HKUST professor Andy “Windy” Miller has succumbed to primeval instincts and become a Viking. The cuddly eccentric formally adopted his fierce new persona at the “Up Helly Aa” (See You in Hell) fire festival in the Shetland Isles.
Dr Miller, 48, prepared for his ruthless regression for months, nurturing a wild Pagan beard. Many Sai Kung observers mistook his hirsute transformation for an unhealthy obsession with the rock band ZZ Top. But his true loyalties lay somewhere more ethereal…in the remote, barbaric archipelago of Shetland, near Iceland.
Wielding a battleaxe, he confirmed his tribal allegiance in this subarctic wasteland in a recent ceremony – in traditional Viking warrior regalia of elk-horned helmet, arrow-proof Shetland Pony-skin smock and reindeer boots. “I also set ablaze a priceless, centuries-old, lovingly restored longship!” he said.
On returning to Sai Kung, the dotty doctor of science has now renounced his former identity – and wishes to be known as Chief WindyThor the Viking. “I was born Scottish and over the years devolved into a Shetland Islander, before finally realising that – in the depths of my inner psyche – I’m at heart a Viking. I can’t keep this dark secret to myself any longer – pretending to be someone I’m not. I just hope everyone in Sai Kung will accept me for who I am now – Chief WindyThor the Viking.”
Many have long suspected there was “something odd” about the adorable academic. His scientific research studying the obscure marine biological field of calcium ions in living organisms – zebrafish – seemed most strange. Uncannily, the missing Viking link was apparent from the haunting bass guitar riffs he played with the band at The Duke of York pub.
Shetland islanders are known for their unfathomable musical heritage and lead guitarist Andy Maxwell, 38, recalled: “He played baffling, other-worldly chords from a bygone era that I thought had been lost in time. His interpretation of pop music was disturbing.”
On completing his definitive study of calcium ions at HKUST, Chief WindyThor is dedicating his future academic research to reviving 4th century transcendental Viking laments.
“I’m on the trail of an ancient musical score which has eerily cryptic references to Edith Piaf’s No Regrets,” he said. “Another bonus is that Lane Crawford has signed me up for a lifetime gig as Father Christmas.”
TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT CHIEF WINDYTHOR’S SHETLANDS
The only native source of meat in the Shetlands is the diminutive Shetland Pony, in-bred to miniature size to sell to Hobbits in New Zealand. Ancient pre-Norse literature refers to Shetland as Inse Catt – “the Isles of Cats”.
The fabled felines are thought to have been driven to extinction by the introduction of the vicious Shetland Sheepdog. Only 16 of about 100 Shetland isles are inhabited. The main island is imaginatively named Mainland, but it is much smaller than Mainland China.
The Shetlandic dialect is a combination of Medieval Norse, Innuit Greenlandish and a bareIy audible tongue once muttered by frost-bitten Icelandic cod fishermen. Oil has brought enormous wealth –islanders never have to work again–and is worshipped in The Shetlands with a jihadistic fervour.
On clear winter nights the Northern Lights are visible in the Shetlands. In summer there is almost perpetual daylight, known as the “simmer dim”, when everyone gets eaten alive by swarms of “midgies”. Ancient Shetlanders were known as Øyskjeggs (“Island Beardies”).
Shetlanders converted to Christianity overnight in the late 10th century when Norway’s King Olav Tryggvasson threatened the jarl, Sigurd the Stout: “I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I’ll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel.”
The Shetlands were subsequently “pawned” to Scotland in 1469, when King of Norway Christian I pledged them as security against the payment of a dowry for his daughter to marry James III of Scotland. Unsurprisingly, the debt was never paid and Scotland assumed ownership.
In modern times, The Shetland Isles’ population of 23,000 voted a resounding 98% against a free Scotland in the latest referendum.