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March 29: When the Gods Buy You a Drink

On this day in 845, 5,000 Viking raiders, led by Ragnar Lodbrok of History Channel fame, laid siege to Paris. Shortly after the siege was underway, the Black Plague swept through the Viking camp. There was a bit of a panic, and it seemed they would have to pack it in, when, out of the blue, the ship carrying their vast supply of raiding mead, which they thought had been lost at sea during a storm, just showed up. Taking this as a sign from the gods, the Vikings stopped drinking that filthy local river water and started drinking mead. Rather mysteriously, or not, the Vikings soon felt much improved and began pressuring the city’s defenses with renewed vigor. It was Paris’s defenders turn to panic, and they swiftly bought off the Vikings with 7,000 pounds of silver. So what’s the lesson here? If the project your’e working on is making you sick, lay into some mead, or the local equivalent. It may give you the strength to see it through.