Norse History for Bostonians
When not choking on the sickly sweet taste of 21st-century despair, Rowdy Geirsson maintains www.scandinavianaggression.com and attempts to promote the glorious (or inglorious, as the case may be) deeds of Vikings past and present. Here, he discusses special topics in medieval Norse history with the intention of maximizing ease of comprehension among Bostonians and other pertinent New Englanders (Connecticuters excluded).
A Short History of the Norse Siege of Paris
Now back in 885 lots’ah Danish guys been sailin’ ‘round allovah the fuckin’ place, attackin’ whereevah they fuckin’ felt like n’ eithah stealin’ ah extohrtin’ a shitload’ah silvah, n’ so it’s no wondah that this one Danish guy, Sigfred, he stahts thinkin’ tah himself, “Yah know what, outtah all the places a guy can sail off tah, Frankland’s gottah be the best. I mean, all’ah Frankie’s a fuckin’ shitshow these days. Evah since Ragnah Hairy Breeches took his crew down there 40 fuckin’ years ago n’ mahched against Chahles the Bald, cheatin’ the system’s been like takin’ a fuckin’ walk in the pahk. I mean, I don’t know why the fuck I haven’t even bothahed to go down there yet myself. All I gottah do is get a crew tahgether n’ then just head on down there right, how fuckin’ hahd can that be?”
So Sigfred decides he’s gonnah fuckin’ attack Paris n’ so next thing he does is he goes n’ he gets a crew tahgethah, n’ I shit yah not but this guy, he got the whole fuckin’ neighbahhood tah go with him, fuckin’ like 700 ships in all, all sailin’ up the Seine Rivah with him. So there they ahr, right, makin’ their way towahds the city’s financial district when they gottah stop ‘cause now there’s this big fuckin’ bridge that’s cloggin’ the whole central ahrtahry intah the city. As it tuhrns out, the Franks, they’ve been keepin’ ‘emselves busy with a lottah nevahendin’ way the fuck ovah budget infrastruhctuhral projects n’ it’s poohr fuckin’ Sigfred n’ his crew who end up havin’ tah be the guys tah have tah find this out the hahd way. N’ so ah’couhrse as soon as Sigfred sees it, he’s fuckin’ like, “Where the fuck’d this fuckin’ thing come from? It didn’t used tah be here befohr. This thing’s lyin’ so low tah the watah that it might as well be a mothahfuckin’ science museum fah all the good it’s doin’ our voyage. I mean, seriously, this is just fuckin’ ridiculous.”
N’ so now that he’s gone n’ he’s gotten himself all wohrked up ovah the whole situation, he goes n’ he gets his swohrd n’ then he beaches his boat n’ fuckin’ jumps ovahboahrd n’ wades tah shore n’ the rest’ah his guys, they do the same thing n’ so what yah end up with is this huge fuckin’ ahmy full’ah pissed off Danish guys with swohrds walkin’ up the banks’ah the Seine Rivah straight intah the heahrt’ah Paris. Well ah’courhse the Franks see ‘em comin’, n’ so they empty the streets n’ then they staht baihricadin’ ‘emselves behind the thick walls of their strongest fohrtress ’cause back in those days a bunch’ah Danes walkin’ intah Paris was ‘bout as peaceful as bunch’ah noisy bastahds from the Nohrth End takin’ a stroll ‘round Southie; it just ain’t gonnah fuckin’ be pretty.
But the Danes though, now they’ve entahed the city n’ it’s kindah creepin’ ‘em out ’cause they’re not seein’ anyone n’ so now Sigfred’s gottah little dilemma on his hands on accoun’ah the fact that everything valuable fah the takin’s been removed from the immediate premises, n’ so he n’ his guys can’t even fuckin’ just plundah at their own leisuhre ah even have fun breakin’ shit apaht, which is the next best thing n’ the fact that they don’t even got that now is ‘bout as good fah morale as the Bs chokin’ in the postseason aftah a fuckin’ 3-0 lead in the confehrunce semifinals. It’s just fuckin’ disappointin’ tah the point’ah fuckin’ nausea.
But these Danish guys though, they keep on movin’ fuhthah intah the city n’ they’re goin’ block by block n’ so pretty soon they’re passin’ by the old mahketplace n’ then they’re goin’ by the state house n’ then the fuckin’ common n’ gahdens n’ even some’ah the city’s priciest fuckin’ shoppin’ streets—n’ the whole place is just completely fuckin’ desehrted every fuckin’ step’ah the way till finally they get tah a big squahe near the most impohrtant cathedral in the whole town, which is yah know, that’s where all the Franks happen tah be at.
