Modern-Day Vikings

Lately, I’ve been putting my bus time to good use by imagining that all the Danes around me are Vikings like their distant forefathers, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to rape and pillage the northern coasts of Europe once more. I can vividly picture this furry-browed man sitting across from me in a smoky banquet hall, quaffing rancid beer from a bronze drinking horn and contentedly surveying the results of a lifetime of conquest. Or those two children up front, running in the dirt and playing warrior with sticks. For the most part, though, the images are silly – that spectacled businessman in a helmet and mail? He wouldn’t even make it as a herdsman! Denmark has clearly been softened by 800 years of Christianity, and few of her citizens are fit for anything more glorious than the role of the spindly poet in stock historical fantasy. Which is a good thing really, because if you spend too long picturing all your neighbors as bloodthirsty savages, you begin to get a little antisocial.

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