Bring Him One Extra-Firm To Go

Looks yummy, no?

A 50-year-old man in Iceland was fined a total of nearly 40,000 Icelandic kroner for eating the mattress in his jail cell.

It all started at a hotel near Keflavík Airport where the fellow did a little too much wining with his dining, got himself nice and drunk, then attempted to skip out on his bill. He was nabbed and thrown in jail; partly as punishment, mainly to sleep it off. But, apparently, he had no intention of sleeping.

The jail guards claim that they checked on him 17 times during the night, took him to the toilet, brought him water three times, offered him coffee (which he declined), and took him to the doctor. Nevertheless, at some point that night, our man felt a little peckish and, finding no food on offer,

“… he felt he had no choice but to eat his own mattress,” says the Reykjavík Grapevine.

When questioned by a judge, the man said the jail staff denied his requests for food and drink and he was treated inhumanely. The judge disagreed—and the fact that this was the fellow’s fifteenth brush with the law since 1980 probably didn’t strengthen his case. If he doesn’t pay the fine, however, back to jail he goes. At least next time he’ll be familiar with the menu.


  1. Dorothy Hayes

    Digesting a mattress is no small feat. But, what’s going on in Iceland? Does anyone believe that the prisnoner would choose to eat a mattress? I believe he thought it was something else, like a sponge cake, the man was drunk. And, more, the man wasn’t charged for skipping out on the dinner at a restaurant, but he was fined for eating the jail’s mattress? It’s definitely a crime of consumption. In conclusion, Icelandic law was willing to turn its back on the stolen dinner, but when the prisoner ate the jail’s mattress, well, that was stepping over the cracks in the ice.

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