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Dear Christopher,

Hallo. Norse explorer Leif Erikson here. Just writing to say fuck you.

Let me explain. So, you’re an Italian explorer who is credited with being the first European to discover North America in 1492. But you see, Cristobol, that really boils my lutefisk because 500 years before you, I landed in modern day Newfoundland and established the settlement of Vinland. And I’m not some crazy Viking pulling your fjord. There is archaeological evidence that supports this.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in credit being given where credit is due. So I think you should get credit for what you actually did do.

Specifically, this is what you did:

  • Intend to sail to the East Indies but never make it there
  • Wear a silly-ass hat in every portrait ever painted of you
  • Land on an island in the Caribbean and wrongfully identify it as the East Indies
  • Call the inhabitants there “Indios” thus establishing an erroneous nomenclature that would last for a thousand years
  • Have a U.S. holiday in your honor that people still have to go to work on
  • Act like such a dick that your crew constantly threatened mutiny
  • Usher in an era of genocide of the existing local population through military conquest and exposure to foreign diseases; four centuries after your arrival the indigenous population of North America was reduced from 12 million to 237 thousand, an astonishing death toll of 95%
  • Finish your life disposed from your Spanish governorship, and then arrested by the very crown you once sailed for
  • And to top it all off, for the duration of your life, in the face of clear evidence to the contrary, you maintained that you made it to the East Indies

And this is what I did:

  • Set foot on North American soil 500 years before Christopher “Colon” Columbus’s pansy Italian ass
  • Lots of hardcore Viking shit
  • Your mom

Just kidding about that last one. I didn’t actually do your mom. That would have required a time machine. But rest assured that if I had access to a time machine in 10th century Scandinavia, I would have traveled forward half a millennium and made love with your Genoesean mom. It would have been consensual, passionate, and multi-orgasm–inducing for all parties involved.

And you know what the real kicker in the Oslo is, Chrissy? I’m not even claiming that I was the first European to make it to North America. This merchant from Greenland named Bjarni Herjólfsson discovered it first by accident when he was blown off course on a trade expedition. I just went there after he told me about it.

So I wasn’t the first either. But I did make it there before you.

Fuck off,

Leif


Originally published October 12th, 2014

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