For all that pop culture likes to portray the Vikings as blood-crazed warriors with no regard for anything that didn’t promise money, glory, land, or the opportunity to find new places to practice their love of rock-stacking, we should remember that they were also just people who had loved ones who wanted them to wear helmets when out for a ride with their pals.
The Danish Road Safety Council has used this last point as the basis for a public service announcement that sees a 9th century Viking serve as the unwilling spokesman for protective headgear.
The video opens with Svend, a mighty Danish warrior, rallying his forces before sailing for England in 893. He mounts up, roars out a call to depart for battle against the dreaded Christians, but is interrupted by his son, who runs out to remind him that he has to put his helmet on before he goes anywhere. Despite protesting that he doesn’t want to because helmets make his head itchy, that he’s “a careful rider,” and that he doesn’t want to ruin his hair, the other Vikings tell him to make safety a priority.
“You can go looting and pillaging all you want, but you have to wear your helmet,” his wife says, and Svend gives in. Someone laughs at him but his pal Hjalmar chips in to say that he “[bets] the English wear helmets, too.” The Vikings depart, Svend smacks his head on a gatepost, and the PSA ends with a title reading, “Helmets have always been a bright idea.”
Remember poor Svend the next time you think about hopping on a bike for an afternoon of surveying the countryside or to go on a raid to steal away the local convenience store’s vast Doritos reserves. If he has to wear a helmet, you do, too.
[via Boing Boing]
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