The Vikings knew how to throw down. This weekend, we partied like it was 982.
Americans don't know a whole lot about the Vikings. We've heard of Eric the Red. We've heard of his son, Leif Ericson, and millions of school children needlessly butcher his name (it's Layff not Leaf). We've heard of Valhalla and Mead. Of Valkyries and dragon ships. But have you heard of Kubb?
Kubb is a game also known, among other names, as Viking Chess. You set out blocks of wood in a set formation. One team on one side, one on the other. Pour your drinks and start throwing sticks at each other. Can it get more simple than that?
The object is to knock down your opponents blocks without knocking down the King in the middle. And without getting hammered by one of the flying wooden batons that come whizzing by. And no cheating with any helicopter-type throwing, by the way.
Buying a Kubb set in Sweden is like buying horseshoes or croquet. Every gas station carries the set during the summer. Take a walk in a local park and you very often see people, young and old, jumping and screaming over a game.
We actually shipped our set from Sweden with us when we moved. While it might sound a bit extreme to include a sack of canvas stuffed with wooden sticks amongst worldly goods, the fact that the dimensions are so different from any wood you can purchase in the States justifies the expense.
So this weekend was spent in the backyard. Beer in one hand, wooden batons in the other. The prerequisite naked Swedish children running about. If we'd only had some herring.