To Fika or not to Fika

I sit in a cafe as I write this and I can’t help but think to myself, “Why won’t these stupid assholes sitting all around me talking on their cell phones lower their goddam voices? For sanity’s sake, I don’t want to hear about the pros and cons of ‘getting your eyebrows done’ or how stressful it is to be involved with ‘like, some type of business type thing.'” If I were a Viking I’d do humanity a favor and cut these people down. Then again, if I were a Viking I’d probably be off in some brothel or tavern instead of in this cafe sipping on a girly drink.

But hey, it’s the twenty-first century and I like to get my fika* just as much as the next guy. Going for a fika isn’t going to make me any less Viking than I already am. Centuries upon centuries of anti-Viking social constructs doomed me in that regard before I was even born, so I absolve myself of any personal responsibility for my iced chai tea latte. Besides, I bet the Vikings would have enjoyed a good fika back in their day. The modern Vikings certainly did, as Ingrid Törnblom made clear to me during my interview with her. Hell, today’s Nordic region even boasts the world’s heaviest coffee drinkers, so all this impetuous theorizing isn’t totally off key.

But whatever your stance on the Viking-fika debate, I think we should all be able to agree that cell phones are even less Viking than cafes because cafes wouldn’t have diminished Viking awesomeness to the same degree that cell phones would have. The Vikings were (and—posthumously—still are) the epitome of badass, going off the way they did to seek new lands, wealth, and, very possibly, glorious death. If they had been able to call home during their exploits, it wouldn’t have been nearly as cool:

—”Hey mom, it’s me.”

—”Oh, I’m so glad to hear from you! Where are you now? Is everything okay?”

—”Yeah, everything’s fine. We had some good raiding in Frisia on the way here and now we’re camped outside Paris. We’re laying siege to the city. How’s everything there?”

—”Oh, that’s so exciting! We’re all doing good here. Your father killed one of the slaves again. You know his temper. But listen, we’re all just so proud of you. Are you taking your vitamins?”

—”Yes, mom.”

You get the idea. The suspense would have been gone and a whole aura of lameness would have hung over the Vikings’ otherwise purely awesome achievements. No way a group of Vikings sitting around a cafe would be as lame as a Viking on a cell phone.



*Okay, okay, okay, for those of you that want to get really technical, I’m not getting my fika as I write this. I’m sitting here all by my lonesome. And I’m drinking tea, not coffee. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still like to get my fika on at all. I do. Don’t make me whine about how I’m not a Viking, but that if I were, I’d come over there and cut you down.


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