Art by Matt Smith
In 2019, an abandoned smartphone was found partially buried beneath layers of sediment and urine in a South Boston alleyway. This forgotten relic was soon revealed to contain a remarkable audio text describing in great detail the religious beliefs of ancient Scandinavia. Dubbed The Impudent Edda, this oral manuscript was transcribed and released to the general public as Norse Mythology for Bostonians in early 2020.
During the global lockdown that followed the transcription’s release, archaeologists, historians, and philologists continued to study the audio text as well as the device itself, now known simply as the Codex Bostonia. These researchers eventually uncovered an additional stash of hidden audio files stored in a previously secret location on the phone’s memory card. These recently recovered myths are being documented and made available to the public here as they become available. The breadth of their arcane lore, the depth of their spiritual insights, and the poignancy of their poetic revelations confirm that the collective audio texts of the Codex Bostonia remain the single most important contribution to our knowledge of pre-Christian Scandinavian religious beliefs to have emerged in a millennium.
Holy shit, it’s holiday season already and this yee’ah r’it really fuckin’ snuck up on Loki n’ Thor! Like, they ahren’t fuckin’ ready fah r’it at fuckin’ all. But then these guys nevah r’actually ahr. That’s just how it is with ’em since they can both be a real couple’ah dumbasses sometimes. Thor’s always too fuckin’ busy obsessin’ ovah r’his fuckin’ hammah whenevah he’s not out on some excessive troll killin’ rampage n’ Loki just doesn’t give a shit ‘bout anyone but himself so nothin’ new there. But now it’s mid-fuckin’ Decembah r’n they don’t got no Christmas presents fahr their families ah friends yet,1 so it’s off tah the fuckin’ Pru with ’em.
N’ what a fuckin’ mess that is… ’cause they went on a fuckin’ weekend!
I mean, hee’ah yah got the most fuckin’ omnipotent thundah god’ah all time n’ his pehrvehrted fuckin’ friend who’s still kindah fuckin’ divine so whatevah, but then they show up at the fuckin’ mall on a Satuhday just befohr Christmas! I mean, if I was an unemployed immohrtal god supah-loaded with fuckin’ dwahrf gold like these two fuckin’ geniuses, I sure as hell wouldn’t go tah the fuckin’ mall on a fuckin’ weekend tah do my Christmas shoppin’. I just wouldn’t. I’d do it mohr like Odin does which is tah do all his shoppin’ at the thrift shop on Wednesday evenings aftah he goes ’round fuckin’ beggin’ on street cohrnahs all day ah maybe even like Freyja who just ohrdahs evuhrything off Amazon on Fridays since she nevah wants tah leave her cats at home alone. But yah know, whatevah.2
So anyway, Thor n’ Loki go inside n’ it’s just like instant fuckin’ sensahry ovahload. I mean, the place is decahrated up all wicked festive with lights n’ gahland n’ shit all ovah the fuckin’ place n’ Christmas music is playin’ on the speakahs n’ shit-tons’ah shoppahs ahr just fuckin’ evuhrywhere. I sweahr, it’s such a fuckin’ shitshow. N’ the poohr gods, they haven’t even finished goin’ up the fuckin’ escalatah yet n’ already Thor’s seein’ red due tah the hohrdes’ah people who ahr pushin’ past him n’ the unattended children who ahr fuckin’ screamin’ their fuckin’ lungs out n’ the self-obsessed couples who ahr takin’ fuckin’ selfies in evuhryone’s fuckin’ way n’ shit. But at the same time the othahwise festive, chee’ful mood’ah the place is really pissin’ Loki off since he doesn’t like people bein’ happy.3 So really, this viking god Christmas shoppin’ expehrience, it’s already off tah a tehrrible fuckin’ staht.
But eventually these two fuckin’ idiots finally get off that fuckin’ escalatah r’n head past the fihrst few shops n’ they get tah that fuckin’ middle paht’ah the mall area where all the wings’ah the mall go out from, n’ Loki’s lookin’ ’round n’ he’s seein’ all this fuckin’ mistletoe type shit all ovah the place n’ so he decides tah go intah full fuckin’ kleptomaniac mode n’ so he stahts fuckin’ stealin’ all the fuckin’ mistletoe. ’Cause he figyahs, yah know, even if it’s fake as shit, it’ll still come in handy next time Brady comes back tah town as a fuckin’ Buccanee’ah r’n the gods all decide tah assault him by throwin’ all sohrts a weihrd-ass shit at him since they’re all still disgusted that he changed teams.4
So Loki just fuckin’ wandahs off tah find mohr mistletoe n’ meanwhile Thor’s standin’ there in the middle’ah the flo’ah goin’, “Where’s the fuckin’ hammah sto’ah?” ’Cause all he wants tah shop fah r’is a bunch’ah fuckin’ hammahs tah give tah evuhryone as stockin’ stuffahs which is what he always does evuhry fuckin’ yee’ah but he figyahs that, yah know, maybe this yee’ah he’ll find some extra special nice ones ah somethin’. But yah know, they don’t got fuckin’ Hammahs R Us ah whatever the fuck at the fuckin’ Pru. Hell, they don’t even got a nahmal hahdwahre sto’ah ah r’even a fuckin’ See’ahs with a hahdwahre section eithah so this stresses Thor the fuck out. ’Cause now where’s he gonnah buy a shitload’ah hammahs at?
