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Your lifestyle, your quirk
Big rocks are big news lately. A few months ago, there was a hullabaloo when a 340-ton rock was moved from Riverside to the Los Angeles County Museum in the name of art. It cost $10 million to move the rock…I raised my eyebrows at that, but hey, as long as it’s not my money we’re wasting on a rock. Then again, this is Los Angeles we’re talking about. Strange things happen in Southern California, like people buying rocks and paying $10 million to ship them to a museum.
Iceland, bless its heart, has decided to one-up the Art Rock. Arni Johnsen, MP for the Independence Party, had a 30-ton boulder moved from one end of Iceland to his home in the Westman Islands…because he “believes it is home to three generations of elves.”
Go ahead and take a second to reread that. I’ll wait.
This is probably something new to our (presumably) mostly American audience. We’re used to our own elected politicians spouting off about some deity wanting this and that for the country, but the idea of little people living in boulders is something we usually leave to The Borrowers, or maybe The Hobbit.
After a few minutes of perusing the, um, Elf Section of the Iceland Review (I don’t think it’s actually called the Elf Section, but it has additional stories of elf troubles across Iceland), I learned that besides being an absolutely beautiful country with gorgeous scenery and gorgeous people…Iceland also believes that elves are constantly afoot.
Well, some of its inhabitants do, anyway. Wikipedia, the bastion of all interesting information, tells us that “while only 26% of Icelanders believe in elves (summing the responses 'certain' and 'probable'), 80% "do take notice" (including the replies 'possible' and 'unlikely').”
So while only a small percentage actively believes, the concept is alive and well amongst Icelandic people.
“Angry Elves Said to Have Wreaked Havoc in West Fjords,” says one article. After four mechanical failures and an explosion at a mine, it was decided that “hidden people” (another name for elves) were responsible for the problems, because they were apparently angry about the tunneling through their habitat. Hey, I’d be pretty pissed off, too, if someone started digging tunnels through my house.
This also makes me wonder if I, too, can effectively start blaming supernatural creatures for my various problems. Hey, we’ve got an entire group of people who blame “the Devil” for everything bad that happens in their lives. Now there’s a group who blame “the elves” for problems. Next time my computer crashes, I may well blame the banshees (by the way, I think banshees are going to be the next big supernatural thing – vampires and zombies have just about overstayed their welcomes).
I’m going to try this, though. Next time I can’t get an article in on time, I’ll just shrug. “Sorry, bossman, it was the banshees…all their screaming.”
As for MP Arni Johnsen and his three generations of elves, we can rest assured they made the trip to his home fairly comfortably. He hired a “specialist in the affairs of elves” (I’m picturing the Icelandic equivalent to the Long Island Medium here, but…) who decided the elves would be transported “in a basket lined with sheep skin.”
Well, as long as they were comfortable.