The Badass of the Week.

Beowulf

"Wise sir, do not grieve.  It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.  For every one of us, living in this world means waiting for our end.  Let whoever can win glory before death.  When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark."


For twelve long years the mysterious man-eating monster Grendel terrorized the poor citizens of Denmark, busting into their homes in the middle of the night, eating their chips, and then biting their faces off with his giant gleaming yellow fangs.  Over time, pretty much everybody got used to having their relatives devoured by a giant disgusting super-powerful monster, and no hero was tough enough to take that motherfucker out and liberate the Danes from the oppression of this wretched beast.  Well, while the Danes had grown complacent over time, when word finally reached the distant Kingdom of the Geats, one badass took a particular interest as to what was transpiring on the shores of this mysterious land, and he decided he was going to fucking do something about it.

Beowulf did what any video game protagonist would have done in a similar situation - he put together a raiding party of hardcore motherfuckers, strapped on his most righteous battle-gear, and went out to kill himself some fucking demons.  The Geat hero was no stranger to wiping the floor with mythical beasts (he had already slain everything from sea monsters to water demons), but he'd never tested his mettle against something this hardcore before.  It was an awesome challenge so hardcore that he got mega pumped up just thinking about it, so Beowulf put together a badass Led Zeppelin mix tape, jumped on his boat, and went to find out what the fuck was rotten in the state of Denmark.

Beowulf and his homedogs crashed onto the shore and immediately made their way out to tell the King what was what.  When the big bossman heard Beowulf's noble intentions, he held a giant feast in the hero's honor, complete with kegs of booze and giant carved Thanksgiving turkeys and cranberry sauce and all that good shit, and people ate meat right off the bone like the barbarian badasses they were.  Everything was going pretty well until some jackass had the mind-numbingly dumbshit idea that he should call Beowulf out right in front of everyone.  This dude got up and started talking shit about how he heard that Beowulf had lost a swimming race against a lesser warrior.  The room fell silent at this accusation.  All eyes turned towards the newcomer, who leaned forward in his chair, his face hard as poured concrete, his expression as grim as a funeral.

Beowulf slowly rose to his feet, pounded his fist on the table, and said, "Go fuck yourself, asshole - when I'm in the water I'm like a goddamned cross between Michael Phelps and a blender permanently stuck on the "melt faces" setting.  Not only did I whip that guy's ass in the swimming race, but I also set the World Record in the 100-meter butterfly AND had time to choke out a sea monster with my bare hands in the process.  Oh yeah, then this giant fucking Kraken tried to drown my ass by wrapping me up with its tentacles, so I sucker-punched that motherfucker in the eye until it was comatose!  What have you ever done, bitch?  You're obviously not out there killing any Grendels, that's for fucking sure, so why don't you just sit here complaining about your sore ovaries and let a real man go out there and show you how a fucking badass handles shit?"

Then somebody in the audience yelled, "OH SNAP!" because this douchebag just got seriously told.  The dude ran off crying into his handkerchief, and everyone else went back to their epic feast and got wasted on mead and Tryptophan.

Well, as luck would have it, Beowulf wouldn't have to go far to get the fight he was looking for.  The monster Grendel just so happened to show up that night while everyone was asleep, and he immediately started slaughtering dozens of battle-hardened warriors like they were pre-packaged containers of cooked beef.  The demon then kicked in the door to Beowulf's hotel room and ate one of his soldiers, but our hero, despite having spent the entire night chugging enough ale to intoxicate most inanimate objects, popped out of bed without a hangover or anything.  Grendel reached for this fearless challenger, but Beowulf grabbed the monster's arm and tore it off with his bare fucking hands.  The monster ran away and crawled into a hole to die, and Beowulf hung the severed limb in the Danish King's dining hall, turning the feasting room into one of those family-dining-style chain restaurants with all the wacky crap hanging off the walls.  For defeating the horrific creature in such a badass manner, the King gave the warrior-hero more weapons, armor, gold, and jewelry than he could carry.  Then they had another huge party and everybody got trashed again, because that's what people did back in the Dark Ages.



