I’m still waiting for my Scandinavian contacts to get back to me regarding the current whereabouts of Edmund ‘the Honest’ Ek (aka ‘Blumin Ek’). In the meantime you might be interested to know that the so-called ‘trouser incident’ (which I alluded to here) also took place during the Ek’s American lecture tour (which I mentioned here).
The official story goes like so: Ek’s trousers were stolen whilst he was taking part in a ceremonial dinner hosted by the master of a college that shall remain nameless. During the first course of said meal his trousers were intact: belt in place, legs amply enclosed. By the middle of the second, they were gone: bare legs evident! Thus when the unfortunate writer rose to go to the restroom (‘toilet’, for my English readers) he found himself stripped down to his underwear. How exceedingly embarrassing! The trouser thief had, by all accounts, stolen under the table and removed the trousers with such care that the writer had noticed nothing. Admittedly, he was by this stage somewhat inebriated, if not tired out by the ceaseless rounds of socialising thrust upon him by the college and wider university community. Nevertheless, this strikes me as an impressive stunt, by anyone’s standards.
Or was it? The truth, it seems, is that the whole thing (like Ek’s reading) was yet another ‘set-up’. The person who removed Ek’s trousers was, it appears, the same person who impersonated him during the reading. The situation was planned, by Ek himself, to create a stir (and, no doubt, to subvert the rather serious atmosphere of the evening). It is, in fact, well-known that Ek was – and still is – especially attached to his legs. Or, to put it another way, he has rarely missed an opportunity to air them in public. Indeed, he is the person least likely to be embarrassed by the unexpected disappearance of his trousers.
[To this I should add that Ek was not the only fan of his legs. I have been led to believe, by certain women, that these particular limbs had already garnered a lot of attention, inside and outside the literary world (it is now defunct, but for a long while the website ekslegs.com was, I am told, a palpable hit). This suggests, then, that he was, by arranging the theft of his own trousers, giving a little something back to his female fans.]