So now Sigfred’s lookin’ up at its majestic green walls n’ he’s just thinkin’ tah himself, “Holy fuckin’ shit.” ‘Cause one look at this thing n’ he knows this thing’s not gonnah be easy tah break intah even with all the guys he brought with him. So he comes up with a diffahrent plan n’ walks up tah the doohr where the Franks ahr guahrdin’ it on the othah side n’ he says tah ‘em, "Yah know what, it’s gonnah be a real fuckin’ pain in the ass tah attack yah guys, so I’d rathah not have tah go n’ do that. So how ‘bout this instead? How ’bout yah let us pohrtage our ships through yah city tah the othah side’ah the bridge n’ if yah don’t attack us, then we won’t attack yah eithah. We’ll just continyuh onwahds up rivah n’ plundah the wealthy subuhrbs on the othah side’ah the city instead. How’s that sound tah yah?"
Well, I gottah say, it must’ah sounded pretty fuckin’ shitty tah the Franks ‘cause next thing yah know the Danes ahr siegin’ the fuck outtah that goddamned cathedral. N’ yah can imagine what this sohrt’ah situation does fah the ovah’all health n’ hygiene’ah the city ‘cause now yah got the Franks who ahr dumpin’ their shit ovah the walls ontah the Danes n’ the Danes who ahr throwin’ their shit ovah the walls at the Franks, n’ on top’ah all that the Danes ahr just completely fuckin’ trashin’ the entiyah surroundin’ area, n’ so pretty soon the whole city is stahtin’ tah smell like the Back Bay back befohr it got filled in. N’ so this shit goes on fah fuckin’ like half’ah year ah so till finally Sigfred just can’t fuckin’ take the awful goddamn stench any longah n’ so he talks tah the Franks again n’ he gets ‘em tah pay him 60 pounds’ah silvah just tah go on back home.
But can yah fuckin’ believe that? Quittin’ fah fuckin’ 60 pounds’ah silvah like that? I mean that might sound like a lottah money tah us but tah a Danish guy fuckin’ with Frankie 1150 years ago, 60 pounds’ah silvah’s like bein’ bought off with a 6 pack’ah Hahpoon IPA. I mean, ah’couhrse yah’d rathah have it ‘en not have it, but yah take a deal like that aftah puttin’ yah entiyah heahrt n’ soul intah the mattah n’ yah just fuckin’ sellin’ yahself shohrt.
So Sigfred though, he leaves n’ he’s outtah the story now, n’ a few’ah his guys even go with him n’ all, but most’ah ‘em stick ’round ’cause they didn’t get offah’d anything tah leave ‘emselves, yah know. I mean, these guys, they prob’ly would’ah taken the same deal as Sigfred but it wasn’t offah’d tah ‘em n’ so what ahr they gonnah do, just leave empty-handed? Fuckin’ yeah right, these guys ahr fuckin’ Spear-Danes we’re talkin’ ‘bout, which means they’re the kinds’ah guys who don’t fuckin’ do anything they don’t wannah do n’ what they don’t wannah do is leave Paris empty fuckin’ handed.
But while all this’s been goin’ on, the Franks, they’ve been tryin’ tah figyuh out how tah fuckin’ salvage the situation ‘cause now the Danes basically got ’em by the balls in terhms’ah food supply. Now thing ‘bout Paris was, back in those days, it was impohrtant but not as impohrtant as it is now. Franks caihred more ’bout places like Aachen back in those days but they were just stahtin’ tah realize how impohrtant Paris’ location is, bein’ as its right where the Seine Rivah meets these two othah rivahs, fuckin’ the Marne n’ the Yonne n’ there’s no fuckin’ way they wanted tah let the Danish guys get control ovah all three’ah those watahways.
So this one Frankish guy, Count Odo, he eventually manages tah sneak outtah the city n’ ask fah help, n’ yah know what happens? Fuckin’ aftah fightin’ these Danish guys off fah like 11 months, the guy who’s in chahge’ah all’ah West Frankie, Chahles the Fat—n’ he’s not only fat but also retahded as fuck—finally comes tah the aid’ah Paris with his ahmy n’ yah know what he does? He fuckin’ he goes n’ he pays the Danish guys who ahr still hangin’ ‘round Paris a huge fuckin’ sum’ah 700 pounds’ah silvah tah go n’ bothah the people who ahr pissin’ him off ovah in Burgundy instead, n’ so ah’couhrse they take him up on that, because seriously who the fuck wouldn’t? It’s basically what they wanted all along in the first fuckin’ place.
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