LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST
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- Published 16.07.11
The Icelandic Phallological Museum, in the fishing village of Húsavik in Iceland, is a museum devoted to penises. It was set up in 1997. Till date, it has 276 penises, taken from 46 animal species. These include 55 specimens from whales, one of which is 67 inches long. There are also 36 penises from seals and 118 from land mammals. The only thing missing was a human penis. Recently, the curator of the museum, Sigurdur Hjartarson, made an announcement that at long last the museum had acquired a human penis. “Our collection is finally complete,” he told the press. He also told the media how the penis was acquired. “When the museum opened, Pall Arason offered to donate his penis. He liked to be provocative, he was a boaster, and because he was over 80, I figured we wouldn’t have to wait long. But I had to wait almost fifteen years; he lived to be 95 and died last January.” A doctor was asked to separate the organ from the body. Hjartarson also asserted, “Why should it be any more remarkable to donate a penis than to donate a kidney?”
We in India have a reverent attitude towards the human phallus. It is looked upon as a symbol of creation. There are stone replicas of phallic symbols in many temples, and we worship them as we worship other gods.
I found out about Iceland’s phallic museum from the recent issue of Private Eye, which quotes the spring 2011 issue of the Iceland Review.
Way with words
Jyotika Sikand was working with the Israeli embassy in Delhi when she converted to Judaism. I met her a couple of times when my son was in Delhi. For reasons known only to her, she gifted me seven important books that are not available in book stores. The books were worth their weight in gold. One of them is a selection of poems published in a Mumbai magazine called the Onlooker. The poems were penned by men serving in the army, navy or the air force. Some are also written by their wives. The poetry is not excellent, but is still highly readable. I quote one on the monsoon composed by someone named Slib:
The monsoon comes, bright gleams
The rain is dripping
through the trees;
And every bird and tree,
Thanks God for each
The monsoon comes; all
The parched earth its fierce
And starving cattle graze their fill
Of sweet, green grass over plain and
The monsoon comes and mosquitos
They gorge your blood in swarms
Cockroaches scamper on the spree
And moths let up your pedigree.
Powers of deduction
A beggar knocked on the door of a hotel called ‘Lama & Dragon’, in a Himalayan kingdom. A woman opened the door. “Could I have a bite to eat?” he said.
“No,” screamed the woman and slammed the door.
The beggar knocked again, and the woman opened the door with a sour face. He said very politely, “I guess you’re Mrs Dragon. Now, could I have few words with Mr Lama?”
A man applied for the job of a prison guard. The head jailer said, “Now the guys in here are real rough. Do you think you can handle it?” “No problem,” replied the applicant, “if they don’t behave, out they go!”
Santa: “Bhaji, is there any difference between complete and finished?”
Banta: “Yes, when you marry, the right one, you are complete and when you marry the wrong one, you are finished. When the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are completely finished.”