A Midsummer’s Wishful Slaughter

Some years ago, back before I had mastered the art of achieving successive levels of personal failure in the “real world,” one of my friends and I went souvenir shopping in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan. We were having a good time until a family of unspeakably obese Americans entered the same store as us and immediately proceeded to bring stereotypical public shame to our shared nationality.

The audible harbinger of stupidity incarnate was what first caught our attention. Unimportant things were being said, and thanks to the apparent lack of or disregard for any sense of volume control, they were being said loud as fuck. Primal instincts for self-effacement kicked in as my friend and I moved further away from the door in an effort to avoid being associated with the obnoxious newcomers, as well as to try and remove ourselves from earshot. But we totally failed in the latter, mainly because success was simply not an option given the circumstances.

Thus we were subjected to an aural assault extremely moronic in nature. The stupidity bottomed out when the conversation turned to the numerous and difficult factors to consider when purchasing a dalahäst. For those of you unfamiliar with dalahästs, they are surprisingly expensive. Imagine our chagrin then, when, after discussing the prospects of buying a foot-tall (!) dalahäst* with her male counterpart, the ghastly female Ameritroll declared a most sensible concern for her horde, my buddy, myself, the other shoppers, the store workers, and lots of people on the street outside to hear: “Howard! But Howard?! What if the dog chews on it, Howard?! Howard, do you think the dog will chew on it?! Howard?! Howard, I’m talking to you!”

Weaponry abounds here! My mind screamed. Don a plastic horned helmet with fake blond braids! Grab a plastic Norse sword or axe, and attack! Fucking Attack! Spare no one! Gods of war arise!

But I avoided confrontation instead, because that’s what I do. Not that attacking would have really made a difference anyway, not with those hundreds upon hundreds of pounds (literally) of protective flabby flesh armor flopping off the bones. Spiritually defeated, my friend and I stealthily departed the shop in the hopes of avoiding further embarrassment.

Nonetheless, I regret my inaction to this day. Looking back, I feel like this was probably that one pivotal moment in my life that I failed to rise to and meet the challenge of, and as a result I subsequently plunged headlong into a downward spiral of non-Viking lameness in the following years. Bummer.



*At the time of this writing, a foot-tall dalahäst from Grannas A. Olssons Hemslöjd AB costs SEK 1174:- / $164 / €114.


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2 Responses to “A Midsummer’s Wishful Slaughter”

  1. Allagash says:

    these are so funny! you should have let them have it!

  2. Thorkel says:

    Skål Earslings.
    It has never ceased to amaze me that when one travels abroad and encounters fellow countrymen, that more often than not they are loud and obnoxious.

    This you may think strange coming from a new age viking, that one such as myself would be aghast at loud and obnoxious behaviour by my compatriots. It seems to me that this is an interesting social phenomenom. How can my fellow shipmates storm ashore yelling and screaming invocations to norse gods, waving our bloodied axes, swords and spears (not forgetting little Sven in his bear suit foaming at the mouth doing a beserker) and yet be embarrassed, offended and ashamed of these strangers haggling for souvenirs or pulling faces because they don’t like the local delicacies?

    I don’t know why it is like this. Certainly these people are not usually the sort of people that one would associate with even in your own country. But it is also true that many compatriots band together while visiting foreign lands because of a sense of shared experiences or national identity. We just know that it is the fates. Possibly a proverb from the land of the rising sun may shed some light on this phenomenom: “While you are away, you have no neighbours”.

    What can we do about this type of behaviour? Short of clenching your axe and cleaving them through the skull or drawing your type XVII Oakshot sword and cutting their heads off, choices are limited. Certainly axes and swords can generally be difficult to get through Customs while travelling abroad. So taking a lead from the “Midsummer Wishfull Slaughter” and the normal viking response of cutting their heads off, I would like to suggest the following: As soon as you land in foreign lands, go to the nearest chinese ‘cheapjack’ store (These stores are ubiquitous throughout the world and easily located), stock up on plastic horned helmets, axes and swords, and when the need arises, don yon helm and draw your weapons and smite those who would assail our auditory sensibilities. Certainly a few chosen nordic war cries and invocations are helpful to contribute to the terror. They also help to cover your identity for a quick getaway. Unless you’re nordic of course.
    p.s. Don’t forget to take the hat off.
    Skål Earslings.

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