Oh no he didn’t.

Hello friends.

I think I am actually going to hold off with the follow-up post to Thursday’s for a little bit, as I’d like to marshal a few more resources first.   Continue to enjoy the pies, stout, and tabacca.  Be careful to do so neatly, however, as you may open yourself up to criticism should you devour indelicately.

To wit (Njal’s Saga again, Hollander’s translation):

Thorkel continued: “Who is that tall and grim-looking man, the fifth in line, with the sallow face and sharp features, of unlucky appearance and wicked looking?”

Skarphedin answered: “My name is Skarphedin, and you have no cause to rail at me with your mocking words.  I have never offered violence to my own father nor did I fight with him as you did with yours.  You are likelier to be handier at the dairy business on your farm on the Axe River with the few people you have.  It would be better for you to pick your teeth to remove the piece of sausage made out of a mare’s guts that you ate before coming to the Assembly.  Your shepherd saw it and wondered how you could do something so disgusting.”

Things go downhill from here, as both men pull out their weapons (including the axe from my first post) and brag about folks they’ve iced.  Upon being told forcefully to sit down and shut up, Thorkel does — the one and only time he ever does so, we’re told.  All in all, a pretty great example, if a tad one-sided, of flyting, the sort of insult-fighting you’ll probably remember from the go Beowulf and Unferth have at one another at Hrothgar’s hall.

For some reason, the sausage comment reminds me of this comic strip.  I think it’s the combo of overt grossness combined with the addition of a third-party observer, although shepherds and mayors are obviously very different sorts of people. Shepherds never wear sashes, for one thing.

Anyway, let’s all agree to use toothpicks and keep it clean, especially when in the presence of our rustic assistants, okay?


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