I was looking for a Viking joke... a really old one that's about as funny today as it was when it was first told 1000 years ago, if you tell it to the right people... You know - ironic, black humor... that shouldn't be funny, but if told right, it is. I found something else though... A quiz to determine what one's Viking name is. Here's mine:
"Herdis Goatflattener (Well, actually, that wouldn't really be your name -- since you're female, your name would be something like "Herdis Bjornsdottir," But this is the twenty-first century, and you want to be known for who you are, not for who your father was, right? Right.) Your Viking Personality: You're a fearsome Viking, but you aren't completely uncivilized. The other Vikings make fun of you for that. You are strong and tireless, frequently shouldering burdens that would tire lesser women. You probably know which end of a sword to hold, but you're not a fearsome fighter by any stretch of the imagination. A long sea voyage aboard a Viking longboat would be difficult for you, but you might be able to manage it. Other Vikings tolerate your presence, though they're not quite sure if they can trust you to fight dirty. You have a fairly pragmatic attitude towards life, and tend not to expend effort in areas where it would be wasted. Other people tend to think of you as manipulative and conniving."
:D Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say "manipulative and conniving." Who do they think I am, a disciple of Loki? I think not... Would love to know the story behind "Goatflattener" though... Also, the "Goatflattener" thing is possible, even if I am female. There was Unn The Deep-Minded afterall... Here's where to go if you want take it too: http://www.thequarter.org/Media/VikingName.php
I eventually found the "joke." It's from Njal's Saga, and is typical of the humor to be found in most of the Sagas.
A band of men who were enemies of a man named Gunnar came to his homestead to slay him. Gunnar saw them coming and, because it was night, used the darkness to conceal himself in a corner of his hall with his ax. The band of men surrounded his home and the leader, Gizur, sent one man, Thorgrim, into the house to find Gunnar. Thorgrim crept around and as he passed by Gunnar, Gunnar hit him in the head with his ax. Thorgrim walked back outside, with the ax still stuck in his head, to where the other men were waiting and Gizur asked, "Well, is Gunnar at home?" And Thorgrim said, "I don't know, but his ax is," then fell over dead.
Don't know if everyone would appreciate that as much as my Viking History class did, but there you go... I think it's how over-the-top it is that does it...