Of Debt and Dicks

With the interwebs dominated by news of the head-banging-on-brick-wall drama going on in Washington, D.C. over the debt crisis, where U.S. governmental dysfunction has reached farcical levels once again, leading the country to the brink of financial disaster, a disaster that could have disastrous repercussions all around the world…

…well, I never thought I’d say this, but…

I’m grateful to have come across this story at Salon:

Welcome to the world’s largest penis collection

HUSAVIK, Iceland — Three years ago when a local fisherman found a dead walrus on his property, he cut off its penis and called Sigurdur Hjartarson.

“I’ve taken it off. Do you want it?” he asked, figuring Hjartarson, the curator of the phallological museum located conveniently a few miles away, might be interested in the genitals of what he described as an extremely old, two ton walrus.

Hjartarson was thrilled. His Icelandic Phallological Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of penises and penile parts, had scored another valuable specimen.

Thank god for comic relief!

The article vacillates between cringe-inducing:

But not all of the penis specimens on display in Husavik are so frighteningly large. That’s especially true for the organ filed under the code “D15b.”

This one belonged to a human male, a renowned womanizer named Pall Arason who died in January at the age of 95 after claiming to have bedded 296 women (he kept a “gentlemen’s scorecard,” naturally).

In 1996, Arason agreed to have his penis donated to the museum after his death. He kept his word, although right before he passed away he regretted it had “shriveled embarrassingly” in the last years.

Today the specimen, hair and all, sits among the smaller mammal pieces — rats, rabbits and hamsters whose bits, humiliatingly enough, come with a magnifying glass — in the transparent case with the caption: “Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Member whole, with scrotum and both testicles. In formalin.”

…and guffaw-inducing:

“Collecting penises is like collecting anything. You can never stop, you can never catch up, you can always get a new one, a better one,” Hjartarson said as he reached into the museum’s penis-shaped cash register to return some change to a customer, before picking up a phone of the same shape.

…and though I do not harbor a phallus phetish, Iceland has now inched up — so to speak — my travel wish list.

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