When I was a teacher in the prison, a lot of my instructional time was spent making my students aware of common myths that are not actually true. For example, no, it is not legal (or usually physically possible) to drive sideways in Japan, despite what Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift made you believe. No, your blood is not blue until it hits the oxygen, despite what your fourth grade teacher told you…and your fifth and seventh grade teachers if you attended school in Alabama. No, Jamaica is not one big giant weed-patch, and no, it is not legal for foreigners to just head on down there and toke up; turns out there’s actually this really cool extortion plot where the police will drop a few seeds in your stash, since having seeds amounts to ‘intent to grow and distribute’ and is actually an executable offense if your parents can’t pay the ‘fine.’
So, after years of crushing inmates’ traffic hopes and ganja dreams, it’s time for my own comeuppance. I am a firm believer in the existence of a wonderful holiday celebrated every year for centuries, nay since the very written word was created. I know very little about this holiday except what a passing Facebook meme told me, and the meme was so honest and delightful that I dared not actually look it up for fear it might not be true.
Happy Jolabokaflod! I’ve written before about the magic of the holiday season, about the many Jolabokaflod carols and recipes and decorations, but in case you missed it, here’s the Clif Notes version: on December 24th, Imma hand you a book. You unwrap it, and no matter if you’ve read it before or hate that author or already have something you wanted to read, you get your ass in the bed with a cup of chocolate (it might just be hot chocolate, again, too scared to Google it in case this isn’t real) and you read that book.
Here’s where I fucking dare anyone to say, “I’ve been to Iceland, in fact, I was there for Christmas visiting my very Icelandic family, and we don’t do this. There was talk that it used to be a thing, but that was back before the Vikings came and burned our library huts. It’s pretty much made up and gets spread on Facebook every year for some strange reason.”
This is a holiday I was made for. Yes, I still love all the other holidays, but just like how everybody gets to be “one-thirty-eighth Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day and all the white people stampede the Mexican restaurants on Cinco de Mayo, I declare us all to be Icelandic on December 24th, just so all of you can buy me a book. You’re welcome.
If you have some downtime before the New Year and want to throw yourself a Jolabokaflod party, it’s not actually too late. It seems like you only need a book, some chocolate, and somewhere to sit your ass down. I can’t recommend The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore enough, or Hugh Howey’s Beacon 23 if you hate happiness and smiling. Go nuts with it.