I’m on a Skype call for work, meeting long-distance with co-workers based in Manhattan and in Gothenburg. One of the guys has just told us a Swedish joke, and then asked if anyone else knows a good joke about Swedes. Or possibly a joke at the expense of Norwegians? Scandinavians? Sadly, the Americans don’t have much to add here, and that brief moment of camaraderie is about to sink back in to the swamp of misplaced emails and impossible deadlines.
Then, I remember that I do know a good Scandinavian joke! I’ve been waiting years for the perfect opportunity to tell my sister’s best joke!
“Hey, guys!” I say, “I’ve got one! Why do they polish the tanks in Helsinki everyday?”
I was very happy, it’s been a long time since I got to use Bethie’s joke about protecting the Finnish. The last time it was really appropriate in everyday life, I was on a mad rush to the American Embassy in Beijing. True story.