Sometimes, very funny things happen to me, or I hear of funny things happening to others. It would be a waste to keep them to myself, especially if even just one other person will laugh. To be kind, though, (and I’m not inherently unkind) it’s sometimes necessary, and always desirable, to embellish and tweak in the cause of obfuscation and entertainment. Both techniques are employed here in what will be presented to you as a story. It’s entirely up to you to decide who’s who, and what’s true…
He was a callow youth - a fact to which many of his friends would attest - but also inclined to be gregarious. He rather enjoyed the occasional pint too - as long as an occasion could be defined as something that happens at least eight times a day. It would be pleasantly reassuring to suppose that this combination of ill considered, alcohol fuelled sociability is a occurrence rarer than dodo sightings, but that would be a mistake since, unfortunately, it pretty much sums up most lads in the eighteen to twenty-two age bracket.
Our particular lad was also blessed with two left feet, extreme myopia, a callous disdain for sartorial elegance and a distressing tendency to behave tactlessly to people whom he considered less intelligent than himself - which was pretty much everyone.
I paint this somewhat less than flattering picture for you so that when I tell you, at the time our story unfolds, that the lad has a girlfriend you’ll appreciate that this is an infrequent occurrence and one he’s as keen as mustard to nurture.
Now, no-one’s all bad and our hero does have a few plus points - he’s a fair cook, and has reasonable taste in wine too. This evening he’s had an opportunity to use both these skills in the pursuit of a greater aim (some might say the only aim of most lads of his age) as he and his girlfriend have her parents’ house to themselves while Mum and Dad are away for the weekend. Since he’s already been invited to stay over, he’s reasonably sure it’s going to be a lucky night. He’s prepared a chili con carne, fresh jalapenos and coriander mind you - none of your powdered or freeze-dried rubbish and procured a pretty decent bottle of St Emilion with which to wash it down.
An hour or so later the pair of them are having a “nice cuddle” on the sofa when our hero decides to try a little game of “Yellow Pages”. At first, all seems to be going remarkably well - right up until the point where his little sweetheart emits a banshee shriek and runs to the bathroom as fast as its humanly possible to do with one’s best lingerie round one’s ankles. (I did say remarkably well, didn't I?)
Initially very concerned for the young lady’s welfare and puzzled by this extreme behaviour our boy is soon left in no doubt as to the cause of her ire as, to the accompanying hiss of a power-shower on full-cold, punctuated by a number of vile oaths worthy of the saltiest of sea-dogs she casts doubt upon his parentage, calls down on him a plague of misfortune and lets him know in no uncertain terms of the capsicum tainted error of his ways. She instructs him in tones that preclude any negociation to begone, permanently, from her sight by the time she leaves the bathroom if he knows what’s good for him.
I’m sure you, ladies and gentlemen of the world, can work the details out for yourselves without me having to stoop to further explanation. But you might be wondering what this has to do with Vikings?
Well, history has it that, just like our now rather chastened would-be lothario has just done, the Vikings ended many a loving relationship by setting fire to the man in the boat….
 Let your fingers do the walking.