Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In Which the Vikings Relocate to a Room with a View and are Promptly Seduced to a Life of Crime

Due to overcrowding at home, the Vikings were recently forced to go a-viking and to pillage a new place to live. After spending many Sunday afternoons on the internet, and many Saturday afternoons looking at squalid hovels that by virtue of having brown shag carpeting and a curious odor did not recommend themselves, the Vikings at last came upon clean and humble living quarters that they all agreed were very pillageable, although in the end they did not so much pillage these living quarters as agree to pay rent for them. These days spears, berserkers, and heroic boasts hardly get you a candy bar, much less a homestead, so devalued has Viking currency become since the good times way back in the 830s AD.

The eminently habitable hovel is conveniently located at the four corners of town, allowing the Vikings to keep a finger on the pulsing nightlife of the village that never sleeps. (The laundromat, at least, seems to be open until all the way til nine.) There are so few sets of four corners in this town that when you say “the four corners” everybody knows what you mean. The Four Corners I refer to is lucky enough to be one of only two intersections that merit traffic lights, so you can see the Vikings are very fortunate to be so centrally located, even if this is the next-to-last town before civilization ends and corn starts. The corn does not stop until Pennsylvania. It may not even stop in Pennsylvania, but that is the point at which the Vikings usually fall asleep in the car.

The view out the Vikings’ best window effectively demonstrates to what degree this town truly is full of clamor and commotion. Thank goodness for those traffic lights or this intersection would be a nightmare.


That was a picture of the village on a Sunday at dusk. Here is a picture of the village during a nuclear winter:


In case you were wondering how it would look.

The view from the kitchen is also rather good:


Few things are more cheering than having a bookshop in sight at all times. The yellow sign says OPEN. How comforting.

Incidentally, it has been suggested by several people that the Vikings quit their job and engage in full-time reconnaissance, or, to speak plainly, spying. Although the crimes and injustices in a small town are usually invisible, stupidity is very often public. For example: it doesn’t matter how much snow has fallen recently; if the roads have been plowed, you aren’t going to get far down Main Street on your snowmobile. Or, if you are going to make a scene in a bar, don’t do it in a bar that is visible from the fire station, where the police like to park. Or, if you don’t want to have to drag your child’s exhausted carcass home in a sled, do not make the unfortunate creature walk across town to play in the snow. Or, if you are all going to roam the streets drunkenly singing an eighties ballad at four o’clock in the morning, at least pick one to which you know the lyrics.

There is certainly money to be made, or as some might call it, extorted, from what you might see out the Vikings’ windows, and goodness knows that without cable or the internet, there is not much else to watch, but unfortunately the Vikings are really just not that nosy. They also feel it would be unethical to misuse the advantage one has gained simply by virtue of happening to live in a place from which one can see the entire town. However, if it looked like they could actually make a living from blackmail, they might entertain the idea of negotiations. After all, it’s as easy to see in as out, and if people never look up, who can they blame but themselves for their underdeveloped sense of entrepeneurialism?

Life in the big city can really corrode a Viking’s innocent soul.

5 comments:

Katie P. said...

This is just an idea, but might it be dangerous for a bibliophile Viking, such as yourself, who had to leave home due to a large number of books to live in such close proximity to a bookstore?
I am happy that we can fill your evenings by letting you write about your first hand experiences in the city. Please remember to stay safe. I know that downtown has a reputation for a reason...

Ivan said...

that's a pretty awesome view of the falls. no, seriously.

Maeve said...

Why am I reminded of the opening to The Office?

Simon said...

Maeve! Are you comparing my adorable hometown to SLOUGH?

Katie P. said...

I will stick up for Simon and say that her hometown is NOTHING like Slough. It is far far classier. It is near a Wegmans, which makes it inherently classier than Slough.