I’ve been to Reykjavik and I think I know what it is that makes them cling so tenaciously to life: it isn’t their diet of cod, puffin, reindeer, putrid shark or lamb; it isn’t the fact that their danglies are kept in a cool, dark place during the endless and sunless winter; it isn’t that alcohol is prohibitively expensive; it isn’t the therapeutic effects of a nice dip in the hot water of the Blue Lagoon; it isn’t down to the fact that the whole place smells of sulphur; it isn’t even down to the fact that the island explodes once in a while and puts paid to European air-travel; nope, it’s all down to the women.
The women, young and old, are astonishingly beautiful. Mr Smudd’s appreciation of their beauty had his head swivelling, his tongue hanging out and his eyes popping out of his head until I distracted him with a few quick kicks to the shin.
The men, on the other hand, are trolls. Honestly. Trolls in chunky home-knits to be precise. Trolls in chunky home-knits with no discernible attractive features, other than the gorgeous wives and girlfriends hanging on their cosy, chunky-sweatered arms.
And there you have it. The thing that stops these goblins from popping their clogs is that they don’t know they’re born in the first place.