The council of Harold has reacted angrily to a wave of unofficial Viking funerals, describing them as ‘a health and safety nightmare’.
With some local families tracing their ancestral tree back to more pillage-friendly times, a proper warrior’s send-off has become fashionable in some of the less desirable postcodes.
But with Harold being over 2 hours’ drive to the coast, the traditional ceremony has been updated to take into account the local geography.
Nigel Thorvald is the latest resident to send a relative off in a blaze of glory, but admitted that a longboat was ‘well outside’ his budget.
“My father Nørbert had embraced the Viking way of life”, claimed Nigel. “He only shopped in Iceland, and plaited his beard. His screams of triumph when he picked up a family box of breaded haddock will be missed by many of the staff there.”
Nørbert had left specific instructions for his final journey to Valhalla, and wished to be sent on his way in the vessel he used for so many of his conquests.
“We propped him up in his motability scooter, and doused him in petrol”, explained Nigel. “A simple prayer to Odin and then he was off on his way, as he slipped relatively quietly down the hill in the High Street.”
The funeral was a thing of majesty to behold, with many diving for cover or cowering in doorways out of respect for the great man.
But councillor Ron Ronsson was less than impressed. “There are procedures and protocols that should be respected when arranging a funeral”, insisted Ronsson. “You can’t just torch them and send them careering towards Tescos.”
“If you ask me, the Thorvald’s are a complete bunch of Cnuts.”