common ancestor, but you would have to go back very far to find one.
BB: What caused the warehouse to explode?

Olsson: Surstroemming naturally expand because of the gases created during the fermentation process. That is the reason why cans of them are bulging. If you see a can of surstroemming that is not bulging, never buy it.
BB: I can see why one can would explode because of the fermenting process. But what would cause a whole warehouse to explode?
Olsson: It was a simple chain reaction. Once one can exploded, then the heat generated by that explosion became a catalyst to make the others blow up.
BB: Because surstroemming naturally expands due to fermentation gas pressure, how can it be stored to prevent explosions?
Olsson: That is very tricky. The cans have to be placed far enough apart so that if one explodes, it won't affect the others. Whoever put the cans of surstroemming in the warehouse that blew up was obviously not experienced with the safe handling of surstroemming.
BB: Is this warehouse explosion connected in any way to the exploding whales in Newfoundland?
Olsson: They are related in a way. When whales get beached and start decomposing, the gases generated due to decomposition expand inside the whale. Pressure builds up and causes the whale to explode.
BB: Both whales and surstroemming explode from pressure due to gas buildup. What about penguins?
Olsson: I'm sorry, I am not familiar with any cases of exploding penguins.
BB: Our intrepid research team spent many hours watching Monty Python videos and found one with an exploding penguin (watch this video). Can you take a guess as to what caused the penguin to explode?
Olsson:  I would say that electricity from the TV built up inside the penguin, causing its nerves to short circuit and explode.
BB: So the exploding penguin had nothing to do with the surstroemming storehouse or the whale in Newfoundland?
Olsson: No. The penguin is totally unrelated even though penguins, whales, and herring are all sea creatures.
BB: I see. Thank you for the information. Herr Mayer, how did you get involved? What does a warehouse explosion in a remote area of Sweden have to do with the skiing World Cup?
Mayer: The warehouse that blew up happened to be where the Swedish ski team was storing its supply of surstroemming for the next ski racing season. It was in a remote location because the Swedish ski team didn't want the public to know about it. Otherwise, any recreational skier would want to break in and steal the surstroemming.
BB: According to the BBC report, there were tons of surstroemming being stored in that warehouse. Are the Swedish ski racers really going to eat that much in one season?
Mayer: They have big appetites because they are professional athletes.
BB: I see that your faithful dog Fido is with you. Did he eat any of the evidence?
Mayer: No! He took one sniff and ran away. Have you ever smelled surstroemming? There is a reason we are working in space suits with our own air supply.
BB: As a matter of fact, I have both smelled and tasted it, which was an experience that I will never forget. (short pause) Were you called to work on this case because someone in the FIS suspects foul play?
Mayer: Yes. We are looking for evidence of foul play. I know that Herr Olsson said that surstroemming spontaneously explodes naturally. But we know that there are racers out there who don't want the Swedish team to succeed.
BB: Who doesn't want Sweden to succeed? Their racers are well-liked, although Andre Myhrer and Ivica Kostelic's father may not be the best of friends these days. Even Germany forgave Sweden for abducting their witch doctor.
Mayer: We are exploring all of the possibilities. Now that Dr. Mabongo's curse has been lifted, there may be some competitors who are out to harm Swedish racers. We know that Norway is getting upset because surstroemming is getting more attention these days than ojlmsfjaegger.
BB: Do you know if any ojlmsfjaegger has spontaneously exploded?
Mayer: I haven't heard of any cases of exploding ojlmsfjaegger. Perhaps Herr Olsson knows.
Olsson: Ojlmsfjaegger does not explode because there is no fermentation or expansion of gas inside the salmon. Since the salmon part of ojlmsfjaegger is the sauce, there is no reason for it to explode. Fish sauce does not explode. Only intact fish do. I don't think that either reindeer hearts or chocolate would explode, though we would have to ask an expert on exploding deer or cocoa beans. My specialty is exploding marine creatures.
BB: Herr Mayer, has your team found any evidence of foul play?
Mayer: Not yet. But we have a list of suspects. There is Norway for the reason I already told you. Germany is also on our short list because they could have made the warehouse explode as revenge for kidnapping their witch doctor last year. Two Swedish skiers won races when they were supposed to be under a curse that prevented them from winning as punishment for abducting Dr. Mabongo. Croatia is another country on our short list. Andre Myhrer called Ante Kostelic an idiot for his course setting at the Sochi Olympics. Maybe Ante didn't really accept Andre's apology and decided to dispense his own brand of justice. The last suspect on our short list is someone from Head who is upset that Felix Neureuther decided to stay with his Nordica skis. So far we have not found any incendiary devices.
Olsson: One can of surstroemming is the perfect incendiary device. Exploding herring is just as effective, if not more so, than a grenade or bomb. And it smells much worse!
BB: That is true. Could someone from one of those teams have planted a can of surstroemming in the warehouse at close enough range to set off a chain reaction?
Mayer: We are exploring that possibility and checking every piece of metal for fingerprints.
BB: Going back to Head being a suspect...Felix is from Germany and not Sweden. Why would they blow up a Swedish warehouse out in the middle of nowhere?
Mayer: Perhaps the people at Head have the same geographical knowledge as the group that tried to invade Slovenia but ended up in Siberia.
BB: To this day nobody knows the fate of that invasion force. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank both of you for this interview. Herr Mayer, please keep us informed on your team's progress.
Mayer: I will.
BB: Mr. Olsson, thank you for your expertise on exploding fish and whales. I hope that you two can work together to determine the real cause of the warehouse explosion. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

 The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters do not spontaneously explode. When gas builds up inside them, they fart.
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