“Well now, don’t that just beat the band!” I could hear my father’s voice uttering this midwesternism as I learned of a museum in Iceland, The Icelandic Phallological Museum. Yes, it exhibits phalluses. This museum claims to be the “only museum in the world to contain a collection of phallic specimens belonging to all the various types of mammals found in a single country.”
That expression was one my father used when learning of something amazing, outrageous or ridiculous upon reading about it in a newspaper or magazine. A friend of mine had alerted me to an article in “Slate,” the online news publication, titled “The Penises of the Icelandic Handball Team.” It is about a sculpture exhibited at this museum, fifteen sculpted metal phalluses, of different lengths (heights), each leaning at a slightly different angle from the vertical, encased in a plexiglass case. It is positioned under a large photograph of the manly 2008 handball team. I guess my dad’s expression is about as good a rejoinder as any, other than “WTF?” Which, under the circumstances, would be an unintended pun.
Anyone who has read more than one of my essays knows I am not a prude. So I am not really grossed out. And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised either — well OK, I’m moderately surprised. The human race appears to have no end of “treats” in store for us. You have only to be moderately alert on any given day to learn something amazing. But, I have to admit, this is slightly more surprising than some things that have come to my attention recently. Continue reading