Published July 31, 2015
Dear Grapevine readers and contributors who haven’t already heard,
After nearly six years at this magazine, I’ve decided to vacate my position as editor. It’s been great, it really has. But, in case you haven’t noticed, the tourism industry is booming and I’m not going to be the only Icelander who doesn’t try to cash in on it. In just about three week’s time, after clearing out my desk and saying goodbye to all of the lovely people I currently work with, I will be dedicating all of my time and energy to starting a company that I’m going to call Anna’s Pooper Scooper Squad.
In case you’ve somehow missed it, we Icelanders are now receiving more than a million tourists per year. And they are—quite literally—shitting all over the place. I am not kidding, this is not a joke! You can barely open a newspaper these days without reading about yet another tourist taking a dump somewhere he or she shouldn’t have. They defecate near the graves of famous poets. They evacuate themselves on sidewalks. They empty their septic tanks in parking spaces designated for handicapped people. It’s getting out of control. And just think about all of the incidents that have gone unreported! There must be poop all over the place!
So here’s what I’m going to doo: I’m going to develop an app that the government will force tourists to download upon entering the country. It will be an intuitive, user-friendly app with state of the art geotagging technology. Tourists will be able to use the app to mark the exact location of their latest pooping session. Upon receiving a “PoopAhoyTM!” alert, a government contracted fleet of Anna’s Pooper Scooper Squad vans will be deployed from one of several locations to go scoop up the mess.
After a few years, when enough fecal data has been collected via the Scooper Squad’s interactive PoopPlotterTM map, my hope is that the government will be able to determine whether we actually need more public toilets, or if our tourists are just relieving themselves with reckless abandon, as one government minister recently suggested. (In that case, my Scooper Squad will be ready to unveil a series of informative PSAs, tentatively titled, “Don’t Shit Where We Eat.”)
Furthermore, although I’ve yet to properly pitch the idea to him, I’m fairly certain that Iceland’s chief geneticist Kári Stefánsson would be delighted to donate a portion of his salary to the study of this poop epidemic. To that end, my company will actually deliver all poop collected to deCODE Genetics, where it will be thoroughly analyzed and catalogued in a yet-to-be-developed database, which will enable our government to track the genetic makeup and genealogical history of all tourists visiting our fair island. The government will then be able to determine which nationalities are Iceland’s biggest outdoor poop- ers, and put less effort into luring those people to our country.
See you next issue!