Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ollie and Lena's Big Vacation

"Perhaps they were just sick and tired of living at the ends of the earth and having almost nothing but seals to eat."  
- Niels Lynnerup, anthropologist and forensic scientist, University of Copenhagen (explaining why the Vikings left Greenland)

"Get me outa here!"

Speaking for myself, I'd say that about sums it up. Oh - perhaps I should introduce myself - Ollie Olafsson, about the last person in this godforsaken place. The wife has been bugging me to move someplace warm, so next week we're catching the last boat out of here for Iceland. We visited Iceland a few years ago and thought it was really nice. You know how it is when you're on vacation - seems like the livin' is easy and you could just stay forever, so we decided to chuck up everything and follow the sunshine, if you see what I mean. Fact is, most of the old neighborhood is looking pretty rough, what with the stone walls gone all crazy and the roofs fallen in.

I never could figure why anyone came here in the first place. Start a rock farm but not much else. I guess it was a bit balmier a few centuries back when they sold building plots here and everyone was dying to get out of Norway, start a little organic vineyard and artisanal cheese operation. Still, how they could ever sell this place as "Greenland" beats all. The gumption these salesman have is something, I tell you. Nothing "green" about this dump, unless you count the moss on the rocks.

They shoulda spotted something was wrong when the only people they ever run into hereabouts was these Inuits, who'd just stand around in little knots, staring like eedjits before they'd bugger off again in their walrus-hide boats. Oddest bunch of people, I tell you. Annoying is the word. Keep the damn whale-and-walrus market and welcome to it, was my take on the matter of Inuits.

Well, and I mean it was one damn thing after another - first it started to get colder, not all at once but over a few decades the mean temperature dropped like a stone. "Mean temperature" is about right, about as mean as it gets. So all the cows died and everyone went to sheep and goat herding. But hell, I'm not a shepherd, never was cut out for that business. I'm a cow man, always was. Daddy always said, if you can't make cheese out of it, it ain't worth putting in a skin bucket. And then damned if all the sheep and goats didn't up and die. Okay by me, says I to the wife.

Which left seals. Seals every darned place you looked. Couldn't hardly walk about the place without stepping on a seal. And you can't herd the consarned things, most contrary animal I ever saw outside of a goat maybe. Try to move them along, they'll all lie down and bask or whatever the hell they call it that seals do. Or wake 'em up, they'll all head straight for the water and bask in it. No managing the damned things. Sure, they're all organic and free-range and what have you, but that comes at a price if you get my drift.

Best way to manage a seal, far as I can tell, is kill it. Then eat it. Which gets old real quick. There's nothing like a steady diet of seal to make a feller smell funny overnight. Keeps the wife in the next room, which a feller don't want all the time, if you see what I mean.

 But once we started dealing in seals, no one ever stopped on the beach any longer - never saw another boat come by, trading dried up, you couldn't get nothing - axe, adze or augur - for love nor money. Worst of it is, we ain't even played in a Super Bowl since 1976. Never mind won a Super Bowl.

No comments:

Post a Comment