It's not often you are confronted by a semi-naked norseman at your door - let alone one asking for money at 8am on a Sunday morning - but at our 'Hunger Pain Hotel' lodgings in Zillertal valley the strange and wondrous had become the norm. So on this occasion I handed the Viking snowboard filmer (who we'll call 'Boris') 30 euros and went back to bed...
Now this story isn't strictly snowboard related, but if you'll indulge me anyway, I'll explain how 'Boris' happened to find himself so scantily clad on my doorstep at such an uncivilised hour.
It all started with the invention of a drink...
As deadly as it was awesome - we called it 'Strodkha', and 'Strodkha' was an ill-advised combination of 80% proof Austrian rum Stroh and everyday Vodka. When mixed as required - two thirds vodka to one third rum - it became the cheapest and quickest route to obliteration available in the whole valley.
Before this all began, we had had a bottle of the 80% rum hanging around the house for years, and had frequently tried to come up with a way to make it drinkable - but no matter what mixer we tried, the acid-like burn it produced in your throat never quite went away. That was until one night our kiwi pal and ex uber-pro Louis Puruker decided to change tact and fight fire with fire - and sure enough the mix of vodka and rum produced the desired effect.
Strohdka - the cheapest and quickest route to obliteration available in the whole valley.
Back to the time of the Viking - and a motley crew of us had been shredding hard all week, filming for the upcoming 'Playground' movie with a few pros who had been welcomed into the Hunger Pain Hotel. Needless to say that come the weekend we felt in need for a bit of a party.
The Norwegian filmer had been collecting footage of Kareem el Rafie and some of the other frontline team up in the Penken park with some success - and we collectively decided to premier our new drink to the masses. The Strodkha began to flow, and before long we jumped in a cab and hit the town.
The carnage that ensued is the stuff of legend, even despite a great deal of memory loss - we all fondly remember the dancing, fireworks, bicycle theft, snogging and fighting. Enough to fill many pages - but for now I want to focus on the naked Norwegian.
Somehow Boris had survived the Strodkha well enough to pursue the favours of a beautiful blonde from Hamburg. The night went on, and as we dispersed to various corners of Mayrhofen to 'make party', Boris kept his focus on this lovely lady. After a few more shandies they left together - and without going into too much detail, let's say that things were progressing nicely for our young couple.
Garments were at various stages of removal back at their private lodgings (well, Boris had managed to discard all of his at least) when the young lady became suddenly thirsty - and, gentleman that he is, our Viking offered to go to the kitchen and get some water. It being pitch black and the middle of the night, he didn't however see the need for clothes.
In his Strodkha altered state Boris had forgotten which room he had been in
Two flights of stairs later he retrieved two glasses of icy Zillertal tap water and wandered back to the room to woo his fair maiden some more...
But at this stage things started to go wrong.
In his Strodkha altered state Boris had forgotten which room he had been in, and indeed which floor he had even come from in the first place. Even twenty five minutes later - after a significant amount of naked wandering and door knocking - his best-guess at the correct room was still not yielding his princess.
Boris didn't want to panic - so he made another lap of the building and came back to the room he thought he had come from, only this time he noticed a single pair of jeans neatly folded outside the door.
Quickly realising they were his - he felt reassured and began to knock again - but this time his pounding did not go unanswered.
It seems that the lovely lady inside had had a change of heart and decided that she didn't in fact want a bit of Boris - and Boris, being a reasonable chap, realised that this wasn't the end of the world, and as you would, asked for the rest of his clothes back.
Unfortunately our Heroine from Hamburg was not so understanding, and completely lost the plot. Screaming and shrieking - she filled the halls with howls of 'HELP', 'POLICE' and 'GET AWAY!'.
Boris was in no state to be walking through the minus ten degree streets, even if he had known the exact address of his destination.
He turned and ran into the freezing February night sans hoodie, t-shirt, shoes, socks, the lot - only managing to grab and put on his jeans as he hit the snow on the pavement.
But how to get home? The Hunger Pain Hotel was a good 4km away from the young lady's hotel - and Boris was in no state to be walking through the minus ten degree streets, even if he had known the exact address of his destination. So he naturally headed for the nearest taxi rank to acquire a vehicle.
What he hadn't though of was the local taxi driver's complete lack of understanding when it comes to semi naked Norwegians with no money. For a good hour Boris tried to hail a cab, all while walking barefoot through the snow - but with no success. Until finally the potential hypothermia and frostbite drove him to hide behind a tree, wait for the next taxi to approach, and then jump out into it's path - blocking the escape.
[related_articles]A quick but frantic bartering session later - and Boris' promise of a 50 euro payment instead of the usual 10 won the driver over. Boris was in the cab and on his way home.
And this is how we saw him delivered - shivering, blue in the face, and wearing only his jeans as we bailed him out of his fare at the Hunger Pain House.
I don't think he ever got those clothes back!