Today is April 1, which means the Fools come out in the Western World. The Icelanders, never averse to having a laugh, enter into the spirit of this day with great gusto, going to elaborate lengths to play practical jokes on their fellow countrymen. The object of the game is to trick someone into crossing a threshold – ‘cause if they don’t cross a threshold, the foolery is a failure.
The media have a field day, each running an April Fools’ story designed to get as many people as possible across their thresholds and to some pre-arranged destination where will be the laughing stock of the whole nation. These reports are usually carefully prepared – cabinet ministers and other elite persons routinely take part in the fun, allowing themselves to be interviewed deadpan on TV, claiming some outrageous thing really is true. One broadcast a couple of years ago springs to mind, where it was maintained that the church in Kópavogur had been decked out like McDonald’s for some reason [I can’t remember why exactly but there was some fairly plausible reason, and in any case the church has all these built-in ‘M’s on it] and through some pretty fancy engineering they’d managed to create footage that made it look like it had. The mayor of Kópavogur was on TV and talked about this like it was a done deal and all the fools gasped and wasted no time in rushing out their doors to get a first-hand look.
So it was with some eagerness that YT flipped through Fréttablaðið this morning to find the fake news item. There it was on page 4: Fischer Invites the Nation to Play Chess. The gist of it was that old Bobby would be demonstrating his fancy chess moves in Smáralind [a.k.a. Penis Mall*] at noon today and challenging anyone who wanted to play. It was added for good measure that Bobby had not played chess in public for 13 years, but that he’d occasionally engaged in a game or two with his fellow inmates in Japan.
The mbl.is website, on the other hand, ran a report that Coldplay [who are Icelandophiles, really and truly] were coming here to do a video and they needed extras down at the harbour at 5 pm. [Tee-hee. We shall see if anyone falls for that one.]
The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service didn’t do a fake news report as far as I could tell, and to no-one’s surprise: they’re currently embroiled in a vicious battle over a politically-appointed chief news editor [the entire news staff threatening to walk off the job and whathaveyou]. However, we still have the State TV and Channel 2 news this evening, who rarely disappoint in this regard.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH
YT is yet to pull any stunts today. However, I have had moderate success in the past, particularly with AAH. [There’s a kitten in the basement! It’s so cute – hurry!] On the other hand, EPI called up this morning about an hour after he’d left for work.
EPI: Did I forget my sandwich on the kitchen counter?
EPI: Thought so. Listen, E. [their company driver] will be going past in a little while and offered to pick it up… do you think you could just leave it outside the door…?
Yuk, yuk, yuk! Whaddaya take me for? A complete and utter fool??
What can I say. It’s been beautiful all day long – brilliant sunshine and moderate winds and a wonderful, incredible feeling of spring in the air. Went out for a walk this morning around the golf course and it was stunning – despite there being hardly any wind there was a really heavy tide so the waves were big and beautiful and bottle-green with white foamy crests and they crashed in to the shore with that gorgeous sound that is both so incredibly gentle and enormously powerful. I could have stayed there for hours, hypnotized, watching. Current temps are 5°C and daybreak was at 5.56, nightfall set for 21.09.
*Believe it or not, this is one of the most popular google searches for this site!