N’ so as yah can imagine, Thor just stahts walkin’ up tah random people n’ askin’ ’em where he can buy some fuckin’ hammahs n’ yah know how that always goes: it fuckin’ creeps people out. I mean, family’s just don’t like it when some huge guy weahrin’ a supah’eero cape n’ cahrryin’ a massive, medieval weapon-style hammah walks up tah ’em n’ stahts talkin’ ’bout fuckin’, well, pretty much anythin’ at all, really. So eventually he gets repohrted tah the mall cops n’ they come n’ accost him while he’s in the middle’ah tellin’ some single mom n’ her five yee’ah old kid ’bout which types’ah hammahs ahr best fahr massacrin’ trolls with.
N’ meanwhile Loki’s gone intah the women’s restroom n’ stahted usin’ his fuckin’ gahgantuan stash’ah mistletoe in all sohrts’ah inappropriate ways in there so that’s causin’ a fuckin’ upro’ah n’ so now there’s all sohrts’ah screams n’ shouts n’ shit comin’ from ovah there n’ so next thing yah know, the mall cops ahr draggin’ poohr Thor’s sohrry ass ovah tah the restrooms where they find Loki holdin’ a twig’ah mistletoe ovah some poohr lady’s head who he’s trapped next tah the fuckin’ bubblah r’n who he’s tryin’ tah now fuckin’ kiss.5 N’ ah’couhrse he’s tryin’ tah smooth talk her n’ shit too, yah know, tellin’ her that he can tuhrn himself intah a hohrse if she’d like that bettah r’n that he knows all sohrts’ah funny pranks with goats6 that’ll make her laugh her ass off, n’ she just looks absolutely fuckin’ tehrrified.
N’ so the mall cops break it up n’ befohr yah know it, both Loki n’ Thor ahr gettin’ their asses tossed out ontah the fuckin’ street n’ I still don’t know what they got fahr anyone fahr Christmas that yee’ah.
1 This pre-Christian Norse pagan deity celebration of Christmas has not been corroborated in any other primary Eddic sources; it is most likely that Boston’s long-standing Catholic traditions have infiltrated and influenced the anonymous poet’s rendition of the mythological events as recorded on the Codex Bostonia. Such uninvited churchly influences have often historically played a substantial role in the recording of ancient pagan lore, to which the numerous Icelandic manuscripts written by medieval monks most obviously attest.
2 It is an interesting side note that the anonymous poet of the Codex Bostonia states that the gods tend do their shopping on their own days of the week: Odin shops at thrift stores on Wednesdays (derived from Woden’s Day—Woden being Odin’s name among the ancient Anglo-Saxons) while Freyja shops online on Fridays (derived from her name, her brother’s name, and/or the name of Odin’s wife, Frigg). Following this logic, Thor would thus presumably shop on Thursdays, but he has once again gone along with one of Loki’s bad ideas (i.e., shopping on a Saturday). The relevance here is that many New Age online lifestyle gurus have declared that Saturday is in fact Loki’s day, based on the similarity that Saturday’s name in the Scandinavian languages (lördag and lørdag, meaning “washing” or “bathing” day) bears towards Loki’s own name.
3 The anonymous poet’s declaration of Loki’s distaste for other people’s general happiness—whether they be gods, elves, dwarves, various nature spirts, or even lowly humans—involves an indirect reference to the famous myth about the slaying of Balder, who is known in The Impudent Edda as Brady (the poet apparently conflated the identities of Balder, the loveliest of all the gods, with Tom Brady, the Greatest of All Time). Loki is culpable in the well-known myth of the eventual slaying of Balder/Brady, which occurs during an especially fun party at Asgard in which the gods assault Balder/Brady with a wide variety of objects; Balder/Brady is invincible at this time against all physical objects that strike him except one. Traditionally, in the Elder Eddas, Balder is slain by a piece of mistletoe, while in The Impudent Edda, Brady is slain by a deflated football.
4 The obscure reference here to Brady’s departure to become a Buccaneer is confusing, because the deflated football incident (which the poet asserted terminates Brady’s life in an earlier segment of The Impudent Edda) is commonly known to predate his subsequent Tampa Bay era, in which he remains healthy and alive. While it is likely that the poet relied on the very fluid Old Norse concept of the space-time continuum (see the introductory chapter entitled “Old Norse Astrophysics” in the 2020 edition of The Impudent Edda’s transcription for more on this) to reconcile this discrepancy, his mix-up regarding the murder weapon also suggests that he lost track of what he was talking about and accidentally substituted the traditional murder weapon of mistletoe in lieu of his own previously stated murder weapon of a deflated football (it has also been proven that the poet was highly inebriated during the recording of his Edda).
Alternately, the Tampa Bay reference in question here could simply be a vague allusion to the rebirth of the world after Ragnarök, though this seems unlikely given the fact that Brady’s return to Boston is considered to be imminent in this myth and that no sign of Ragnarök’s arrival is indicated by the myth’s end (for example, the Prudential Center is still standing in good condition).
5 Here, Loki uses his mistletoe in a traditional Christmas manner in an attempt to plant his lying lips upon the cheek of an unwilling woman. This tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe has unknown, ancient origins, but one of the theories states that it began as a ritual devised to help remember the little plant so that it would never again be overlooked and thus be the cause of another deicide. The tradition also serves as a means to pay one’s respects to both Balder’s mother and wife (in the ancient sources this was not Gisele, either as a married woman or a divorcee).
While likewise vilified for the destructive problems it caused, a deflated football has yet to be incorporated into a similar, festive kissing tradition in New England.
6 This passage refers to two well-known myths that exist (albeit as slightly different versions in the Elder Eddas and The Impudent Edda): that of Loki’s transformation into a mare-in-heat to distract a horny stallion owned by an evil giant, and that of Loki’s twisted tug-of-warm game in which he tethered his bare, defenseless scrotum to a goat’s beard. In this case, the goat was a literal goat—a furry, hoofed animal, not a GOAT that wears the number 12.