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Mistress Morigianna
08-28-2010, 02:01 AM
I love the last line!
http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/norse-hollywood-dining-vikings-raid-la-restaurants-ikeas/19606725?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl5%7Csec1_lnk3%7C166592

Vikings Raid LA Restaurants and IKEAsUpdated: 1 day 17 hours ago
David Moye

AOL News (Aug. 26) -- Being a viking in Los Angeles isn't easy. In fact, it takes a pillage to do it right.
But that isn't stopping an ad hoc group of vikings from raising a ruckus in Los Angeles restaurants, all in the name of fun.

The group calls itself the "Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings" and, true to their name, they dress up in various variations of viking gear in order to go to nice restaurants and eat, drink and be merry -- other guests be damned!

The leader of this roving band of meal-seeking marauders is Tony Swatton, who, by day, is a master blacksmith and the designer of custom-made weapons, armor and other props for television and film.

Matt Hunt / www.LycanProductions.com
Wait, What?
Swatton's products are seen in movies like the upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel, the movie version of "Thor" and, most famously, the ads for Capital One credit cards.

When Swatton isn't making armor, he likes wearing his own garb at events.

"I do lots of re-enactments at Renaissance fairs," he told AOL News. "In fact, I'm the reigning 'Pirate of the Year' for 'Pirates Magazine.'"

As subcultures go, Swatton said modern-day pirates and vikings have a lot in common.

"Oh yeah. We're thinking of making buttons that say, 'Vikings eat pirates and s**t ninjas," he chuckled.

Anyway, Swatton lived a relatively normal life as an occasional viking until one day when a friend of his was cast in a commercial.

"My friend, Clay, who was actually 'Pirate of the Year' before me, was cast in a commercial where pirates fight vikings and helped me get cast as the lead viking.

"There were other professional actors on the set -- I'm not one. I have no interest -- but the idea of the commercial was we all break into dancing."

The commercial never aired, but Swatton and his pal enjoyed the shoot so much that they decided to celebrate at a Brazilian restaurant.

It takes a pillage to raise a viking child.
"At some point, Clay and I decided it would be fun to dress up like vikings and go to restaurants and do reviews," Swatton said. "The next night, we went to Griffith Park Observatory where they were doing a laser show about the northern lights. There were 15 of us and we all had our weapons -- axes, spears, everything -- and we heckled everything."

The fun hasn't stopped since. Recently, Swatton took 50 of his vikings on the subway down to Long Beach for the Red Bull Flugtag Races.

"We were all dressed up, but we didn't bring weapons on the subway," he said. "We had those brought down separately."

The vikings ended up renting a Duck Boat, a vehicle that travels on land and water, and raised pandemonium at every turn. At one point, they even turned on one of their own.

"One of the guys fell asleep on the boat and we drew all over his head with Sharpies," Swatton said. "You can't expect to fall asleep in front of vikings and not expect anything to happen."

Another high point to their pillage party came when Swatton and friends skipped into Hamburger Mary's, a well-known chain of gay bars.

"I had on a pink helmet and Clay had a tiara," he said.

Being a viking can be fun, but there's a price to pay for all the marauding.

"Chain mail can weigh up to 30 or 40 pounds," he said. "If you're wearing leather, that gets heavy as well. I made a helmet with two ram's horns, brass and bronze that weighs around 6 pounds. I make my stuff very authentic for the serious re-enactors, but a lot of the armor I make for the film industry is made from aluminum, which is lighter."

Of course, there's another hassle as well.

"Thanks to those Capital One ads, we can't go anywhere without people yelling, 'What's in your wallet!'" he laughed.

So far, the Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings go on their rampages about once a month, but Swatton hopes to up the appearances to twice a month. That said, their next raid will be at an Oktoberfest scheduled for Sept. 26 in Torrance, Calif., at a place called Alpine Village.

"We will bring 100 vikings for what we like to call extreme dining!" he said. "We will be storming the fest in search of food and we will have a viking birthday for a member called William the Elder who is turning 75. His cake will be in the form of a Viking Longship with chocolate shields and dragon figurehead."

Swatton says it's great fun watching the crowd's reaction to a horde of costumed vikings showing up, but the reaction they will get in Oktoberfest will probably pale in comparison to the reaction they got from IKEA employees during a recent visit.

"We got a group of nine vikings to go there for the Swedish meatballs," he said. "At one point, the security guards came up and asked, 'What are you doing here?' We said, 'We're from the home office in Sweden.' They didn't know how to react."

Thistle
08-29-2010, 01:44 AM
suffering from "Viking Hypochondria"- I hear about them doing it, and I wanna do it, too!

Andreadoria
08-29-2010, 02:09 AM
I thinks we should be doing something like that around NYC...what great fun!!!!

I have always wanted to get my friends together and act like tourist and have one of the kids interpret for us...we would be using a made up language and the kid could say what ever it wanted...but we have never done it.

Tempest_Gypsy
08-30-2010, 01:39 PM
Sounds like a bigger, louder, more raucus version of Piratepalooza (http://www.piratepalooza.com/pubcrawl/), down here in Atlanta. :D I love marching down the street with all the pirates. The TGIF waitresses always come out and try to get us to come eat at their retaurant!

Bronya
09-04-2010, 12:42 AM
I woudhave loved to have been there. How fun!

Sorcha Griannon
09-04-2010, 02:09 AM
I woudhave loved to have been there. How fun!



Aww, man, I want to go:-) I actually wanted to go to the Flugtag in Long Beach, but totally forgot the date (with all the commercials, you'd think I would have it memorized).

Sorcha Griannon
09-04-2010, 02:10 AM
However...Who's up for Oktoberfest???!!!???

PixieStyx
09-04-2010, 02:37 AM
<snip>
So far, the Norse Hollywood Dining Vikings go on their rampages about once a month, but Swatton hopes to up the appearances to twice a month. That said, their next raid will be at an Oktoberfest scheduled for Sept. 26 in Torrance, Calif., at a place called Alpine Village.


Wouldn't it be cool if they staged a Viking flashmob?