Twelfth Yule Lad Ketkrókur, Meat Hook, accidentally set a house on fire in Vesturbær last night after attempting to smoke meat in a person’s home.
The capital’s Fire and Rescue squad responded quickly, limiting the damage to the kitchen.
“Well I just walked into the kitchen, and there he was,” said the homeowner, Árni. “I asked him what the hell he was doing and I guess I must have startled him because before I knew it the kitchen curtains caught alight and the counter was on fire. Does insurance even cover Yule Lad damage?”
According to Ketkrókur, as Icelanders have gravitated to buying smoked meats rather than smoking it themselves the way they used to, he has been researching meat smoking methods and was making his first attempt this year.
“I mean I’d seen people do it for hundreds of years, I figured, how hard can it be? But it’s really hard, and kind of dangerous,” said Ketkrókur who was taken into police custody after the incident. “I heard from the other Yule Lads that people keep hangikjöt in the refrigerator now, but I can’t work out how to open it. I tried hacking at it with my meat hook but I can’t seem to get at the meat inside.”
“Well it looks like he tried a few methods,” an arson specialist with the Icelandic fire department told the Grapevine. “From what we can tell he first tried smoking meat in a cardboard box. He then fitted an empty beer can with coals to the box to get the smoking process going. In another method he seemingly used cigarettes to smoke meat on a stovetop aluminum foil container. This should be a lesson to all of us not to attempt such things without proper training or supervision.”
Homeowner Árni refused to press charges, fearing retribution from children nationwide should he keep them from receiving presents in their shoes.
Ketkrókur was therefore released after being shown how to open a refrigerator and promising not to make any further attempts to smoke meat in people’s homes.
Ketkrókur will be making his annual visit at the National Museum of Iceland today at 11 am.
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