Ever since the first Free Sticker Week ended back in February '07, I've been sending out WTF Stickers to anyone that mailed me a SASE or a small souvenir. More recently, I've been sending out the coveted TDWTF Mugs for truly awesome souvenirs. Nothing specific; per the instructions page, "anything will do." Well, here goes anything, yet again! (previous: Surprise!).


Finland, I surrender.

Ever since you sent me that vomit-inducing, garbage-infused, ash-like, disgustingly-terrible, and nightmarishly-awful delightful salmiakki two years ago, I've mocked you, your people, and your food every chance I got. You were an easy target, after all. I mean, there's just something seriously sick, twisted, and demented awesome about voluntarily subjecting yourself to that "candy" that smells like foamy bathroom cleaner and tastes even worse delicacy.

I can't say that I wasn't warned. "Do not anger the Finns," a Finlandite once told me, "for they have strange ways and a twisted sense of humor!" Well, it's true. Especially when the Finns are named Pekka and Toni.

"We remembered how 'disappointed' you were when there was no Salmiak products in a care package from Finland," they wrote, "and we decided that we had to undo this injustice that had been inflicted upon you. Thus, we embarked on a quest to gather all Salmiak products available in Finland. After two months spent on this quest, we found about 80 different kinds of this delicacy for you to enjoy." Now in case you're wondering what my reaction upon receiving so much Salmiak was, it was something like this.

Pekka and Toni continued, "although this is still far from the full assortment available in Finland, we believe this might 'satisfy' you for the time being. Bon appétit!"

Normally, I'd estimate that this amount of Salmiak would last me for a lifetime. Several lifetimes, in fact. Well, stellar lifetimes. You know, a good 15-30 billion years or so? But I'm going to try something a little different.

I registered Salmiyuck.com, and will chronicle my adventures in tasting Salmiak. I will of course attempt to get as many (unwitting) tasters as possible. So, here's to Salmiak!

 

 

As if all the Salmiak wasn't enough, Pekka and Toni (Finland) also enclosed "a hands-free appliance which actually needs to be held in hand to operate."

 

And finally, our friends from Finland also gave this "Billiardion (or whatever) dollar note from Africa."

 

Matt Lutton (Brookline, NH) sent some interesting finds from the past.

 

"At the end of 2009," wrote Andreas Reich (Hamburg, Germany), "I returned from a summer of travels, and was about to empty the stuff in my pockets in the trash, but then I remembered there was a guy who will happily take all kinds of souvenirs." This is true, Andreas, especially when the souvenirs are accompanied by a piece of Toblerone. Fun fact: the Holiday Inn key card was completely blank on both sides; no magnetic strip or anything.

 

"Enjoy your status as a new trillionaire," writes Bryan R (Sterling, VA).

 

"Here are some random tradeshow stuff," writes J Schwartz (Boca Raton, FL), "there is a citrus lip balm tube, some small mints, a USB hub (that may or may not be 2.0), a press-up calculator, a mini flashlight, and a weird pen/calculator object."

 

"Here's some stuff from London," wrote Martin Deutsch (London), "including some goodies from the Docklands Light Railway, Custom Haribo from one of our supplies at work, a free lollipop handed out to keep clubbers quiet, and some Ben+JErry's Post-it notes."

 

I'll let Scott Blackard's (Timerlake, NC) note explain, though I'll add ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. That is, unless it's really old and not from like a deer or something. Then I should say, sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

 

S Lindehan (Netherlands) sent this Bassie en Adriaan DVD and a picture of a local Dutch church.

 

"I was going to buy an International Reply Coupon," writes Michael Landis (Ramat-Gan, Israel), "but then again, I had these in my pocket."

 

And finally, a small handful of random stuff.

 


Don't forget to snail-mail in your own souvenirs for some TDWTF stickers. Ultra-awesome souvenirs (like, say, steak) could even get you a TDWTF mug.