Wednesday 3 August 2011

Bronze Viking

I went to a high school that was named after a small county in Ireland.
 I am sure that it is a lovely place, well, aside from all of the Irish. What could have inspired the school board in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada to name a high school after it? I have to think that one of the board members was married to a fiery Irish lass and was caught looking or talking to the wrong lady at a party. Naming the school would have been a peace offering of sorts. I imagine they didn’t stay married for too long with that kind of a crappy make up gift.

The head of the board could have made some bad bets against Notre Dame to the Irish mafia and the only way that he could pay was to honour the county they were from. I would guess that they will find his bones when and if they ever dredge the Don River.

It could have been a similar situation as to how Betsy Ross was credited with making the first US flag. She was the madam of the “Pleasure” house that the members of congress and the senate frequented. Perhaps the unnamed lady in question had ancestors that were kicked out of county Wexford for stealing sheep.

Personally I believe that the guy in charge of naming the schools for the Scarborough school board (more than likely a summer student) had a map of the world taped to the wall of his office and tossed a dart over his head and it stuck in Wexford, Ireland. I guess we were lucky, it could have been Dildo Nfld., Toadsuck Arkansas, Cockup Bottom, Cumbria or Mousehole Cornwall. Yep, I missed attending Toadsuck Collegiate Institute by the smallest of margins.

This is the kind of thing that I spent my time doing in school when I should have been learning math or French or even geography. This was way more fun and I had lots of people to bounce ideas off of, because most of my friends paid less attention than I did.

Surprisingly our school mascot wasn’t Darby O’Gill or one of his little people, but a diminutive Viking named Harry. Who the hell came up with that? I would think that the same reasons they used to name the school would apply for naming the mascot. Well, except we know the name of the guy that had pictures of the board naked at a petting zoo. You know, if they were going to use a Viking, then use some godlike giant named Bjorn or Holmfast. Harry is some guy with a shoe fettish!

They even raised money to build a statue of this weird little Irish (Norse) midget. My friend and I each bought three stones that had our names etched on them which were then affixed to the base of the sculpture. To our way of thinking we had bought the controlling interest in “Harry”. In effect he was ours to do with as we pleased.

A couple of years after “Harry” was put in his place of honour in the main lobby of the school, Ken and I decided that it was time for “Harry” to go on a walking holiday. When no one was around (“Harry” is shy) we helped him go to a little known place in the school. We knew there would be a bit of an uproar, but you would think that we had kidnapped a real person. He was just a crappy bronze statue on a pedestal!

Well, now not only could we never tell anyone about moving him, but there was a good chance no one would find him for a long time. We came up with a plan that involved cutting words out of magazines, and making a ransom note without the ransom. We mailed it to the school and a day or so later Harry came back from his “lost weekend”. That was the last time I kidnapped a bronze Viking, and the first time I have told anyone about it. Luckily no one reads this, so my secret is still safe.


  1. Today that might be considered "state terrorism " and you would wake up with an M16 stuck in your ear! Osama thought leveling two skyscrappers would be a hoot and for years all his friends agreed. Be sure to lock your doors at night now that the truth has been exposed. B

  2. I'm pretty sure that the statute of limitations has long since passed. However, there may still be some 90 something ex-teachers out there with an axe to grind. I'll keep my friends close and my enemies closer...

  3. I really enjoyed the story of the Harry mystery. I wonder why you hid him. Was it with the old props back stage in the auditorium or in some other nebulous place like the art department. Wait the art wing wasn't built yet. I think it was a great prank. We never knew all these years.I also really enjoyed the robertson screwdriver blog. Great writing. Keep up the great Blogging. John B

  4. That was suppose to be where did you hide Harry.

  5. Just so it doesn't drive you crazy John. We hid him in the Arts wing. It was being built at the time and there was a smallish closet that he fit in nicely.