Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let's Celebrate Leif Erikson Day!

Hey, do you know what today is? If you said Fijian Independence Day, relax, it's tomorrow. Today is Leif Erikson Day!
Pictured: Leif Erikson exploring the shit out of the North Atlantic.
"We made it! Steve, take a picture of me with
the new conti-...Steve? Steve, tell me you
didn't forget the camera...goddamit Steve!"
Wait, who whatson what now? Yeah, Leif Erikson, he was the first European known to have set foot on any part of what we now call North America and he did so hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus. Now, I know what your thinking and yes, humans did cross the Bering land bridge 13,000 years earlier on foot and without the benefit of advanced Viking cod-salting techniques, but no one back then wrote anything down or documented it so I guess it doesn't count. Incidentally, why the shit doesn't that count?

Anyway, to celebrate Erikson boldly going where generations of humans had totally gone before, Lyndon B. Johnson issued an official proclamation (which his secretary probably had to clean up a bit) making Leif Erikson Day a national holiday. This back in 1964, so why the hell we still talk about Christopher 'Kill'em All and Grab the Gold' Columbus is beyond me. 
"Gerri, take shit this down: My fellow Americans, it is with great pleasure
that I proclaim today to be goddamn Leif Erikson Day. That I-talian sonofabitch, 
Columbus, can kiss the Presidential bunghole, you hear me?"
Thanks Google, way to render the
human drive to explore obsolete.
So how does one even celebrate Leif Erikson day? Vikings are famous for going a' Viking which was a lot easier in the 11th century. Raiding the Irish coast now would probably be considered a dick move (also, an act of war). We don't get the day off, so telling heroic sagas around the campfire while getting blind drunk on mead is probably out and thanks to things like Google Earth we can't even discover new continents. So what else is there? You ask. Talk like a Viking. The whole day.

Sure, there's already a Talk Like a Pirate Day, but Vikings are objectively cooler than pirates, so really those scurvy-addled, tricorn hat-wearing, parrot-lovers can go suck a lime (which they probably should do, what with the scurvy). So what does a Viking sound like? Think the Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show, but instead of spouting gibberish, we'll tell proud tales of the days before ABBA and flat pack furniture. Who's with me?
"Gather 'round and I will you tell the tale of Øläf Heädsplitter, the mighty Norse warrior
who slew King Svën The Bløøddrinker, and then feasted on his still beating heart..."

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