Raping and Pillaging Are Not Résumé Skills

Actual conversation with my autistic child that sucked five minutes of my life out of my body and ate a small piece of my soul.

DAUGHTER: I want to be a Viking when I grow up.

ME: That’s…um… really, really cool!

DAUGHTER: I have to wear a helmet.

ME: Well of course you do! What kind of Viking goes around hitting her head on stuff and getting knocked out because she forgot her helmet? Sheesh!

DAUGHTER: And I have to sing sea shanties.

ME: I think that’s a pirate. You would have to be a pirate to do that.

DAUGHTER: I will sing Viking songs instead.

ME: There you go. Good old fashioned “It’s great to be a Viking” songs.

DAUGHTER: And I need a boat with lots of rowers.

ME: Me too, pumpkin.

DAUGHTER: And I have to kill your whole village and take all your sheep.

ME: Huh?

DAUGHTER: The streets will flow with the blood of our victims.

ME: I’m sorry, what?

DAUGHTER: That’s what Vikings have to say.

ME: No, no, Vikings can say things like, “Here, we have extra sheep in our village that we’re not using, why don’t you take some of ours?”

DAUGHTER: No. The Vikings have to say, “You have to give me all your crops.”

ME: Or…OR…you could be the other kind of Vikings. The ones who got tired of pillaging and therefore immigrated to Minnesota. They still get to wear the helmet, but they pay their taxes instead of stealing sheep. They also go to college and become accountants and stuff like that.

DAUGHTER: Do they still carry their swords and wear their helmets?

ME: Only on casual Fridays.

DAUGHTER: Do they get to steal anything?

ME: It depends on what kind of accountant they are.

DAUGHTER: Do people cower in fear when hordes of Minnesota Vikings come into their cities and villages?

ME: (God forgive me) All the time! They even have these giant arenas where the Vikings take on the weaker underlings just for fun and crowds of people spend a whole Sunday afternoon just to watch.


I now rue the day I convinced my daughter she couldn’t be a mouse when she grows up.