What do you give to a friend about to go on a ship cruse of a lifetime to see the Northern Lights?
Of course – write a comedy schedule. So I did and sent it. Who knows? It may come in handy on your own seagoing adventures….
TO THE GREAT LEADER OF THE CLAN
Knowing that you are of strong heart and over schedule, O Gracious One, to you we tender this Travel Itinerary for your audacious seafaring voyage to the Norwegian Fjords.
We take into account your great aims in setting sail:
- verily to wreck revenge upon the Northern lords for their rough treatment of the northernmost parts of Britain upon their last visit in 1174
- the maximization of calorific intake
- quaffing of vast quantities of steaming ale in thy ancient family tankard
- merry warmongering
- seeing the sights and setting fire to them
- the taking of great spoils
Set sail in the great longship “Oceanique Northern Blights” with other mighty tourist warriors and various scurvy knaves, armed to the teeth with strong cameras and shiny brochures.
Battle garments – the great 6-horned helmet cunningly disguised as a jester’s cap and bells. You know, the one you wore to your second cousin’s wedding last year.
Sail ashore for a little light looting and pillaging to the settlement of Hopgoblin foor Asingard.
Conquer the garment shops and trading post of “Ye Olde Malle” and set fire to the building with some glad cries of “Barbeque that, ye barbarians”. Return to ship. Examine the spoils. Catch up on emails.
Landing party to go forth, clad in chainmail, with spear, shields and with broadsword girt about their childbearing hips. With joyful warcries ransack the Oorsenborgen Ikea. Put a thousand meatballs to the sword, drain the free coffee refills machine, return with new chaise longue upon which to rest, bloated.
Listen to the ship’s minstrel, Pete “Jazzy” Songsmith perform the great Saga of the journey so far, with accompanying powerpoint.
Rest. Sauna, full body massage and seaweed wrap. Plait thy beard. Attempt to luxuriate in captured spoils of animal furs foiled by discovery that they had not yet been de-fleaed.
Don melee weapons and launch attack upon the unsuspecting port of Flloogle de Meringe. Capture local chocolatier and take back to the longship to slave in the galley under the watchful eye of the sous chef, to make great brown concoctions. Half an hour later, run out of chocolate ingredients and compelled to make return trip to Flloogle de Meringe, whose natives are caught by surprise again, upon an unexpected revisiting. Reflect that the people of the town deserve everything they get. That tourist information centre is simply not prepared for the more demanding visitor.
Plunder and Loot, the ship’s accountants, tally the spoils of war so far and pay the crew. Crew promptly get plastered with too many foaming tankards of G&T and lay waste to the ship’s buffet.
Utter necessity compels the hunger-crazed tourists to wade ashore and invade the settlement of Ooooh Thayre Baaac. Capture and slay 12 score oxen and barbecue on the beach over the smouldering remains of the village. Leave a note “Thank you for taking part in this historical re-enactment of the Norwegian pillage of Lindisfarne. Your heart-rending cries for mercy were particularly lifelike.”
Return home in triumph, send holiday snaps off to be developed into tapestry at Bayeux.
This document is tendered to you with limpid cries for mercy from we your faithful servants. We implore thee to abstain from twisting our noses upon each visit and ask that thee consider not riding thy warhorse upon our hall carpet but instead to park him in the space clearly marked “Visitors” outside what remains of our office building after thy last visit.
Yours grovellingly etc etc