Anyway, Mekkar had seen this contest awhile ago when Paalii was victorious and set the record of twenty nine pancakes completely eaten. The flapjacks were fluffy, made with sourdough mix to get that rising effect. Each one was big enough to stretch to the outer rim of a regular sized dinner plate. They were not tiny! When Mekkar overheard a week beforehand, that the next contest would take place at his families’ restaurant because of the home backup kitchen would be used also, he was gleeful. Mekkar thought he would have home field advantage for the event. While most of the others who would observe the event felt that this home kitchen location selection would be of no help to Mekkar.
Well, Mekkar had very little body fat content, which by the way was inherited from his papa, along with a high metabolism rate. So, these factors made it so he could eat massive amounts of food for his age and burn the calories right off too! This was the case with all the three boys in the family at the time, too bad it doesn’t always stay that way. But, Mekkar went into food consumption training mode during that week prior to the pancake eating contest and continually increased the amount gradually. He knew that to break the old record of twenty nine it would be a stretch for his tummy and Paalii, the current champ, would show up and be competing in this event. Even though many tried to keep this fact hush, hush, Mekkar had his ways of finding out not so well known inside information.
Each day prior to the contest Mekkar consumed any sourdough related items, like bread and pancakes more and more. By the time the contest rolled around, he felt that he was ready to kick some butt and did not drink any liquids the day of the event because Mekkar was convinced that any fluids in his stomach would expand the sourdough foods and lessen the amount he could take. The contest began promptly at twelve o’clock noon with ten competitors and after a fairly short period of time only Paalii and Mekkar were the only individuals left in the contest still munching away. Both were near the old record and soon they broke the previous standard of twenty nine pancakes eaten.
After about thirty five or so Paalii began to slow down his pace at this point and he was now some distance behind Mekkar. Mekkar was still chomping away quickly. Paalii finished with forty, but Mekkar was on a mission and did not stop until he set the new record of sixty five. A few minutes later both of them could be heard hurling like mad outside in the woods. At the same time, some of Mekkar’s friends were collecting their winnings from their wagers. Sirga refused to let Paalii and Mekkar make a mess of the restaurant restrooms for their barfing session, otherwise she would have kicked the stuffing out of both of them. Mekkar’s brother, Alf collected Mekkar’s funds from the bet he had placed upon himself. It was important to note that many of the contest participants would need some time to recover including Mekkar who required at least a couple of days, where the sight of any food made him ill.
Since, Mekkar lacked the mechanical aptitude of his brother Alf; he was not subject to specific special tasks given to Alf by Henrik. At first it started with a small project where Mekkar’s younger brother was required to take apart a radio. In some instances, Henrik did the dismantling of the object beforehand. The idea was to have Alf spread out all of the pieces on the ground or on top of the snow during wintertime, then put the object back together again. The kicker was that it better work great, just like it did before the radio was torn apart, or trouble would be at hand from the taskmaster papa Henrik.
Once in awhile, Mekkar would observe this and glad that he wasn’t involved because Mekkar had to carry out his own tasks assigned to him by his papa. This destruction and rebuilding process that Alf was required to carry out had no written documentation or manuals included, there was no public web he could search for and download. Mekkar’s papa was thoroughly confident that Alf could complete these tasks with flying colors. This perception was based on how much time Henrik had spent together with Alf, while teaching him at the same time, on various projects. They even coexisted on some high tech electronic ones related to Henrik’s work.
Thus, the boy’s papa got to see his son Alf in action and felt that he could do the job with possibly a little guidance from him. Each special task became more difficult, larger, and more extensive than the previous ones. Another example had Alf conduct the same process with a large home television set. Alf finally graduated Henrik’s special schooling class after completing his last project. That was dismantling and full reconstruction of a 1960’s rounded top body design race car. This all seemed excessive in Mekkar’s eyes. But, after Alf finished that project, they went for a joyride to test it out and push it to its limits. Mekkar drove it and said afterward that vehicle handled great and was fast too!
Alf had finished the entire list assignments setup by his papa by the time he was just thirteen years old. Mekkar thought that Alf had a pretty good handle on it and demonstrated a competent ability in these areas. Alf was relieved that he never received punishment for a lack of functioning success of the finished items. Mekkar was a little bit older and felt lucky that his interests resulted in him getting to travel to far away places with his parents instead. However, travelling with papa was not always fun and games, there was some work to be done too!
Once in a blue moon, North American college scouts, coaches, and other representatives would arrive in the area to try to recruit and get future ice hockey commitments from a few local players. Mekkar, Lasse, and a couple of others were targeted due to their international experience and to familiarize them with these various squads. This type of activity was still a fairly new practice started by some World Hockey Association (WHA) teams in this era to discover untapped sources of talent. The idea was to gain exclusivity and a foothold in those areas of the world that other hockey leagues had previously ignored. Since the WHA was considered by many as the outrageous pro circuit [Ed Willes, The Rebel League] as they were breaking down all barriers, changing all norms, and were doing things in a new and exciting ways.
Now these other hockey leagues, professional and otherwise would beginning to follow those same discovery paths. Mekkar saw this as a positive change. This development was crucial especially for him since his essential on ice contributions to any potential team was less noticed on many score sheets. However, he had skills and heart that any franchise would deem necessary.