Finding My Blue Blood


I had hoped to help a friend deliver toilet paper to do-gooders in the area. Not American style; that is, not by tossing toilet paper into locals' trees. No, here in Iceland toilet paper is purchased for charity. Like Girl Scout cookies in the US, or magazine subscriptions.

But due to heavy rains, the toilet paper never came.

To my disappointment, instead of reveling in mounds of TP, I had to watch a documentary on Danish monarchs. Somehow, I have seen four episodes of the series. For the first three weeks, these documentaries made me angry, as they were so incredibly boring. While I don't doubt that the Danish royalty are good people, they seem shell-shocked by their own boredom. The surviving members of the royal family are continuously interviewed, recounting the most tedious of dinner incidents through coffee-stained teeth and excessively polite smiles.

"My uncle, the Prince Handlebar Moustache the Fiftieth, had the most vicious sense of humor. At one time, he scratched into the window sill in the second drawing room, 'Handy and Nannyfoo.'"

Last night, we were informed of an aunt who was a sister to the princess of Norway, who had the most "naughty" sense of humor. (It's always the most blank sense of humor.) Ah, I thought, we'll be paid off for our weeks of attention to this program. Perhaps this woman has a mouth to battle with Charles of England and his wooing of Camilla.

Nope. The aunt's naughty humor including selling her sister's hat. And then, the descendant tells us, "My aunt informed the princess that she had received a good deal on the hat and so she had taken it. She had such a sense of humor."

I was astounded at the lack of humor in the depiction of this anecdote. It made me wonder if the definition of good breeding is the inability to deliver a punch line.

Then I realized the purpose of this horrible show. Iceland has had almost six hundred years of rule by foreign kings. This show demonstrates how truly traumatizing that must have been.

I picked up my phone as soon as the show was over and called a confused friend. "Hey. Hey, listen to me!" I said. I then delivered a favorite Chris Rock joke. "Your mama is so damned fat, she jumped in the air. and got stuck!"


"I'm sorry. I guess I don't know your mother. Perhaps she isn't heavy. I was mistaken," I said. All the while, I was thinking I may be royalty, which is good. BC [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.