Short-Lived Warmth, Proverbially

Skammgóður vermir að pissa í skóinn
It’s short-term relief to piss in your shoes

No, I’m not just being vulgar. This is an Icelandic proverb, explained to me by a co-worker today. By way of explanation, he said, “it’ll keep you warm for awhile, but then you’re just wet and smell bad.” This can be applied to hackneyed financial plans, myopic political statements, or any number of situations in life.

For instance, that time a few years ago that our kitchen sink pipes suddenly burst, and our landlady sent her neighborhood helper dude to “fix it,” which really meant that he was just going to wrap duck tape around the hole and leave us the roll for future patch-ups?

Skammgóður vermir að pissa í skóinn.

Given that peeing in one’s shoes is probably not most people’s first idea when trying to keep warm these days, I think this saying also gives a fair amount of insight into olden days Iceland, too. You do what you gotta do.

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