Last Friday my mother in law called me all excited about a radio program she was listening to. It was all about elves and hidden people in Iceland. It started off by saying if you want to do business in Iceland you better be nice to the elves.
The conversation had been sparked by a Vanity Fair article written by Michael Lewis about the economic meltdown in Iceland.
According to Lewis, when the American aluminum giant ALCOA decided that it wanted to build a smelter in Iceland, the company had to first verify that it wouldn't be trespassing on land occupied by "hidden people" or elves.Now, as far as we know, most ALCOA officials don't believe in elves. But ALCOA does acknowledge that it paid hard cash to make sure the future site of its smelter was elf-free.
The host then went on to interview Magnus Skarphedinsson, headmaster of the Icelandic Elf School. He said that ALCOA isn’t the only company to pay good money to go chasing mythical creatures. In fact highway engineers built around a boulder when it was discovered that it was home to a group of hidden people. If they hadn’t done so then their project would have been subject to sabotage.
Big companies use a consultant to see if elves or hidden people are living on the spot where they want to build. That would be quite the profession.