Drunken Finns Are Falling Down

It was midnight when the first Finn fell.

“What was that?” I asked the guy next to me.

“The fellow behind you just fell,” he said.  “He drank too much.”

Someone helped him up.  I went back to drinking.

Ten minutes later, I heard another crash.

“What was that?” I asked the guy next to me.

“The guy by the door just fell,” he said.  “He drank too much.”

I watched as the fellow tried to get to his feet.  I grabbed another beer.

And fifteen minutes later, another crash.

This time I saw it.  An old guy fell right in front of me.  Took out a table and two chairs.

“What the hell is going on in this country?” I asked the guy next to me.

“Here, people drink until they fall,” he said.  “Then they drink more.”

A half hour went by.  There were no more falls.

I was beginning to think something was wrong.

“It’s been half an hour,” I said to the guy next to me. “I think you guys are improving.”

He tried to respond, but couldn’t.

Because a woman fell into his bar stool.

Four Finns in one hour.  It was a remarkable run.

It was them against Newton’s law of gravity, and Newton was winning.

So I tried to figure it out.

And it all comes down to my dad’s bowling ball.

You see, when I was a kid, I used to take the ball out of my Dad’s bowling bag and set it on the garage floor.  Then I would try to stand on top of it.

And every time I tried, I fell.

The same goes for Finland.

They’re at the top of our bowling-ball shaped globe.

And it’s hard to stand there.

By the next night, I was taking bets on how many Finns would fall in the bar.  I guessed five.

Remarkably, none did.

I walked back to my hotel, disappointed I had lost the bet.  Deep in thought, I walked into the hotel lobby.

I really had to go to the bathroom and didn’t think I could quite make it to the one in my hotel room, so I searched for the lobby bathroom.

“It’s that way,” said the guy at the lobby desk, “Down that half-flight of stairs.”

So I walked over there.

And fell down the stairs.


26 thoughts on “Drunken Finns Are Falling Down

  1. What the ????? laughing, and I am not sure why….but I am laughing and that is all that matters.

  2. Nice description of the Finns… sounds a lot like the Mexicans! Gotta love people who just keep trying to prove to themselves that they CAN drink more than humanly possible. It is the way of our species to reach for the stars! BTW, did you know if you type “Pearls” into Google “Pearls Before Swine” is the first thing that comes up? AWESOME. You are officially #1, Steph.

  3. I expected this to end with a pun. It’s mildly disturbing that it didn’t.


    If these events happened here (the USA), someone would post or tweet the occurrence, post videos on YouTube and write blog posts. People with somewhat spotty consciences would make and sell bumper stickers. Laws would be passed requiring safety restraints on bar stools and bar rails, padded bar floors and such, to make it safe. Schools would develop programs to prevent kids from doing it. Actors and actresses who do it all the time would come out against it. Several of them would have books ghost-written about they used to. Since Oprah’s gone I’m not sure on whose TV show celebrities would appear to be granted absolution and given a tearful hug once they quit. Political parties would accuse each others’ biggest names of secretly doing it. Whole tabloids would accuse members of the Royal family of it. (Side note: Does anyone REALLY care what the freakin’ Royal family does? Really?)

    And on and on and on.

    I don’t even drink, but I kind of appreciate the Finnish attitude toward drinking till they fall down: “That’s how we do it here.”

    …and that’s all.

  4. I’m Finnish and that’s very funny. I hear the Finns love to tango so I picture them in dark bars, in the long dark winter, staggering around to tango music.

  5. did it occur to any of u guys that steph has a twiiter?
    its @ratspeaks or just look up stephan pastis with the user search

  6. I knew you could out drink the Finns….I think I might even put a bet on you out drinking anyone you were matched against, drink for drink…and I do not even bet…but you are a sure bet to win that one!
    dddtude….I thought everyone knows of Ratspeaks…the only problem is Rat (or Stephan) have not been speaking…I mean tweeting often…but when he does, he usually says “let me be honest with you”

  7. To finish what I was trying to say is….all the other times were not honest…I would put laugh out loud…but do not want the wrath of Rat to beat me with a baseball bat!

  8. I was meant to be some kind of an extra helper there, but I never managed to get to Helsinki.

    I hope you’ll tell a bit earlier next time (if you ever happen to visit Finland again) so I can prepare, these 100 kilometers between Helsinki and my home town Lahti can be too much for an unemployed idiot.

  9. You can’t resist writing about finnish drinking.. you just can’t.. Omg how well I know this feeling 🙂

  10. Isn’t the whole purpose of bowling balls to cause a lot of Finns to fall down?

  11. I’m sure they took you to Russia… Remember the blindfold? The smell of chloroform?

    When a Finn falls in the crowd, where no one else is present, does he/she make a sound?

    Welcome back some day, Stephan. I admire your work (as cartoonist).

  12. It just proves your theory. If you never fell down it wouldn’t have been because they’re on top of the world. But since you fell down up here it must be!

  13. Steph, your bowling-ball-in-the-garage activity explains a lot! And my Ullakko and Wirkkula relatives were not amused— much!

  14. I suspect it will be a similar scene when you visit my daughter’s school in Minneapolis next week.

  15. Dear my friend, how are you? I like your site but i don’t know about this topic, but i want to leave good comment to this site. anyway Good work my friend! Keep sharing.
    Best Regard : power of mind

  16. I’m so sorry I missed this fantastic occasion, sounds like it was a bunch of fun! Anyhoo, I’m not a regular barfly but you must have been drinking in some fairly weird circles, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed anybody going down with an alcohol induced collapse more than once or twice in my life… plenty of very unstable steps but not so many spectacular falls.

    As a fan of your art I’ll be sure to stagger around next time you happen to be darkening our doorsteps again =p….

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