Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece.
By: Beth Casteel
Magnus sat at a table in the school’s Student Center as the college students he’s had to deal with for the past decade swarmed around him in a rush to get to their classes.
It’s been a long day for the viking. After having his morning breakfast of salted fish, goat and a loaf of bread, he thought the day would have gone much better than it did. Between students stopping him every five minutes to get a high-five or selfie, it was all he could do not to rip their arms off.
While that may seem like taking things a bit too far, the viking is starting to get tired of spending his days in the crowded city of Cleveland. He misses his home, the place where he could braid the beards of his viking brethren and eat his mom’s pork without having to worry if his eating habits were civilized enough for the students at the university.
While he’s been happy parading around as the school’s number one supporter, it’s been an adjustment period for the misplaced viking. With his 10-year anniversary looming near, Magnus has had a mix of emotions.
Deciding it was time to share his story, Magnus reached out to The Cauldron to share the difficulties of his days at the university. Meeting the interviewer, it soon became apparent that the language barrier would be too great.
Taking matters into his own hands, Magnus threw the interviewer over his shoulder to visually show her the hardships that a viking has to deal with on a college campus.
The first stop was Chop’d & Wrap’d, the school’s salad restaurant. Pointing to the meals on the menu, Magnus shook his head in disgust. As a viking, it’s important to have the right nutrition.
Having to ransack entire villages and fight hours on end, it’s important to stock up on protein, something Magnus has had a hard time doing since coming to the university.
While the food choices haven’t been ideal, Magnus drew a picture showing that his meals come from the West Side Market. This, as Magnus drew out, is an issue in and of itself.
Being a viking in the middle of a city causes great fear and astonishment for the city dwellers.
Swinging his sledgehammer-esque weapon, Magnus doesn’t understand why people are so afraid of him. When he’s not wanting to choke a student because they annoyed him, he’s a pretty lovable guy.
The next stop on the tour of his day was to showed the interviewer that he isn’t so bad after all. Taking her to the recreation center, he shows her that he can be a spirited member of the school.
After playing an intense game of ping-pong with a fellow student, Magnus lost the game and threw the paddle across the room, yelling at the student in his medieval ways. Turning to the interviewer, he shrugged his iron-clad shoulders because vikings don’t like to lose.
While his intent was to show the interviewer that he wasn’t as temperamental as people made him out to be, his actions showed otherwise. He was showing to be a sore loser, a trait that wouldn’t typically mesh well with the constantly losing athletic teams that Cleveland State has.
Walking to the Wolstein Center, Magnus showed the interviewer the type of workouts the school’s basketball team does in preparation for a game. To Magnus, they are inadequate routines to prepare to face one’s enemy.
As a viking, one must train rigorously and show enemies no mercy. Needing to be well-fit to ransack entire villages and fight rival viking gangs, Magnus grew up training long hours doing fighting routines like the bone crusher and pillage practice.
While he recognized that these practices aren’t well-suited for Cleveland State athletes, he still feels like they could benefit from learning some of his viking exercises.
Maybe, Magnus drew, if they took a page out of his book, they could actually win some games.
That’s something that Magnus would love to happen because he can get a little out of control when the team loses a game against the enemies.
On game days, Magnus has a hard time controlling his temper.
Practicing breathing techniques, he has to be on the go talking to the excited crowd, because if he doesn’t, there’s a chance that he will take his bone-crushing fighting techniques and use them against the team’s opposing players.
According to a picture from the viking, this actually happened once. The student, while fine after spending a couple of weeks in the hospital, sued the school for a pretty penny. So, Magnus is now on a closer watch when it comes to the game day activities.
While he struggles with game-day anger, that’s not the only time Magnus has an issue with controlling his temper. The woes of being a viking on a college campus runs deeper than the food choices or horrible athletics.
Integrating himself with student life has been quite the task this past decade. Between the language barrier and just being seen as the school’s mascot, Magnus has had a hard time showing the student’s that he’s more than just a stereotype.
The stereotyping he is faced with on a day-to-day basis is the one thing Magnus drew out that really bothers him.
Dealing with all sorts of negative stereotypes, like him being dirty and unclean, Magnus wanted to assure everyone that he showers pretty regularly. Another myth that he wanted to debunk was the idea that vikings would drink the blood of their enemies. It’s gross, and Magnus is a bit of a germaphobe.
As the interview winded down, Magnus let the interviewer off of his shoulder one last time. Drawing a picture of a heart, he showed his thanks for allowing him to share his woes of being the only viking in the middle of downtown Cleveland.
Magnus hopes that one day he can return home, but until then, maybe students can understand the challenges a misplaced viking has to face.