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Bonfield VIII

The Herring Voices

Bonfield VIII Edition

September 1-4, 2000

Da Table of Contents

Do Not Read This

This is Herring Voices, the newsletter of the sometimes mightyish House Red Herring (name and device lost twice by the herald-types) of the Society of Creative Anachronism, Inc. Herring Voices is not available to the general SCAdian public, although copies sometimes find their way into strange places and non-Herrings have reportedly read it without feeling any ill effects (unless they have a nervous stomach where bad jokes and/or non-period pseudo-literature are concerned). It is possible that if you are given a copy of this newsletter that Herring collective is observing you for possible future voluntary assimilation. Remember, you cannot run or hide from your ridiculous side... it is a part of you and you must become one with it to achieve harmony in the universe... or not.

It is resoundingly obvious that Herring Voices is not a corporate publication of the SCA, Inc., and does not come within a bent herring's throw of delineating SCA policies. Actually, if the corporation knew about us, they'd probably hurl.

We are all almost totally irresponsible. Mother Herring sends cold, squishy greetings.

All submissions must have been created by a member of House Red Herring, a Herring candidate, or must have been stolen fair and square.

!! SPOON !!

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Things Your Mother Always Wanted to Tell You About House Red Herring, but Never Thought You Were Old Enough to Hear

  • House Red Herring is a collective. We believe in absolute inclusion/assimilation.
  • All members of House Red Herring are to be treated as equals by all other members of the House.
  • No matter who you are, no matter who we are, none of us will use each others titles (we're kin).
  • All members of House Red Herring must be made of matter (this is our only requirement).
  • Any entity composed of anti-matter wishing to join may do so if they have their own anti-matter containment field, or borrow one from us for household activities.
  • After reading all of this, if you wish to join, you have the choice of Initiation One or Initiation Two.
  • Our official war cry is "SPOON!", the proper response to which is "NOT IN THE HEAD!"
  • As a member of House Red Herring you have the right to wear red fish with pride. Remember: you have unlimited potential for silliness.
  • Play well with others, go forth and be nice!!

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We asked House Red Herring: "What's your persona's favourite word?"

Alister Cooper
Agah! I must like it because I say it a lot.

Auguste Valizan
"Aiwa!" This has nothing to do with Japanese stereo components! It is a positive Arabic exclamation often heard when someone does something amazing and/or beautiful. Valizan usually uses it when he sees a dancer doing a great move. Other phrases he uses: Rat's Patootie, Charming..., Salaam.

Cecilia the Bountiful

Celestria Wells
My persona's favourite word is "mutton"

Crystian the Undecided
... oh, that is a toughie. I like so MANY words! Do you want it by sounds, or by meanings, or by how many syllables? I love the sound of "liquid", it sounds like water burbling (another good one!) out of a jug. Or "crystal", bright, brittle consonants like the substance itself. For meanings, I liked "felicity", at least until it was co-opted by TV as a short form of 'self - absorbed - college - age - girl - with - obsessive - compulsive - problems'. It was such a comfortable word, peaceful and happy, kind of an 'all is right with the world' word. For sheer word-snob appeal, I kind of like "redolent"; so much snazzier than "smelly", don't you think? On the other hand, if all you want is a cheap laugh, well I've got a zillion of them! "money" is a good one, "sex" is an OK word, but almost too direct - "easy" is probably better, because it makes you wonder ... Oh! Oh! I got it! One of my favourite words from period dates from at least the 13th century (I think Chaucer used it.) "newfangled". It's just such a foolish sounding word, so gangly and clumsy! So there it is. "Newfangled" it is. (And why, might you ask, didn't I just do what Mike did and use him as my favourite word? Three reasons: one, I don't want us to sound insipid (one of us doing it is cute, both might be a little annoying), two, I try to be original - I rarely succeed, but I do try, and three, I don't want Seth Caius the Innocent to get the wrong idea (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Gerd the Grumpy

John Cooper
Dictionary. Because it has all the other words in it.

Lawrence's favourite everything is "Crystian".

Linnet the Lusty
Beytill. (which is Norse)

"Fire"! I hear someone shout the word fire, I grab a torch and throw it immediately! Rooms and thatched roofs burning away...ahhh...and the acrid smell of smoke! There is nothing quite like it for a rampaging Viking! Throw a couple of marshmellows in the scene and well--my day would be damn near perfect! Plus there's "Fire at Will", "Fire-Water", "Fire in the hole", "Fire flies...well, that one's lame--but you get the point.

Seth Caius the Innocent
Yes! (panting)

Skallagrim the Frenzied
"OBEY!" or there's always the popular, "KNEEL!" or the old-time favourite, "NOW!!!"


Wilheem Caimpbul

Willamona Loveday
Abstinence. The word always makes me giggle.

