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Norwegian ambassador. (Bjorn Fahller TT/MLG)
(anti-norwegian, chuckle)

This joke could be offensive to Norwegians, but I can assure you it's not. Any Norwegian reader would just tell an even better joke about a Swede instead.

Read in a book about the Joke-war between Norway and Sweden.

It's mid December some year, and Norway has had a new ambassador in the USA for about a month. He is, as a matter of fact not only new as ambassador to the USA, he is a novice ambassador of any sort.

He is just about getting familiar with his work, but he's not always sure about what to do. Suddenly the phone rings..

- Yees... he says, a bit confused. (His phone hardly ever rings.)

- Good morning Mr Ambassador. This is Mike Giordano from the New York Times. I'd like to know what you want for a Christmas present.

- Eh, Sveind (Yes, that's his name) said. Christmas present... Eh... I'm very sory Mike, I can't accept any gifts, but tanks anyway.

- Yes, of course... I understand, said Mike with a voice telling a deaf he didn't understand at all, Bye then.

- Good bye Mike.

The day goes a usual. Sveind thought this was a bit unusual, but he soon forgot about it, and went back to the normal ambassadoring.

The next morning the phone rings again.

- Yes, Sveind speaking.

- Hello Sveind. This is Mike Giordano from the New York Times again. I'm wondering if you're really serious about what you said yesterday?

- Ah.. Hello... Eh. Yes, unfortunately I meant it. You see, ve're not allowed to accept personal gifts. They could be seen as bribes, and I don't vant to cause any scandal. I'm very sorry, but I hope you understand.

- Yes, of course.. Sorry... Bye.

- Good bye.

That was funny, Sveind thought. Didn't he believe what I said? Maybe some misunderstanding. After all my pronunciation isn't the best.

The next morning the phone rings again.

- Yes, Sveind heere.

- Hello Sveind. This is Mike Giordano again. I suppose you know what I want?

- Yes I know vhatt you want, Sveind said, not without irritation. I thought I explained vhy I can't accept any gifts.

- Yes you did, but I don't think you....

- Yes I understand, Sveind said, quite angrily. I understand perfectly vell. Vhat do you vant really? Do you vant to get rid of me, or vhat? Anyvay, you von't have any success, I will go strictly by the book. No... Vait a minute. Now I know. I vant a fruit bowl (He is sure a fruit bowl is absolutely harmless, and won't cause any scandal.)

- A fruit bowl?? Are you serious??

- Yes. A fruit bowl. Is there anything vrong vith a fruit bowl?

- No. Nothing wrong, but a bit unusual maybe..

- Unusual?? Vell that doesn't matter, does it?

- No. Of course not. Merry Christmas then, and bye bye.

- Good bye, and eh, Merry Christmas.

A few days later, this could be read in the New York Times.

What the foreign ambassadors here want for Christmas

During a few hectic days, I've been calling all the embassies here, and asking the ambassadors what they want for Christmas. This is the result.


Great Britain. Good economic welfare.
Western Germany. Even better east-west relations
France. Free trade between Europe and USA.
Switzerland. Better European cooperation, and better US relations.
Sweden. End of the starvation in the third world.
Belgium. Better environmental care.
Norway. A fruit bowl.

Mike Giordano.

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