…did not burn this year.
Okidoki. It’s Monday morning. It’s raining. Apparently, I’m the only douchewad who is working today. And, the fucking goat did not burn. Why not run over one of my cats (hipster crazy cat lady) and make this day a complete exercise in suckitude?
For those unaware, I have a marginally unhealthy obsession with the julbock in the town square of Gävle, Sweden. A julbock (Yule goat) is a symbol of Christmas in Scandinavia. Present day, it is a Christmas ornament made of straw and bound with red ribbon. One could hang small versions on a tree, place larger ones around the base of the tree (we put ours on the mantel because…cats) and insanely large ones are erected in town squares. Here is a picture of Gävlebocken in its unnatural state – intact.
Why so obsessed with a straw goat, you ask? Well, it’s not because it’s huge and weird. It’s because since its inception, people have tried to destroy it. This is some insight into Swedish humor (and the Danes say they have none). A brief (and most notable) history of the destruction for your edification:
1966: First goat – set on fire.
1968: Rumor of a randy couple engaging in naughty behavior one evening.
1969: Set on fire.
1970: Set on fire a mere six hours after being assembled.
1972: Collapsed due to sabotage.
1976: Hit by car.
1978: Kicked to pieces.
1980: Burned on Christmas Eve (See, even Santa wants in on the fun).
1983: Legs destroyed.
1987: Goat was fireproofed. Burned down week before Christmas (Nelson Muntz ha-ha).
1988: Nothing happened. Hmmm…I was in Sweden in 1988, although not at that particular time. Maybe.
1992: Burned after eight days (a Chanukkah miracle).
1995: Norwegian arrested for attempting to burn it (See how well Norwegians and Swedes play together? Swedes assign blame to Norway). Actually incinerated on Christmas Day (Again, go Santa).
1997: Damaged by fireworks.
1998: Burned in a major blizzard (I admire the dedication to the cause).
2001: Goat set on fire by American tourist who was jailed for 18 days, convicted and ordered to pay 100,00 SEK in damages. The court also confiscated his lighter.
2005: Burned by vandals dressed as Santa and the Gingerbread Man.
2009: Burned after the webcams were hacked and knocked offline by a DoS attack (yay hacktivists).
For years, I have been watching and waiting for the destruction of this glorious monument constructed of straw. Each year, we hold the Goat Incineration Sweepstakes where each participant chooses a day when the goat is to be destroyed. The prizes: a virtual trophy, pride and the ability to gloat for one entire calendar year. Some people go fucking apeshit for Christmas. Some lose their marbles for Chanukkah. I, on the other hand, freak the fuck out when julbock time arrives.
With the Goat Incineration Sweepstakes of 2014 underway, each morning I wake up and check the webcam. I also check it each evening before going to bed. For 28 days, the goat stands – mocking me, giving me the proverbial goat middle finger, suggesting that I suck its proverbial goat dong. I make notes of who has been ousted from the sweepstakes. I realize something awful has happened: we are all losers. The goat that should look like this:
still looks like this:
What. The. Fuck!?!?!? This is entirely unacceptable. This is not how I want my winter to begin. This is not the Yuletide season I know and love. This is…this is…this is fucking goatshit! Action must be taken. I begin to wonder how many frequent flyer miles we have when reality settles in – my fucking passport expired so if anyone is going to do it, it’s going to have to be someone from Team Sverige.
I pull up the webcamera this morning and receive this message: Tack för ett fantastiskt år! Vi ses igen första advent 2015. Translated: Thanks for a fantastic year. See you again on First Advent, 2015. O rly? My hopes rise. Did someone burn the goat? Could 29 December 2014 be the day that lives in goat infamy? Immediately, I head over to t3h g00gl3z to search news. My heart is racing and hopeful. There is a slight smile on my face. No one from our sweepstakes would have won but that’s not the spirit of the exercise. The true meaning of the Yuletide season is scorched goat.
Article from Sweden’s government radio is the first to pop up. The news…unwelcome. Heresy, actually. The lede reads: Gävlebocken monteras ner – får nytt liv i Kina. Translated: Gävlebocken dismantled – given new life in China.
Holy shit. There are so many levels of wrong with this. First – it’s not even New Year’s and they dismantled the goat? Those of us hoping for destruction had three more days. Gävle cheated! It cheated us out of our inalienable right to set that bitch on fire. And sending it to China? To its twin city, Zhuhai, because 2015 is the year of the goat? Give me a fucking break. Oh no, Gävle, you’re not that nice of a kommun. You’re simply a scared, pissy little hamlet and you’re afraid that your precious julbock is going to be incinerated…as it should be.
I look down upon thee, Gävle. Nästa år. Nästa år…