Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Last week, I posted an open letter to the world’s Finns asking what the hell is a “Sauna Bar.” I saw one while walking through Madrid last week, and became titillated…er…I mean, suspicious.

I’ve since received the response below from my friends Hanna and Jussi in Helsinki. Yes, this is their actual response (with only minor grammatical editing on my part).

Hey there Sal the pal,

Jussi has some secret strategic connections which we cannot talk about publicly. These contacts have conducted, at his urging, a serious and deep investigation of this mystery place called “SAUNA BAR.” Here are the results of the investigation and the Finnish jury.

The background of this matter is somewhat similar to Russia’s top secret Space Projects…and to the US’s UFO project (which is supposed to be “Top Secret” but of course…everybody knows about NASA Field no. 51).

Anyway, the SAUNA BAR is a top secret Finnish governmental project that was established decades ago. The government’s goal was to develop a “Heaven for Finns”…and *only* for Finns. Why only for Finns? Because we didn’t think that other people would enjoy our version of Heaven (i.e., sitting in a sweatbox with a group of extremely quiet Finns…boring, no small talk or chit chat, etc.).

As result, scientists developed the SAUNA BAR as the place where Finns go after death. It is, quite simply, a sauna combined with a bar. In other words, it is a one-stop Heaven for Finns; as it would be too difficult for Finns to choose if there were 2 Heavens (i.e., one Heaven being a sauna, and the other Heaven being a Bar—we would simply never be able to decide where we want to end up after death).

Given the above explanation, your readers might be wondering what is “Hell for Finns.” We actually have two. One Hell is a Bar where you do not have cash and they do not take credit cards. The other Hell is a Sauna that is cold.

I hope these results of Jussi’s investigations help you with figuring out the SAUNA BAR mystery, and I hope that you are not very disappointed that they do not accept any non-Finns there.


Hanna (on behalf of Jussi and Hanna)
Helsinki, Finland

So there you have it. The mystery is solved.

I believe that Hanna’s and Jussi’s response is important for two reasons. First, it solves the Sauna Bar mystery. And second, it proves that the Finns—who are perceived to be a very quiet and serious people—are, in fact, bonkers to the core.

Vanha mies jolla on puujalka!


At 8:07 PM, Anonymous jussi and hanna said...

Hi there Sal the pal,

Thank you for making us famous by letting the world know about the mystery of the SAUNA BAR. We plan to spend our retirement days there provided that my excemption request is approved by the director in write (the highest director upstairs).

It feels great to be famous and being in Internet - we feel like world famous rock stars, something like the Rolling Stones. Actually we cannot leave the building and the apartment at all, because there are masses of fans out there screaming at us and asking for autographs and some underwear (the men ask for Jussi´s underwear and the ladies ask for mine) ... isn´that shocking. Where is the world going anyway, I did not know there are fans like that. But anyway we will try to escape from the back of the building by tyeing together some bedsheets with knots and making a rope for us. Unfortunately we will never meet you because we plan to go to the sauna bar and spend the rest of our lives there. We also plan to leave our current careers behind us and plan to become multimillionaires due to the article you have now published. We will also, unfortunately, have to leave FInland for good due to having revealed the top secret Finnish strategic R&D project to the world and therefore we will be considered as the worst criminals there can be in the Finnish history, including the war criminals (there are no such, luckily, in the FInnish history).

Thanks again for publishing the article, you will hear about us on the 60 minutes on TV soon.

Sincerely yours,

Jussi and Hanna

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Thank you for writing 80% of the article for me.

I've only visited Finland once, but I loved it. Why?

- In the summer, it's light until 2am.

- The people are very calm and quite (and, I couldn't help but notice, enormous...in the Schwartzenegger-sense).

- Vodka is served between each course of each meal...including breakfast.

- Everyone speaks English (compared to Finnish, English is a piece of cake).

- Sauna is the national sport. If you must sweat, then you might as well do it while sitting down.

- It is socially-acceptable to smack someone's naked buttocks with a tree branch.

- Reindeer tastes good. Real good!

- Renny Harlin and his atrocious movies are in the US...not in Finland.

- Did I mention that vodka is served between each course of each meal?

For these reasons and others, we Spaniards (and Spain-bound expats) are happy to have a little slice of Finland here in Madrid.

Kiitos again for divulging state secrets. And put away that tree branch!!!



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