The Yule Lads Are Here!
Time for the fifth brother of thirteen, which means it's time to terrify the children again! You'd think Pot-Scraper would be yet another kitchen raider, but back in the Icelandic day, giving the kids the pot to scrape clean was sort of the equivalent of licking the bowl.
His method is to knock on the door when the parents aren't around, and when the kids run up to answer it he'll slip in somewhere else and steal the children's treat for himself. In a roundabout way, he's the Stranger Danger of his day! Although let's be honest, that applies to all of these crazy jerks. They're so unclassy that they not only steal candy from children, they also make it their primary occupation.
Defense against Pot-Scraper:
- Don't leave the kids alone at home
- Eat the yummy bits yourself
- Lock every other entrance to the home thoroughly
- Goddamnit kids I told you about strangers
So, Bowl-licker. This one requires a bit of an explanation. You see, there is a certain kind of food container in Iceland called an Askur, which doesn't have an equivalent elsewhere. The "bowl" this lad licks is the Askur.
There are two reasons why him licking these is mean. The first is that an empty Askur would be left out for the cat or dog of the house to lick as a bit of a treat, and Bowl-licker would snatch it from the pet for himself. Petty cruelty to animals is literally the worst, as I'm sure you'll agree. The other reason is that sometimes he might snatch one of these when it's full, and over Christmas the Askur is traditionally filled with all kinds of special treats that each person is meant to be responsible for on their own and pace over Christmastime.
Essentially, Bowl-licker will steal your candy-filled stocking. And then lick it.
Defense against Bowl-licker:
- Don't use an Askur (practically no one does this anymore)
- Don't skimp on the pet food, he only wants scraps to steal from them
- In fact, don't have pets
- Eat all the candy first, you disgusting pig
Although the other Lads' acts of dickery may be confusing to modern people, and most of them require a fair understanding of medieval Icelandic culture and way of life to fully appreciate, Door-Slammer's rather bland brand of shithead-ism requires little elaboration. This asshole shows up at your house in the middle of the night and slams your fucking doors. Repeatedly.
Door-Slammer's threat is slightly more insidious than merely keeping you up at night. A common kiddie activity in Iceland is to make fun of / emulate the Yule Lads at Christmas. As most parents will not allow kids to lick kitchenware or have unholy congress with sheep, this is usually limited to things like pretending to have stiff peg legs or sniffing the air a lot.
But Door-Slammer. Ohhh, Door-Slammer. Such a simple thing for a kid to do. He corrupts our youth.
Defense against Door-Slammer:
- Lock and bar doors when not in active use
- Alternatively, wedge them open securely
- Don't allow kids anywhere near your home
- Use nothing but revolving doors and sell it as ultra-modern art
This dude will get into your skyr-barrel and not just lick or steal a little, oh no. He'll eat until he can't eat any more at all, and that's going to be a whole hell of a lot.
Okay, so what the hell is skyr? To Wikipedia!
Skyr (Icelandic pronunciation: [»scj–r%]) is an Icelandic cultured dairy product, similar to strained yogurt. Technically, it is a fresh acid-set cheese. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years. It is traditionally served cold with a topping of sugar and cream.
It is delicious. And also nutritious! And this fucker eats it all.
Defense against Skyr-Gobbler:
- Locks, keys and alarms.
- Eat it all yourself.
- Security cameras that you never stop watching.
- Never sleep. Never rest.
Thanks to Rulebook Heavily for his lively Lad guide! You'll meet the final five in next Tuesday's Comedy Goldmine, plus awesome seasonally/culturally-relevant artwork from other SA Goons!