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  • My friend Simo visits every summer his parents' summer cottage in the middle of Finnish woodlands. Over the porch of the cottage there goes a diagonal beam which Simo has used every summer to do pull ups. If he could do 15 pull ups after the winter in city, he was still fit and able to live in the forest during summertime. Pull ups were his annual ordeal by fire.

    So, there came one special summer. During winter months Simo had met a charming girl and was secretly engaged with her. He came to show his fiancee to his parents. It was dinnertime and all the family was present. The mosquitoes were buzzing and the nightingale was singing in twilight when his mother called everybody in to eat. Before going in and announcing the engagement Simo decided to do 15 pull ups, to check up if he was still in shape after city months.

    He managed to do the pull ups but when he tried to drop down from the beam he got just one of his hands loose. He hung some painful moments by his left hand until he heard a crack. He dropped down by the one side of the beam and his ring finger dropped from the other side. And the ring rolled lonesomely across the porch.

    The beam was fastened with big bolts to the ceiling above. All these years Simo had done the pull ups in exact the same place without accident. But this summer he had as extra this engagement ring that got stuck between the bolts.

    Only way to get Simo quickly to the hospital through the forest was to call an ambulance helicopter. His fiancee went with him and faced the anger of the paramedic who was sure that she had done this all during some love quarrel. The stump was so uglily jagged it looked like it was bitten off.

    Simo’s parents and siblings and their spouses stood quite shocked outside the cottage and watched the helicopter fly away. Simo’s mother decided to ease up the tensed athmosphere and called everybody again to dinner table. “We have to eat before the dinner gets cold. Don’t you care, my darlings. He has his girl with him. Simo will be OK. Come, children, come to eat.”

    And so they stepped inside and sat around the oak table. There was a saucepan in the middle of long table. Simo’s mother picked up the lid of the saucepan and wished everyone: “Bon appétit!”

    Nobody could eat anything that evening. The saucepan was full of frankfurters.
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