I have a slight obsession with a Finnish troll. Now when I first saw the fat delightful thing at a loading dock in Helsinki, I thought he was a hippopotamus without a mouth. It wasn’t until years later when I was working in Brussels that a girl from Finland who toiled at the EU enlightened me to his troll origins. And who is this mysterious hippo/troll you ask? Moomin of course! He will most certainly make it big in our fair United States one of these days, for he really is a marketing dream. But for now, he remains rather unknown. So when I received a Moomin book in the mail this weekend from my brother written in English, I was thrilled.
When I first saw Moomin after disembarking from a large Scandinavian boat where I drank a ton of vodka and got a tad seasick, my friend Mary-Alice and I ran towards him like two possessed children who had never had toys. Mind you he was about seven feet tall and in a glass case. But without conferring, we both ran to him and threw our arms around the trapped stuffed animal. Then, well, we adopted him as our shared imaginary troll hippo and the rest of the story is really too embarrassing to tell, so I’ll stop there.
One thing my brother is exceptionally good at is remembering the little things. Win your company softball game? Ken will send you some exotic congratulations candy that he found in a Bulgarian store in the East Village. Turn that frown upside down? He has a card made by the hands of Albanian refugees to commemorate the experience. So after I told him all about my grueling run in Charlottesville, he bought me the very hard to find Moomin book and mailed it off to be devoured by my inner six-year-old. You’re the best Kenny!