(pertaining as to the mead-hall discussion of what to do upon the morrow. . . )
Vince: i speak of the ocean depths, man, into which my ancestor, the second lieutenant of Lord Vespor himself, delved into, wrestling with a squid of mountainous proportion for seven hours, setting the universal record for holding one’s breath.
Gremel: eh? ah thought he was swallered by a great fish, and sat there for seven days, living off of shrimp brine . . .
Jimmy: naw, that was my great grand-pappy, blubber-fer-brains.
Gremel: don’t call me dat, Jimmy. i told you not to call me dat.
Vince: just think. like a long pipe stem, kinda. we could walk along the sea floor and bring back never-before-seen submarine flowers for the wives, just in time for the fertility rites.
Krispin: fuck tha vegetation! let’s grab us some mer-maiden, rumored to reside, languidly and big-bosomed, within the darkened forests of the sea-floor!
All (uplifting mead cups and doing a quick polska about the room):
Yea! Let us meet us some mer-maiden,
said to reside in the submarined eden
of the salty brined oceanic deep!
oh, them big-eyed long-tressed sea gaaaals!
they may not be in possession of feet,
but non-fishy parts are most certainly mammaaaal!
L. Lornus: ey! dont tha fuckin pee in that corner agin, Jimmy! I’m sick and goddamned tired of steppin in yer piss!
Jimmy (grumbling as he exuents the mead-hall): damnation. feels like I’m at home . . . Jimmy doan do this. . . Jimmy doan do tha. . . quit yer laughin, blubber-fuckin-brains! . . .
Gremel: eh, methinks somebody’s been swiggin over-much mead . . .
Vince: And I ask ye, sir Gremel, is that such a crime? I submit for all your contemplation, gentlemen, the question: can one, ever, drink too much mead?
(short silence, excepting for a few frothy sips)
Krispin: I think the only crime right now is that we’ve still got an un-tapped mead barrel over yonder, brethren.
Jimmy (re-entering): let’s go us another fuckin round!
All (forming into an impromptu can-can line):
Aye, let us un-tap us another mead barrel,
unburden its aerated goodness into our cups,
free its spirit in our stomach’s widening embrace–
oh, nectar of Valhalla! golden hearted meeeeaaaad!
L. Lornus: well, ah don’t know about you lads, but ah’ve got to slay me an elk or two. ah need the skin for me drum, and the meat for the wivey’s kibble kiln.
Gremel: some huntin sounds lak a good spend of day . . . out in th fresh pine morn, crouchin amongst the brush to surprise the water-hole solicitude of a horned creature with a swiftly mounted spear.
Jimmy: shut yer trap there, huntin boy! what kind of arcane method of slaughter is this? spear? art thou neanderthal yet? i bet you still catch your fish with such primitive resolve . . . ? (Gremel looks sheepish) Need to keep up with the latest in scientifickal thought, lad. we’ve dispensed with that old predatorial mechanism–it’s all animal psychology now.
Vince: that’s right. we’ve determined that if we pretend to be friendly, then they will almost tan their own hides for us. It’s like this: we begin with the premise that there is an ideal state of being, one in which animal and man alike share the fruits of the most high. we then begin to simulate this very state, as if it should be so, and was meant to be so, and that the brutal nature of our relations was but a bad dream of the past. like the oxen in the field? they think that they’re working for Valhalla. they practically come to us and ask us to be yoked.
Gremel: sort of lak de notion of a carrot pon a stick . . . ?
Vince: precisely. we got us elk who fall over each other trying to be the next candidate for slaughter. ‘sacrifice,’ we call it. things proceed just as they did before, except that now, to all appearances, we are brothers in the vision of futurity.
Jimmy and Vince put their arms around each other and croon in falsetto:
Ah, little lamb!
What better way to help the world,
than to better thyself
(and work for us)?
Come help us build a better future,
for our children,
for our earth,
for our G-d
(and for our veal tonight!)
L. Lornus: rmmph. ah like to keep actions honest, meself. straightforward with the spear-waiting. if it was good enough for my ancestors than it’s good enough for me.
Krispin: Braaaaaplth! Scuse me, lads. I’m going to bid ye godnight fer naw. I doth hear Betsy’s rump a-callin . . .