Chance is a fine thing, so they say, and so I was inundated with fine things during my visit to Gothenburg – which, by astonishing coincidence, had me there during its most famous public event. Every year, on April 30th – Walpurgis Night, a pagan festival hijacked by the church of Satanism to be its founding date – the students of Chalmers University of Technology take to the streets for several hours in a number of floats, some of a technological persuasion, but many more with a humorous current affairs undercurrent. A tradition that’s been going on for a century, Wikipedia estimates that a quarter of a million bystanders turn out to watch it, and this year I was one of them.
Some of the current affairs parodied over the two hours: Germany beating Brazil 7-0 in last year’s World Cup semi final, Luis Suarez’s infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and North Korea taking James Franco and Seth Rogen vehicle ‘The Interview’ very badly indeed. However, one of the highlights of the parade came not from the parade itself, but from the louche-as-hell onlooker who, desperate to get a better view, put a deck chair on top of a phone booth and watched from up there. Hashtag LAD.