Dear Nancy Bercaw!

I thought eating turkey in Abu Dhabi last year was the cat’s meow, but Thanksgiving in Reykjavik totally takes the cake.  Why am I using these expressions? Because maybe the clichés will turn you away before you get more than you bargained for.

Please be warned that further reading will take you from a big church to some “sperm” whales in one sentence. In other words, do not proceed if you fall into the prim and proper category.


On this snowy beautiful Thanksgiving afternoon, we were enjoying the waning light and view of Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrimskirkja —  a stunning Luthern church designed in honor of a great Icelandic religious poet — when I turned to Allan and uttered something I never ever thought I’d ever say:

“Shouldn’t we push on to the penis museum now?”


Yup, that’s what I said. And I meant every word of it. The Icelandic Phallological Museum is as much a part of the local landscape as Hallgrimskirkja.

Off we went, then, to see what the big fuss is all about. Turns out the museum itself is small and so too will be my review.

Basically, it’s a collection of defunct erections from Iceland’s animal kingdom. Non-human, of course. Mixed in, for good measure, are some phallic carvings by the museum’s founding member.


David was totally weirded out, and gave the shaft to all the shafts by taking a seat in the gift shop — which didn’t exactly offer reprieve.

Before entering, I tried to tell him that the place was just like an “Ankle Museum” if one existed. Simply a collection of body parts on display. He wasn’t buying  any of it. But I did buy a few souvenirs near his not-so-hiding spot. Watch out if you are on my Christmas list!


Meanwhile, Allan looked around with a very serious expression — eyeing the place as more of a morgue than museum. He actually looked very pained.

And me? Well, I considered writing a new book called “Penis in a Jar,” but there really isn’t enough to say at length. I can tell you, briefly, that the sperm whale’s moby dick is about 4-feet long.

The whole thing was over before we knew it. Dozens came before and after usThe museum must surely be making money hand over fist.

Deflated, we wandered off to a few gift shops and found a tiny cafe in which to dine on soup and quesadillas.

Then, we headed back to our hotel-apartment where the receipt for our stay had been slipped under our door with the salutation “Dear, Nancy Bercaw” and a ridiculously huge exclamation point.


I’d say that piece of punctuation pretty well sums up the church, the museum, our day and entire stay.

Happy Thanksgiving from Reykjavik!

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