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Top Ten Things People Say at Skal's Viking Sewing Meetings

  1. Do you ever make a different pattern?
  2. But I didn't want my pants baggy...
  3. Does my garb have to be pink plaid?
  4. Are you sure you have to cut the neckhole while the material's on my head?
  5. You want what as payment?!
  6. Um, Skal? You pinned me to the tunic/floor/Seth/prow of your ship...
  7. Do you have enough room in the crotch, there? Here, lemme check.
  8. Ow ow ow ow ow ow!
  9. Quit being such a suck. Lie down and take it like a man.
  10. Well, it's not pretty, but at least you won't be naked at the event unless you mean to be.

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As the enemy vessel pulled up alongside the sisters' longboat Skal glowered at her sister, growling, "Dag, if you could keep your mind off of your oarsman's pants for two seconds you might have noticed we have company!"

Dag lobbed an ax at Skal's head and replied, "Not my fault." Skal ducked the half-hearted murder attempt as Dag continued, "We're just going to have to get uglier oarsmen." The sisters drew their favourite axes from the back of the Saxon they'd killed hours ago in a fit of boredom (and whose body they kept on board, feeling that axes perform better if kept reasonably warm). They were quite unconcerned despite the surprise arrival of enemies, as Ma had taught them early in life that one must always be prepared for unexpected visitors. Unfortunately for the sisters, however, Ma had never prepared them for the impossibility of a boatload of non-Viking males that could actually fight.

Seeing as how the enemy vessel boasted a crew more than four times the size of the sisters' (and none of enemy's crew were chained to their oars, although they were all dressed in skin-tight black vinyl), it soon became apparent that the sisters had no chance of winning free. The captain of the other vessel (at least, they assumed he was the captain because he wore a ridiculous amount of gold tassels on his tabard, and sported a ludicrous floppy black hat) shouted for silence over the din. A man whose groin area was having the unfortunate experience of being ground under Dag's boot had trouble complying, however being dumped overboard took care of that.

The captain stuck an impressive pose and boomed, "I am Seth, the Innocent one. I order you now to surrender to me and I may consider being lenient with you."

Skal and Dag began to chuckle uncontrollably and began whispering to each other. Captain Seth began looking more than a little put out. The captain was well known to the sisters as they had all gone to the same Viking summer camp one year, even though Seth was not a viking, but a Roman or Saxon or some such. They also knew that Seth was far from innocent of pretty much anything, and had a penchant for the... um... bizarre...

"DEATH BEFORE BONDAGE!!" the sisters bellowed, and were about to charge when they had a change of heart. They paused suddenly in mid-berserk, regarded each other, and whispered a simultaneous, "what the hell" before jumping voluntarily into the enemy vessel.

Captain Seth was somewhat taken aback. "Aw! You two were supposed to be taken prisoner, not board willingly. Don't you know how this works?!" He paused, eyeing them more closely, and suddenly seemed to recognize them. "If it isn't Dag and Skal! Up to the same old, eh?" He drew himself up and sighed a little in disappointment. "Well, I can at least show you around my ship." Seth spent some time showing off his ship ­ the aptly named S.S. Andem, and explained that he'd been searching the seas for, uh, things he hadn't yet tried. Skal raised an eyebrow at Dag who began laughing uproariously, as they both knew him by more than reputation.

"Well," he gave the sisters a polite nod, "Please feel free to terrorize my crew. They like that sort of thing. Now I must go where I haven't been before!" and therefore departed for his cabin where a hapless Miss Vinland had tripped and fallen into a Norman French Maid's outfit...

Just as they were about to disembark in order to reboard their own ship, the back of Skal's neck tingled and she dodged to her left. A stale marshmallow zipped by her head and hit Dag squarely in the temple. Dag steadied herself on her ax and both sisters glared around in time to see a young man with curly black hair duck behind a pile of coiled rope. Dag picked up the offending confection, which had fallen to the deck when its trajectory had been so rudely interrupted, and hefted it menacingly. "You're in for it now, boy," Dagnan growled, leaping over the coils of rope and landing on top of the young man. She tore the rock-hard marshmallow into four bits and stuck one in each of the boy's ears and nostrils. He shook his head violently at such treatment and struggled to escape. Dag lost her grip on him, her head still swimming with the effects of mild concussion and a few too many ale that afternoon, and the young man bolted for cover.

Which was behind a giant teapot.

