100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 23: Beware the Icelandic Menace!
By Dave Fox
[This story first appeared on my original humor website in 2005.]
Normally when people throw gasoline bombs at US embassies, our government puts a spokesperson on television to tell us the people who threw the bombs are bad people. But last weekend, the government, the media, and cats worldwide, all ignored the incident.
It is normal for cats to ignore embassy bombings. They are more concerned with what they would like to do to the squirrel outside their window, and why their owners feed them cheap dry food instead of tuna. But the government and the media don’t care about tuna and squirrels. Usually they do something when one of our embassies is bombed.
Why the lax attitude about this particular bombing? It took place in a country they think is safe to neglect – a big rock in the middle of the North Atlantic called Iceland.
Iceland is a windswept, usually peaceful country where apparently not a lot happens other than the occasional volcanic eruption. A friend from Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, told me that one time a bank was robbed there and the police never showed up. They thought the phone call to report it was a joke.
Iceland has a population of a little over a quarter million, which might have something to do with the fact that no American journalist has ever been there. And if I were Ted Turner (which, for the record, I am not) I probably would want my CNN producers to send reporters to places like Tel Aviv rather than Reykjavík. Nevertheless, we must take this bombing seriously.
(Also for the record, yes, yes, I know that actually an American journalist or two did go to Iceland during the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in 1986. And I know that Peter Jennings anchored ABC World News Tonight from a Reykjavík bar in 1989 on the night Iceland legalized beer. And I know that Keiko the Whale, of “Free Willy” fame, now lives in Iceland and had a flurry of Pacific Northwest reporters antagonizing him on his plane ride over from Portland. So please do not e-mail me with corrections to the previous paragraph.)
Anyway (…where was I?…) here is my concern:
I understand that Iceland is a very small country in terms of population. But if they had the courtesy to host an embassy bombing for us, don’t we owe it to them to at least acknowledge their attempt to enter the World Political Arena? What if Saddam had blown us off after we bombed Baghdad? What if he had just settled in for the evening with a nice glass of mint tea? We would have felt snubbed!
I scanned the headlines the day after the bombing thinking maybe it was a really big news day elsewhere in the world. Sometimes big news events like embassy bombings get covered up by even bigger news events. Here are some stories that did make the news the same day as the embassy bombing:
- The first anniversary of Elian Gonzales being torn from his US relatives by FBI agents. Okay, yes, Elian probably is cuter than the Reykjavík embassy bombers.
- REM guitarist Peter Buck was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London for so-called “air rage.” He was flying from Seattle when he allegedly assaulted two British Airways crew members. He was charged with causing criminal damage and “being drunk on an aircraft.” (Is it illegal to be drunk on an aircraft? Oops….)
- America Online’s news reported, “Suzanne Sommers Back!”
This brings me to the climax in this week’s column: the reason why these two Icelanders bombed the US embassy:
They were drunk.
The two bomber guys were busted outside the embassy compound, sloshed out of their minds. Shortly after the bombing, Reuters quoted a Reykjavík police officer as saying, “We have not even started questioning them because they were so drunk. They have to sleep it off first.”
Luckily, nobody was hurt in this gas bomb attack. But I am seriously concerned about the US response to the incident. We need to take these things seriously. This event, after all, shows us Iceland has the technology to manufacture Molotov Cocktails. I worry Iceland might come kick America’s butt someday.
I know that sounds farfetched, but there is a frightening Scientific Explanation as to why I think this: Iceland is getting bigger.
Iceland is a volcanic island, comprised of some of the youngest earth on this planet. As you sit, peacefully reading this column, Iceland is spreading. Very slowly, imperceptibly, lava is pushing up to Iceland’s rocky surface and cooling. As this happens, the island grows. Iceland’s coast moves outward by roughly one inch per year.
Give Iceland a few thousand years, and one day the country could be a bigger land mass than the former Soviet Union. And I worry that they just might remember the time their terrorists (well, okay, drunks) bombed our embassy and we giggled. They might not like us giggling at their terrorists.
We must take the Icelandic threat seriously. One day, Iceland might be bigger than us. Then we could have bigger problems to contend with than Suzanne Sommers.
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