The Corner

Impromptus

A Laugh or Three

Sonja Henie, the figure skater and film star, memorialized in Oslo (Jay Nordlinger)

On the homepage today, I begin an Oslo journal, centered on the Oslo Freedom Forum, the annual human-rights gathering in the Norwegian capital. I have notes light — very light, concerning food, etc. — and grave (as in torture and murder). May I tell you a joke or two in this Corner post?

Thor Halvorssen, the Venezuelan (of Norwegian origin) who founded the Freedom Forum, has a favorite Norwegian joke. Here goes: “What’s the difference between a Norwegian introvert and a Norwegian extrovert? The introvert looks at his shoes when he is talking to you. The extrovert looks at your shoes.”

I would like to share a note from a reader — a reader from Minnesota. He says that the Twins are doing very, very well this year. But people are trying not to get too excited about it. There is a joke, he says, about a Norwegian farmer who loved his wife so much, he almost told her.

Okay, one more. One day, Ole dies. His wife, Lena, calls the newspaper to place a death notice. The man at the paper says, “What would you like to say?” Lena responds, “Ole, he died.” The man says, “But wouldn’t you like to say a little more than that?” Lena thinks for a moment and responds, “Ole, he died. Boat for sale.”

Again, my journal begins here.

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