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: The Cookout).

Leave it to Lennart Jütte (Germany) to remind me how awesome German treats can be. He sent over this delightful assortment which I almost immediately dug into.

  • Ahoj-Brause - this is some intense candy that puts Pixy Stix to shame; somehow, it packs in more sugary sweetness than sugar itself and then goes on to add a fizzy/effervescent tingle. "Put the powder from one of the small bags in your mouth," Lennart explains, "and then mix it with a shot of vodka. That's what we call Vodka-Ahoj!"
  • GoldBären - "the company Haribo started with a sack of sugar," Lennart writes, "thanks to these little fellas, it's worth billions!"
  • Rothaus Tannenzäpfle - this was quite the beer! Add to the fact that the brewery has been in operation since 1791, and you've got a very impressive beer.
  • Knoppers - another piece of fine, German engineering with crispy wafers, choclate, nougat, cream filling, and hazelnuts
  • Kinder-Überraschung - actually, this deserves it's own paragraph.

Kinder-Überraschung ("Kids Surprise!") are quite possibly one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. I'm sure we've all experienced the chocolate egg, which is essentailly what the Kinder-Überraschung is.

But crack it on open, and what's what? A toy? That you have to assemble!? Ohhhh, right.

Sadly, the Kinder-Überraschung are illegal in the United States. Something about children, choking hazards, that sort of thing.


Fun fact: the dude on this Nicaraguan bank note is named Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. He's actually one of two 16th century Spanish conquistadores named Francisco Hernández de Córdoba.

(sent by an anonymous New Yorker)


Anthony (Eads, TN) sent this awesome piece of Homewood Suites swag. Not only is it a highly attractive piece of desk art, but it has a cool, hidden feature. Toss it at someone and it quacks!

I don't think many realize how fun a quacking stuffed duck can be around the office. Everyone seems to love it, as this hastily-made video shows:


"Like many towns, our local independent shops are under threat from unfair competition from large supermarkets," David Arno writes, "rather than see them all shut down, the Lewes Pound was launched instead. Lewes Pounds are accepted within the town's shops and pubs, which encourage the town's population to spend their money there, rather than the big out-of-town stores."


Stephen Harrison traded in a handful of stickers and business cards for TDWTF stickers and my business cards.


The Microsoft pen that Josh (Napa, CA) sent was a good snack for the Post Office sorting machines.



This small pile of stuff came from Finland. Oddly enough, the kick candy wasn't the most awful thing I've ever tasted. Although it's "ingrediense" included glukossirap, socker, and fett, it was actually a bit tasty. Perhaps Finnish "candy" is an acquired taste, and I'm acquiring it?


Kathleen S (Pipersville, PA) was kind enough to make these embroidered patches.


Remember what I said about acquiring the taste of Finnish treats? About that... it turns out that salmiak is even worse than I remembered. Which is pretty impressive, considering that it's only one of two things I've tasted that have made me wish I didn't have a sense of taste. The other thing was roofing tar. Still, I have to give mad props to Martii Kylmälä (Finland).

"Do not anger the Finns, for they have strange ways and a twisted sense of humor," he wrote, "you described salmiak as tar-like, but we're already way ahead of you: the leijona salmiak is actually tar-flavored salmiak candy. I'm not joking. We also have tar-flavored ice cream here, too."

The leijona salmiak was about as awful as you might imagine, and then some. The pieces were covered in what looked like grains sugar (almost like real candy) but was actually grains of salt. And not even real salt, but ammonium chloride. The leijona actually made the normal salmiak desirable... in the same manner that a punch to the face is welcomed instead of being run over by a car.

Martii added, "also included are two comic books — The Yellow "M" (translated to English) and Viivi och Wagner — and a CD of accordion music.


Thomas Böhm (Timisoara, Romania) writes, "I've enclosed two (2) PEZ refils, various coins with post-it notes, a healthcare comic, a wristband, and a Union Square card, where you can go to drink a beer when you visit Timisoara."



And finally, a bunch of miscellaneousness including a Video To Go rental card (with 5€ credit) from David (Bristol, UK), a $10 contribution from Stuart Williams (Fair Oaks, CA) which almost immediately went towards my Single Malt fund, and a drawing of a sheep thinking about Mentos from Katie.


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.

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