What does the elephant think about me?

There’s been an upswing in traffic recently, thanks to Ilta Sanomat’s futis blogi. They told a nice little joke which I thought I’d share with my fellow ulkomaalainen, as Finns are quite funny when taking the piss out of themselves. Excuse the poor translation.

In the zoo there are many nationalities represented among the visitors, and they all see the animals in a different way. In front of the elephant cage the German is thinking ‘how much does the animal weigh?’. The American wonders how much money it is worth. The Italian wants to know how to cook it, and the Frenchman is curious about how it makes love. The Finn walks past the cage and thinks tentatively, politely, ‘what does the elephant think about me?’.

It’s an old variation on a joke I think I first read in a book about the Spanish civil war – Salvador de Madariaga included a line about British elephant hunting in Somaliland, I seem to remember, although he omitted the Finnish bit.

This is the week when Finnish football finds out what the European elephant thinks of it. The first qualifying round is when Finns compete on at least level terms with their opponents, while the next round is when they get trampled underfoot by the rampaging elephants with a slightly higher coefficient.

Olli Huttunen was giving out some not-at-all stereoptypical views about Haka’s first round opponents Rhyl, when he told Iltalehti that Rhyl are ‘an aggressive team that plays typical British football. They don’t build from the back, they start with a long ball and fight for the second ball.’ We’re proper neanderthals, us Brits.

Saying that, he’s probably right. If I can indulge in knee jerk stereotypes for a moment, I expect Rhyl to be physical, and most of their players to be scousers. Could be an interesting game, and it’s a shame nobody is televising it.

TamU had a bit of a scare on Tuesday, going behind to the old men on the mountain before Niemi grabbed two goals to get the win. TamU didn’t look too comfortable to be honest, but I expect them to do better against Levski Sofia. Or at least to look better – they’ve always played better when teams have attacked them.


4 Responses

  1. love the elephant story, wonderful.

  2. The Finnish bit really rings true. The others I’m not sure about, but the hunting in somaliland thing made me laugh out loud.

  3. I think if you saw pictures of Rhyl’s third goal you would change your mind about not being able to play football …

    … the Scousers bit is partly true though!

  4. Two of the British elephant hunters were talking over their G&Ts:

    “I hear old Cholmondeley was found buggering an elephant.”

    “Male or female elephant?”

    “Female elephant of course. Nothing queer about old Cholmondeley.”

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