One Saturday for precise thirty-one years ago, the audience begins to flow into the Liseberg Hall in Gothenburg. While doing to all artists ready. All except me and Richard. We are still stuck in the long checkout line at the Domus, the Avenue.
Twenty minutes earlier, the impulsive but bright realization struck us: what if we win the whole party! How do we do then? SVT has certainly prepared the Champagne for the winners, but ... we're abstainers.
Each with a ginger ale bottle in hand, we begin to move forward. "Sorry ... can we penetrate us before?"
Marveled gaze meets us.
"The fact is that we will sing in a little while," explains Richard.
"Yes ... Melodifestivalen!" I add, and clears his throat me apologetically.
Talk about stress. But it had been all week. It started with the original costumes. They felt completely wrong. Too much glitz and ostentation. Could not we just run with something simpler, cleaner style? White pants and pastel colored shirts maybe? But the shoes then? We could take some Peter Pan boots and spray them with gold paint. But it will be really neat? Hmmm ... they will have to do anyway. And by the way, it will probably not many in the audience will pay attention to the shoes anyway.
The choreography we also have to simplify. It could barely sing to that aerobics session. We will remove most Spins. We jump less. And all flapping his arms, we cut down to a minimum. However, we should probably keep the little armsnurren the beginning of the chorus. Who knows, someone might think it looks great?
We return to the Liseberg Hall with the breath in the throat and the Pommac bottles in the hand. It only takes a moment to change. Then we get ready behind the curtain. Ready to conquer the world. And when we dance on stage as the swinging intro and Per start singing "Flashes and thunder ..." then I know: now something big will happen.
Today I am forty-eight years. Very wonderful has happened over the years, but I still remember with clarity the transformative joy of age of seventeen sing a popular song of the world's best songs - a song I already knew would survive us all. Certainly there are more important things in life than the Eurovision Song Contest, but I'd be lying if I did not acknowledge me humble and grateful for the opportunity that was given me and my brothers.
Therefore, I'm pleased with the people who get this opportunity. Tonight, for example, there will be several debutants at Östersund Arena Stage, including the region's own Jon Henrik Fjällgren. I hope he shows - as I and the brothers tried to do - devotion and love for his melody. Do I know him fairly, he does it. And who knows when it might happen something big.
In my eight year old daughter, there is another recipe for success in Mello. You have to look nice and cute in television, "as you were when you sang Diggiloo Diggiley, Dad."
"What?" I protest. "Is not I still pretty?"
"Oh yes!" She says, and pauses. "It seems to me mom, anyway!"
If you like Swedish think that Mormon missionaries is something strange, I can announce that the missionaries actually think that Sweden and Swedes are also pretty special. On the home page English missionary has some missionaries set up a list of what they think is odd with Sweden and the Swedes. You have to have a distance.
Completely in the spirit of fun, tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating humor, here is a list of Things That are Different in Sweden from what we Provincial Americans might expect. (Inspired by a similar list for Argentina.) In add new entries at the top.
Be careful. The nextdoor in the gain (walk-up) is the backdoor of the last guy who is still not interested.
Beer in pop machines.
If you guzzle a glass of water on hot day, you are being rude and Demanding more NOW!
They have an island called "Island Country" (Oland).
Fireworks at Christmas, Easter and just about every occasion (at Least When there's darkness).
Traffic Lights Click or beeper so blind pedestrians can tell Whether the light is red or green.
You can take off the shower head and rinse the conditioner out 30 seconds instead of five minutes. Also you can wash your hair without washing your body if you 're in a hurry.
If you 're not careful, You Will Still praying Knocking on doors in summer at 11: 00 pm ... and the sun is still out.
You turn on the bike headlights in the winter at 3: 00 pm.
Old Swedes go on walks with cats and rodents and Use a leash to pull the helpless animal behind.
A Can of Coke costs USD 2.00 (USD 15) at a cafe.
Everybody HAS super deluxe baby carriages with heavy duty wheels.
No matter how little snow there is, everyone uses studded tires all winter.
No salad is complete without grated carrots.
English Kids Learn to Cook in elementary school.
Girls dress up as witches for Easter and boys dress up as hobos.
Kids sell Bingo / Lotto tickets at the grocery store for fundraising projects.
