The 612 Sauna Society cabinet held its annual board/bench meeting at The Firehouse last weekend. I’m happy to report that The Bud Sveatland’s Membership Amendment passed with final vote of 30 – 1 majority. Mr. Sveatland ended up casting the single desenting vote to his own legislation.

“Didn’t want folks to think I was showing off,” Sveatland told reporters after submitting the final version of this amendment outlining the following requirements:

  1. Show up: for a sauna session, their kid’s little league game, best friend’s lame party—whatever—just get there. Don’t be a flake. This is no time or place to be busy. These days “busy” is a passive state of letting things happen to you. Make time for yourself and those you love.
  2. Be kind: We had a lot of rules in my house growing up. “Be kind” is the only one I remember because it’s the only one my mom never (like never ever, not even once) let slide. Since I have to be kind (or hear about it from my mother), so does everyone else on the bench—and we welcome every area code, skin-color, gender, and nose hair length. If you have sweat sweat pours, you’re welcome around here. Do I make myself clear young man!?
  3. Close the door: If you think walking under a ladder or not looking someone in the eyes when you raise a glass is bad luck, you should try leaving the sauna door open. Actually, don’t try it—just take my word for it. Its baaaaaaaad luck. So, close the door behind you (and while you’re at it, open it for someone on your way in.)
  4. Leave your traditional trash talk in your hand-carved antique bed pan: If I had a quarter for every time someone has told me it’s pronounced SOW-na (not SAW-na), I’d have enough money to commission a time machine to get back all the time I’ve wasted reciting the “correct” pronunciation of the word to blank stares until someone blurts out, “Oh, you mean SAW-na! Yeah, I love saw-na!” You don’t see Mexican Americans standing outside your favorite burrito join demanding you roll your r’s or Danish folks picketing gas stations to defend the honor of gas (a Danish word “correctly” pronounced with a guttural “g”.)  We honor Finnish culture around here by creating and enjoying the experience that has kept this tradition alive (whether fueled by a turn-of-the-century cast-iron wood stove handed down from Antero Vipunen himself or a handy-dandy electric toaster oven).
  5. Join the Facebook Group: It’s a great place to practice the tips above, find a sauna bench near you, or learn how to build your own!