Do you feel like screaming? To be specific, do you feel like screaming at unoccupied expanses of Iceland? That can be arranged.
At the website lookslikeyouneediceland.com, you can scream as loud as you like, and they’ll pump it through a loudspeaker into the empty realm of Iceland. You hope they warned the tourists.
If there’s anything that made me want to scream lately — besides, you know, the overall totality and molecular particulars of 2020 — it’s the presence of methanol in hand sanitizer. Perhaps you saw the news story: The FDA is warning people that the precious Goop of Health may contain a bad form of alcohol that can be absorbed through the skin and make you blind, if you get enough.
Great, you think: It’s like we’re in Prohibition days, worried about bathtub hooch. I know these are Unprecedented Times, but could you guys just not sell poison during a pandemic, if it isn’t too much to ask?
The FDA has a list of the nasty brands, and it seems quite a few come from the same company in Mexico. I got out all the bottles I’d picked up since the stuff came back on the market and ran the brands. Ding, ding, ding! One of them, Bersih, was on the list. We hadn’t used it, so no one was walking into walls. But if I hadn’t checked, we’d be performing the hand-washing equivalent of chugging a smoothie made with windshield washer fluid.
Where did I get it, though? Four possible stores. It was $10, so was it worth the effort to drive around and try the return desks? This is where I want to call up Iceland, and scream — or, rather, voice the particulars of this completely typical 2020 screw-up. Someone might be hiking in the remote expanse over craggy volcanic rock and hear a series of screams, followed by:
“I didn’t save the receipt because, why would I? But now I’m out 10 bucks because Mexico got sloppy with the poison. We now return you to your regularly scheduled shrieks of wordless angst.”
That got me thinking. Why not come up with a Minnesota version of the Iceland Scream project? We could set up some speakers in the Boundary Waters. But there would be no screams. We do this Minnesota Nice-style. People would be paddling along, and then a quiet, slightly tired voice would come from the deep woods:
“I’m sorry, but I still think the zipper merge encourages cheaters. Anyhoo, had to get that off my chest.
“I don’t know what’s worse, the thought that there won’t be Vikings football or the thought that there will, and I have to go through all that again.
“Are they really going to lower the speed limit to 20? You guys in the canoes there are probably doing more than that now.
“Lately I think a lot about how I’ve been eligible for Perkins’ senior menu longer than my dog has been alive.”
Imagine someone hiking through the woods, enjoying the ancient depths of the untamed world, and suddenly a disembodied voice from far away says the words that let you know Minnesotans have had enough, have kept silent long enough, and finally have to let it out:
“Well, that’s different.”