This story, full of burning 40-foot-tall goats, is so awesomely awesome that I need to shout out to Josh Karns for alerting me to it.
So here’s the deal. For 42 years, a bunch of goat-crazed fanatics in the scenic, seaside town of Gavle, Sweden have spent a fair portion of each December building a giant, 40-foot tall goat out of straw. Like, almost 4 tons of straw. (You can watch their efforts in a nifty time-lapse film.) They take great pride in the fact that their Christmas Goat, as they call it, is the largest of its kind in the world. They also take great pains to protect their giant goat from being destroyed, because, for reasons obvious enough to this goat-hater, townspeople have made it their goal, year after year, to destroy the damn thing. In its 41 incarnations, the goat has been destroyed 28 times — 22 of those times by burning, and 6 of them in some other creative way, either by sabotage, fire, or crashing a car into it.
See for yourself, in this compilation of 40 years of Swedish Christmas Goat status reports
1970: burned, then rebuilt
1971: abandoned, then broken
1972: collapsed due to sabotage
1976: destroyed in car crash
1979: burned, rebuilt, then sabotaged and broken
1983: legs broken
1989: burned, rebuilt, burned again
1991: burned, rebuilt
1992: burned, rebuilt, burned again
1995: burned, rebuilt
1997: slightly damaged by fireworks
2003: burned, rebuilt
2005: burned, rebuilt
2006: minor burn to right leg
This year, the straw has been impregnated with a waterproof/snowproorf flame retardant, a webcam has been placed nearby to monitor it, and guards have occasionally been posted overnight to protect it from vandals. There’s even a blog, hopefully the only one if the world, written from the point of view of a giant goat, where other goat-crazed fanatics can delight in the supposed glory of, and send email to <email@example.com >, a giant inanimate chemical-laden goat.
So here’s hoping some creative pyromaniac gets to the Christmas Goat before too many people are forced to see this thing.