PWND



Well, it turned out that shit wasn't over yet for the good people of Denmark, because Grendel's mom got all pissed off (you know how parents can be about their kids) and decided to exact bloody retribution on the people who brutally dismembered her son.  She showed up in the middle of the night, super pissed off, killed a bunch of sleeping Danes, and ganked the disembodied arm off the wall of the King's dining room.  The next morning, when everybody saw the carnage, Beowulf knew what he had to do.  He put together a badass force of warriors and rode out to the swamp to teach that old witch a lesson in manners.

The adventurers rode out to this super scary-ass swamp in the middle of nowhere.  Fog covered the entire ground, the dead vegetation was littered with dried blood, snakes, bat shit, and human remains, and everybody pretty much had a myocardial infarction right there on the spot.  Everybody except Beowulf.  He took one long look at this nasty-ass swamp, put on his armor, and dove into the freezing-cold stagnant black water of a disgusting lake.

Beowulf swam down to the bottom of the bog, where he busted into the foul lair of Grendel's crazy-ass mom.  She freaked out and started trying to kick him in the balls, but he grabbed a sword and lopped her head off like a bitch.  Then, when he noticed that the now-deceased mommy dearest had dragged Grendel's armless corpse down to the bottom of the lake with her, Beowulf chopped Grendel's head off as well, just for the hell of it.

Back on the surface, everybody pretty much thought Beowulf was dead, because holy shit how can someone hold their breath for that long?  Right when they were getting ready to say, "Fuck it," and head back home, Beowulf emerged from the murky waters carrying the severed heads of his slain enemies.  He returned to the King's palace, where he was lauded as a hero.  With the face of Denmark scoured of unholy flesh-eating monsters, Beowulf decided to head back home.

When Beowulf got back to Geatland, he gave most of his treasure to the King and Queen, because that's what good noble heroes are supposed to do.  The King kept Beowulf as his right-hand man, heaped rewards on him, and sent him out at the head of his army to battle the Swedes in a couple of wars.  Eventually, the old King died, and for his service and bravery to the throne, the dying King handed the crown over to his greatest champion.

King Beowulf ruled justly and honorably for 50 years, and everybody thought he was totally awesome.  Then one day, all of a sudden this massive fucking fire-breathing dragon showed up and started laying waste to the countryside like a mother.  Beowulf, now like 70 years old and knowing that his time here on the Earth is growing short, donned his war gear for the last time and rode out to the dragon's not-so-secret lair.  When none of his fellow warriors had the balls to take this creature on, Beowulf just charged balls-out into the foreboding cave, screaming at the top of his lungs, and took on the dragon in single combat.  This thing breathed a huge fireball right in Beowulf's fucking face and bit him in the shoulder with its poisonous fangs, but Beowulf still managed to stab this thing in the heart repeatedly.  The last of his energy expended in the badass act of killing a fucking giant man-eating monster, Beowulf died, going out in a badass blaze of glory.  His body was burned on a funeral pyre, Darth Vader-style, and then buried under a large hill, along with a bunch of the dragon's treasure for some reason.

Beowulf was pretty fucking awesome because he didn't let something like "being seriously decrepitly old" stand in the way of performing towering works of heroic asskickery.  He beat the shit out of a bunch of epic monsters, destroyed anything that stood in his way, and voluntarily sought out adventures that would make most people soil their chainmail.  Despite all of these legendary tales of face-smashing awesomeness, however, perhaps the most badass thing about Beowulf is that his story is the oldest tale written in the English language.  This not only proves that humans have intensely loved badasses since the beginning of time, but it also means that his story is required reading in most high school English classes.  With all that lame-ass existentialist symbolism Ralph Waldo Emerson bullcrap literature out there, how cool is it when you get to read about a pissed-off warrior who rips monsters' arms out of their sockets like an angry Wookie, decapitates dragons, and then forcibly urinates on all of their collective corpses?





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