Sunday, October 23, 2005

Pass The Mead

Nurse Myra took great delight in bringing to my attention this Wanted ad from Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. It reads:


Viking Warriors

Calling all Erik the Reds, Odins, Thors and Beowulfs. Several 'Viking warriors' required for two weeks work. Authentic Viking appearance and extensive knowledge of Viking culture preferred. Must have own complete Viking costume including arms and armour. Historical re-enactment experience preferred.

Auditions 9.30 am Friday 28 October 2005.
Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. Applicants requested to be in full costume. Please bring references.

Valhalla Awaits. Beserkers† need not apply.

I don't know what thrills me the most: that applicants must arrive in full costume, or that they are expected to bring references!

Man, I really want to read those references. I imagine a typical one would go something like this:

To Whom it May Concern

Thangbrand Breiðskeggr has manned an oar in my longship for six months and I have found him to be a fine and upstanding fellow, if somewhat strongly smelling. His raping and pillaging skills are eclipsed only by his capacity for quaffing prodigous quantities of ale and his proficiency at knatteleik.

I think I can say that most of us here on the Mjöksiglandi Spörr will be sad to see Thangbrand go, but Odin knows that he is destined for bigger and better things.

I wish him every success in his future endeavours and I am sure that if he can control his temper and avoid further beheadings of his co-workers he will be a valuable addition to any workplace that will have him.

Yours &c
Erik Breiðrböllr

Dedicated readers of The Cow will have by now realised where I'm heading with all this. A bunch of Vikings turning up at the Maritime Museum in costume on Friday, and me with time on my hands as of Wednesday... Yes, that's right, not only do you get to read about it but I'm going to go get you some pictures.

I was especially motivated when I read the following description of Viking dances on Regia Anglorum:

"Several sources mention warriors performing acrobatic dances (often naked), whilst wielding weapons, usually in connection with the cult of Odin."

I don't know about you, but when I imagine yer typical Viking performing an acrobatic dance, fully armed and naked my brain has a sort of vodka-and-curdled-yoghurt-through-the-nose hysterical spasm.

Oh please let these guys on Friday be really dedicated.

†Tsk. You'd think that someone would check an unfamiliar word like 'berserker' before cavalierly whacking a spelling error up for all the world to see. Especially when they're appealing to people with extensive knowledge of Viking culture...


Blogger Alex said...

We look forward to it with great anticipation.

October 23, 2005 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Undercovercookie said...

I can NOT wait....

October 23, 2005 11:02 PM  
Blogger Chickie said...

Pictures! Oh goody! I am waiting with bated breath.

October 23, 2005 11:25 PM  
Blogger weirdpixie said...

Oh my, yes-- I do look forward to reading about this (and to the pictures).

First pirates, now vikings. This is fun.

October 24, 2005 5:35 AM  
Anonymous anne arkham said...


October 24, 2005 8:28 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

But why don't they want berserkers? They should be among the first chosen:

"Berserkers were the most feared Viking warriors. Cult followers of war-god Odin, they worked themselves into a trance-like state to become oblivious of pain. Their name has been interpreted as ‘bare skin’, without shirt, or ‘bear skin’, suggesting they wore animal skins." -- Museum webpage

October 24, 2005 10:41 AM  
Blogger Joe Fuel said...

All I can say is "Thank you."

October 24, 2005 11:55 PM  
Blogger r.fuel said...

Despite the pleas from the adoring public, I regret to say that I will not be making an appearance. I cannot stand idly by while my berserker brethren fall subject to prejudicial stereotyping.

October 25, 2005 1:24 AM  
Blogger anaglyph said...

Well, stay tuned folks. Will the disenfranchised Berserkers show up regardless, bare-chested and oblivious to pain? Will dozens of naked Vikings do fully-armed naked formation dancing? Will their references be satisfactory?

The only way you'll find out is to dial in to The Cow come Friday...

Word Verification Scrabble: 'raiggbn' A Viking swear-word if ever I heard one.

October 25, 2005 7:18 AM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam said...

Little-known fact: canonical Viking swear-word lexicon drives the word verification bus.

October 25, 2005 11:04 PM  
Blogger Martha Who? said...

that is excellent! thanks for the laugh.

October 26, 2005 10:32 AM  

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