Joel Warner's profile of a Viking re-enactment group was plenty funny even before he asked the group's leader whether they had been exploited to puzzle the political correctness brigades of a Columbus Day event.

Fjellborg members would like to believe the Denver Sons of Italy invited them to the controversial event because Norsemen reached America before Columbus—but these Vikings aren't naive. "I think they invited us as sort of spoilers for the fight," says Schultz. "I think we threw the protesters a bit. They said to us, 'The Vikings killed more people than Columbus!' And their point is…?"

Eleven-year-old Josh Burgin (Viking name: Agnar) interrupts the banter. He wants to see Schultz temper a steel blade.