What you think is a Ku Klux Klan rally in December is really a Santa Lucia procession.
All furniture made of light beech wood or pine.
Unedited R-rated movies on regular (non-cable) television.
Windows with Venetian blinds in-between two panes of glass.
You can camp, hunt, and pick berries on private property.
You attach your phone cord to the wall with something that looks like a 220-V plug.
Everybody owns a cellular phone.
Red boxes around town you put your distressed batteries in.
Everyone takes the rainiest month off in summer for vacation.
Front doors on the back of houses shaped like children.
They claim That wall-to-wall carpeting is Why americans get sickening, but almost everyone in Sweden Has a cold.
Americans like fluffy towels, while Swedes like to smash them into a mangler.
Pear ice cream.
Popular pizza toppings include bananas and curry, or artichoke hearts and roast beef.
"English pizza" to missionaries means "thin, flimsy crust made by a middle-eastern person."
If you're patriotic, you're probably a racist.
Ground beef is not the hamburger as we know it.
You Can Practically step outside your back door and pray in a forest, and pick berries That are in season.
You've got to squeegee the whole bathroom floor after taking a shower.
The cab drivers drive Mercedes Benz.
It takes a crew of six Swedes a week to rip up a cobblestone sidewalk, scrape the dirt off the back, and put it back in. (Not counting bad weather, holidays, Fikas.)
Cops drive Volvo and Saab.
Half-naked women answer the door.
Swedes do not know what a 'date' is. They always go to dance and parties in a group.
The Amount of daylight you get at Different Times of Year, light in the summertime, dark in the winter.
You do not Have to lock your bicycle to a lamp post. Just lock the wheel so it does not turn, and nobody Will take it.
You can not buy greeting cards, aspirin, deli sandwiches, develop film, purely videos or bank at the grocery store, but you'll have to do all that at separate stores.
When you order spaghetti, do not forget to ask for sauce and meatballs, or all you'll get is the noodles.
Pear-flavored and blood-orange-flavored pop.
While Snapple Claims to Be Made from the best stuff on earth, Bob juice is the best stuff on earth.
Pregnant women bicycle.
More store owners honor the Sabbath day.
Plastic Grocery Bags Made to last more than five minutes.
You can not tell by looking at what kind of handle A door HAS Whether You Should push or pull.
"Valentine's Day" decorations at Christmas time
Illuminated Red Buttons to turn the hallway lights on for two minutes.
Root beer is not popular. The natives think it tastes like toothpaste.
Corn on the cob is not for human consumption.
Chocolate soda pop.
You can ride a bicycle without getting killed.
"Caviar" (actually smoked cod roe) is a snack food in toothpaste tubes.
If an elevator is on the third floor and you are on the First and want to go up, You have to tell the elevator to come down.
Elevators with no doors on the cab, just the stationary ones at each floor. You Could touch the wall moving past as the elevator moves.
Continuously running elevators That you jump on and off of like a ski lift (paternoster?).
Licorice can be salty. You'll burn your mouth if you're not careful.
Rotten Fish in a bulging can is a delicacy (fermented herring).
Riding a bicycles on a cobblestone street.
Shaving not as popular with girls.
Rose hip tea (rosehip soup).
"Hockey" with curved Clubs and a very small ball (Bandy).
Traffic lights turn yellow on Both stop and go.
Doorknobs on toilets and toilet handles on doors.
Asking for "Peanut Butter and Jelly" is like asking "rock candy and frosting."
You can get by on £ 5, - the food budget per week. Everybody wants you to come in and "coffee."
It's not surprising to see a movie theater or a bicycle repair shop closed for a month in the middle of the summer.
You go to a health food store to buy maple syrup.
If you order a pizza with olives You get a whole unpitted olive rolling around on top of your pizza.
A clothes dryer is a luxury (but a drying room is not).
The Spin Cycle ice the wrist by A Different machine than in the wash and rinse cycles.
If you think a Swede ice suffocating She May just be saying yes.
You can serve ice cream with a knife.
Mayonnaise comes into toothpaste tubes.
If it were not for the engine running You might ask Able to Hear a pin drop on a bus with 75 people on it.
When a Swede talks about "the system," he's not talking about beating The Establishment; he's talking about buying liquor.
A person who speaks only one language is rarer in Sweden than a polyglot ice in the USA.