Icelandic Saga

Iceland’s red-nosed natives are protesting that they’re not terrorists. Did anyone actually accuse them of being so? Terrorists or not, they obviously have a guilty conscience about something. The ringleader of the movement is a photographer called Thorkel Thorkelsson. It sounds like the name of one of those rude characters who rowed about in a longboat looking for places to loot and pillage. A man of such ancestry ought to keep a low profile to avoid re-opening ancient wounds. Maybe they should change the slogan on their placards to “We are no longer terrorists!” They won’t win any sympathy by overstating their case.

I know next to nothing about Iceland and have no wish to stir the pot of discord or fan the flames of unrest. The only Icelander I ever spoke to was a pretty little woman I met in a park in London. She walked up to me while I was reading a comic and spoke to me in one of those sing-songy Nordic voices.

“I have had sex with Elvis.” she said.

“No you haven’t,” I replied. “You are far too young to have done that. There’s no point trying to impress people with blatant falsehoods.”

She seemed taken aback by my curt repudiation of her claim.

“I am not too young!” she insisted. “I am 22 years. That is not too young to have sex!”

“It is too young to have done it with Elvis!” I countered. “When he died, the gleam in your daddy’s eye had not yet become a wet spot on your mummy’s panties. I hope you’re not one of those silly people who thinks that Elvis is still alive and composing rock ballads with Buddy Holly somewhere in Wyoming.”

“Not EL-VIS!” she cried, doing a little jig to emphasize her point. “EL-VES! I have had sex with EL-VES!”

Her funny little accent had caused me to misconstrue her meaning. However the amended assertion was only slightly less far-fetched.

“Have you indeed?” I said. “Please describe these so-called elves on whom you bestowed your carnal favours. Men of low character often use deception to smooth the path of seduction. The impersonation of elves might be yet another devious tactic employed for that end.”

“Elves are tall, beautiful people with blue eyes and blond hair. They can make themselves invisible and are very gentle lovers. To have sex with an elf is like being licked by a hundred tongues.”

Had I been feeling sarcastic, I might have congratulated her on knowing what it feels like to be an ice-lolly in a bus full of Norwegian tourists. But I had grown rather fond of this earnest little madam and her elvish fantasies, so I decided to adopt a more avuncular tone. She told me that her name was Hallgerdur and that she planned to write a book about her sexual adventures with elves. I advised her to test the water by first documenting her experiences in a blog, and I’m pleased to say that she
acted on my suggestion.

These Icelanders are certainly an odd bunch. I put it down to living on a rocky island at the edge of the world. Humans in such far-flung locations often adopt strange habits to make people notice them. New Zealand is another place inhabited by a weird collection of humans. Many years ago, I remember seeing a TV clip of a Maori exposing his rump to the Queen of England, there on a state visit. It seemed an utterly futile act – the Queen had spent her entire life ignoring bottoms and certainly wasn’t going to inspect one that wasn’t part of her official itinerary.

When I later mentioned this incident to a New Zealander on safari, he said that the man had been protesting about the annexation of his ancestral land by an officer of the British Crown. Being a fair-minded ape, I revised my opinion of him. You can’t blame a fellow for mooning at people to draw attention to the theft of his property. If any henchman of the Queen of England stole my land, she’d be sniffing my hairy arse for breakfast, lunch and supper.

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