The rain had been coming down steadily all day here at the bay shore, suddenly breaking around 4 p.m. I’d just finished my work for the day when down my forlorn street came a troupe of colorfully dressed people in odd hats carrying big objects and headed as fast as they could for the bay.
I stood on the deck and called out to them as they wandered over the rough 200 feet between the back of my house and the shore placing Tiki torches to mark the route. They said they were having a funeral for Hans, who had died two weeks ago at the age of 35.
I raced into my room to pull on some hiking boots and join them. I looked out my window to see a cascade of revelers making for the bay.
At the water’s edge, was a 12-foot long Viking ship with a serpentine neck and tail.
The deceased, Hans, had been a true Viking, they said. They’d decorated the sides of the boat with pictures of naked women. No Bottecelli’s here. Tits and ass shots from pornographic magazines with a big picture of Hans right in the center grinning like a madman.
The idea was to set the boat on the platform someone had prefabricated and placed in a stand of water. As the boat bearers strategized how to maneuver the boat, a pyrotechnic crew loaded zip lock bags with assortments of flammable chemicals to position in the hull, which had been soaked with kerosene.
The boat made a rocky journey into the water with all the boat bears getting wet up past their knees. Then a group of people behind the boat tossed in lit sparklers and the boat burst into flames.
The crowed cheered long and hard, except Hans’ “widow” a woman who had been his girlfriend for a few months. She kept yelling. “Let’s burn this fucking thing!” “This sucks.” When the boat was ablaze, she yelled, “Fuck you Hans!”