The teapot seemed to belong to a man who sat upon a very interesting carpet in the middle of the deck. The teapot and many teacups were set as though in anticipation of company. The man awarded the sisters a dazzling smile and beckoned with a wave of the hand, "Come, come, nasty-looking warrior-type people. Make yourself comfortable on The Magic Carpet and share my Ealdormerian Tea." The sisters drew their swords and placed them across their knees as they sat cross-legged ­ he had said to get comfortable, and although the sisters had never heard of this thing termed, "t", they hoped that it would be at least somewhat alcoholic. They were not disappointed. The man poured out and politely offered them each a full cup, while he took a third. A hand groped from behind the teapot, grasping for yet another cup, and the man slapped the younger man's hand away. "My name," the charismatic man said, "is Valizan. Auguste Valizan. I am but a humble passenger on the S.S. Andem." The sisters had trouble believing that this man was ever humble. "You just arrived? I've been on board for three weeks. I was visiting family out East and am now returning to Ealdormere. Is it just me, or does the captain seem kind of... weird? Like he gnawed through his tether, or something. I hear he doesn't have all of his shots."

The sisters were inclined to agree, and over the course of several cup-fulls of tea, grew to very much like this Valizan fellow.

Despite the fuzzing Valizan's refreshment produced in them, Dag's eyes eventually strayed back to where the young man had sought refuge behind the teapot. Valizan waved a dismissive hand in his general direction, "Ignore Eirik. He's a pom-pom boy, and although we've tried to shake him of that nasty marshmallow habit, he keeps missing his therapy sessions with Wise Woman Crystian."

His explanation was cut short when suddenly Captain Seth skidded to a halt in front of them with a goofy grin on his face. "Anyone got a can of lima beans?!" he panted. The others regarded each other with raised eyebrows. Dagnan reached into her vest and pulled out a 12-ounce can of them, handing it to him slowly as though it (or he) were about to go off. Captain Seth grinned harder (if that was at all possible), yelled "woo hoo!" and gallivanted happily back off in the direction of his cabin.

Wanting to forget the whole sordid affair the sisters did what they did best (other than that, of course)(and also other than fighting, using colourful expletives, and co-ordinating their outfits). When the sisters were good and kippered, being in a magnanimous mood, they opted to let Eirik go free on one condition. They knew how to break him of his marshmallow habit ­ the same way Da broke uncle Snorri of his penchant for writing poetry. As Skal pinned Eirik down to the deck, Dag stuffed his mouth full of marshmallows and prodded him with her ax until he hopped up and down on one foot chanting, "I'b godde a wovewy bunche ob gogonuts!" over and over until he collapsed from exhaustion. Valizan shook his head in dismay, regarding Dag and Skal and glibly stated, "You are two twisted sisters!"

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Top Ten Most Dreaded Herring Weapons

  1. His own boot.
  2. Grape jelly and an oar.
  3. Tin of kippers main gauche.
  4. The Children.
  5. Some dance steps, if done with enough exuberance and by the right feet.
  6. Herring Love Poetry
  7. A copy of Herring Voices folded just-so.
  8. Skal's cooking.
  9. Mayonnaise and a rake (also known as John Cooper's Ruse).
  10. Sock full of stale marshmallows.

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Unwant Ads

WANTED: Longboat for extended honeymoon. Must come with its own crew, whip and drum. Able to withstand at least a year's worth of travel to warm climates and frequent raids. Scuba gear optional. See Leif the Archer for more details.

Fall Longboat Clean-Up Sale! For sale or lease: 10 used oarsmen. Variety of styles, shapes and languages. Mostly housetrained. Skilled at rowing, begging for mercy, groveling, and macramé. If interested contact Skal or Dag. Cool weather means cool deals!

Wanted: To all good gents (and not so good ones) one tatered and confused Viking seeks information on whereabouts of sibling--a child spawning viking named Skallagrim the Frenzied. If any information -- please report to "Tavern on the Far Fjord" -tatered Viking can't be missed.-Raven-Dagnan (Contrary to popular opinion the potato famine of Ireland was not caused by poor crops as they would have you believe!! Oh no! It was caused by yours truly!! Who knew that the Celts could throw spuds like missiles upon a hapless Viking...who just so happened to have torched a few huts and stole a few sheep ...and raped a few men [kilts you know--they're just so accessible!]--as she went on her merry way.)

Wanted: strong, flexible, well-made men for oars-work and whatever else employer desires requires. Skill-testing will be held three nights after the next full moon. Must have ability to work as a single or in groups. Preferential consideration will be given to matched pairs and/or those skilled in wrestling. Meet Skal and Dag at Tavern-on-the-Fjord at designated time if interested. Only successful applicants will be contacted the next morning.

Wanted: Supply of good mead for extended honeymoon. Need to get husband drunk so I can take advantage of him and spawn. At least 12 barrels needed. Linnet the Lusty.

Lost: one twin sister. Looks like me. Last seen at a tavern or a village burning maybe ­ through a drunken haze. Answers to "Dag", "Master", "Hey You In The Fur Vest" and "Betcha Can't Outdrink Me". Skallagrim the Frenzied.

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