Friday, July 1, 2016

Viking Attack, Part 3 (Almost the Finale)

The Shiloh: the Attacker (37 feet long)
OK, OK, I know I fell down on the job and left readers of this blog waiting to hear what happened when we finally set off to attack some Vikings on our stretch of the Illinois River in early September, 1966. I just keep getting sidetracked by such things as book signings, tv broadcasts (will post video soon) and technical problems. (I won't even go there.)

I believe the final bit I posted before was this:

Just before we left for the boat, however, both Dad and Mom got back to the house and donned pirate garb - Dad painting a really effective scar on his chest, as I remember.  We went down to The Shiloh, hoisted the Jolly Roger, and were off to defend Chillicothe against the Viking menace!

Having assembled our crew (the local mortician who was a skilled sailor; a couple of friends of my mom, my mom herself, my sister, our dog, my dad, and me) we went out into the river channel. Then we waited. And waited. And waited.

For our prey.

There were no other boats on the river except for us, and no houses were visible. All we saw were trees along the river bank on one side, and trees on the long island on the opposite side.  It was enough like a "forest primeval" that we suddenly felt as if it could be hundreds and hundreds of years ago, and that the Viking threat could be real.

My father and sister decided to kill a little time by staging a sword fight on board the Shiloh. while they were doing this, a Viking ship (smallish) careered around the far end of the island into view. We all leaped to our feet and started screaming.

The Viking Hoard, spotting our Pirate ship, became as excited as we were. They shouted back in assorted Scandinavian languages. It was clear that capturing maidens and mayors in a P.R. manner was getting a bit old and they were delighted to see what was lying in wait for them.

As they pulled up to us, the screaming and shouting became earsplitting.

At that point, my mustachio'd sister and I couldn't help but notice that the Hoard included some REALLY good looking young men, wearing horned helmets, furry vests, leather pants, etc.

And the two of us had our front teeth blacked out. Not good.

We still managed to pull out our two major weapons: a ping pong ball gun and an m-80 firecracker on the end of a fishing pole - but these didn't seem to faze those Vikings.  Finally, we unrolled a bed sheet on which we had written "Do You Surrender" in large letters.

"Never!" was the response. Those Vikings were tough cookies.

They all laughed, then turned their boat downstream and motored away. Just like that.

 They hadn't even tried to capture us Maidens.

And they called themselves Vikings. Humph.

The Scandia: the Attackee (35 feet long)

(To be continued.)