From Iceland — Sour Grapes & Stuff

Sour Grapes & Stuff

Published August 10, 2012

Sour Grapes & Stuff

Dear Grapevine,
First of all, thanks for being an excellent read. Without wishing to make it sound likeexaggerated flattery, I am often quite impressed by the quality of the writing in most Grapevine articles, especially assuming the vehicular language is not the writer’s native/mother tongue.
    I just wanted to share a little story with you and the readers.
The other day, I accidentally discovered a new sport I’d never heard about. It’s called Frisbee Golf, and it hurts. At the same time, I became acquainted with a genius piece of urban planning in Reykjavik. For some unearthly reason, someone thought it would be a great idea to set up a so-called Frisbee Golf Course in Klambratún, a park in town people otherwise tend to walk through or chill out on a normal day. (Reykvíkingar probably even have really crazy habits, like taking there kids there to play, walk there with their grandparents on a Saturday, chill out peacefully on the grass playing cards, and loads more perverse stuff like that.)
Back to Frisbee Golf: apparently, the rules basically consist in throwing an identified flying object – hard – into a designated receptacle, the distance of which is theoretically calculated to be reasonable enough that it can be reached even if you’re not too good at aiming. For aficionados, this “sport” is probably much more than that, and I’m willing to accept that it’s surely real fun if you know how to play.
Only since it now leaves me with scratched glasses and a black-eye, I’m rather sceptical about the whole thing.
I was walking with a friend on the path last Thursday lunch, when suddenly, out of nowhere, I was hit smack in the face by what I discovered afterwards to be a Frisbee.
It hit me so hard that my glasses flew off my face, on to the floor, bent. The impact left me with a cut just over the eyelid and bleeding from my cheekbone. I was so dazed I collapsed to the ground and couldn’t see or think straight for a while. Not over dramatizing, I believe I have my glasses to thank that I actually did not lose an eye; had it not been for them, I’d have received a Frisbee full on in my eye-ball.
Now a few days have passed, and nothing more is wrong with me other than a swollen cheekbone, a left eye slowly but surely turning all the colours of the rainbow, and scratched glasses.
But I ask myself the following question: Pray tell me, what the hell is a “Frisbee golf course” doing in a park? Fair enough, accidents happen when people throw stuff. But why on earth actually purposefully increase risks of accidents?  I’m ok, luckily enough, but what happens when a grandma or a kid gets hit in the face?
Maybe the guys were really bad at aiming, or exceptionally good at throwing from a really long distance. I say that, because my friend and I checked the next day : all things considered (including considering where they were aiming – c’est à  dire about 20-30 meters from where we were walking on the path in full view), if they were looking, it was impossible for them not to see us coming.
    I will not go on about this for ever.
But, Dear Grapevine, since you are so universally read (at least in Reykjavík that is…), I wanted to use you as a vehicle to pass on this private message to all (ir)responsible Frisbee players : “Damn well look BEFORE you throw !!!”.
And most especially, I would like to seize this heaven sent opportunity to thank the city of Reykjavík for the brilliant piece of urban planning which almost left me one-eyed.
How about a shooting range on Laugavegur, next time ?

Dear Patch,
That sucks. We are sorry about your eye. We had no idea frisbees were so dangerous. We will for sure be careful next time we walk across Miklatún (crossing Miklatún on our way to Öskjuhlíð for some chillin’ is one of our favourite activities!). Hopefully your prize will serve as some sort of consolation. 

I do not know where to write about this, so it comes to you. We just came home from a trip to Iceland about 2 days ago. While we were visiting tourist shops, my boyfriend noticed this candy named “Puffin Eggs.” I think they were made of black licorice and chocolate. Anyway, when we got home, he told me that he had bought a box of them. At a tourist shop or the airport, I don’t know for sure. When he opened the bag, the candy was disgusting! We found cat hair (we assume) in it and a dark greasy fingerprint on the inside of the box.  Gross! There is not anything we can do about it now but I think that people need to know about this. Where are these nasty gross things packaged? In an American petrol station toilet?  My boyfriend threw away the box, so I do not know the candy company. Don’t you have health inspectors there? Can anyone in your office look into this and inform the proper people?     

Ewwww! GROSS!
We don’t even really know what to say…
Do you think someone could have opened this particular box at the store? Perhaps that person was wearing a fleece sweater (a hair magnet if there ever was one) and perhaps when they reached in to steal just one puffin egg from your box, they inadvertently left behind a cat hair and a smudgy fingerprint?
Oh, but that’s just ewww. Ewww. EWww. EWWW. GROSS.
We’re terribly sorry for this horrible experience. Some of us at the office here have a hair phobia and if this had happened to us we would probably never eat a chocolate puffin egg ever. 

SUBJECT: how to make pirates in africa by ingi freyer
hellohello the grapevine
i am so happy somebody writes about this publicly.
After years of stories about the evil pirates, during which nobody dared to ask why africans become pirates, the whole story is being discussed. it ultimately sheds a dark spot on day to day newsreports. bouncing reuters messages to the masses does not explain how the world functions.
no doubt these are double standards and a new form of empirealism. dont be afraid to examine the dark side of wealth. you are not alone. many countries will have to do the same, sooner or later. at latest, when africans ask for asylum. takk fyrir
bless bless
Sent from my iPhony
one last thing to add to my sermon:
if you want to see how the image of the evil pirate has become common language, watch the intro story of the movie expendables. if i remenber right, a bunch of muscle packed paramiltary americans show their superiority in a raid against african pirates on a freight ship.
in the intro stories of james bond movies, 007 used to escape from a mission behind the iron curtain with a beautiful lady in his arm. now as the phantom behind the curtain has vanished, among other threats, pirates appeared on stage. though, by looking closely into the pirates eyes, we may see ourselves.
or at least big companies who are based in the so called west, which are dealing with primary goods and food in developing countries. we let these companies do their business, buy their products and politicians probably give a special tax deal.
    yes, the 21st century is complicated.
but if one wants to know, one can know. or how chomsky starts his sentences: “if you read, you will realise…”
bless bless
Sent from my iPhony

Dear Raphael,
Thank you for your letter. We’re so happy that somebody reads about this kind of stuff. It would be pretty scary if people were only ever interested in big catastrophic eruptions and small, easily digestible mini articles that don’t really say anything.
Your pals, GV

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