Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FINISH (05/26/16)
TITLE: Danish Humor
By M. C. Syben
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The first occurred after a long walk, when I entered my sister-in-law’s kitchen and announced, “I’m so thirsty.” She immediately answered, “Hello, Thursday, I’m Friday.” Thirsty in Denmark is always interpreted as Thursday just so that twist of words can be used.
The second joke I discovered during an inappropriate moment. Well, insensitive from an American perspective. You see, Danes are very Earthy—little shakes their world.
At any rate, my husband and I decided to fish from the shoreline on a blustery day. Back then, summers were rainy and cold most of the time, by my standard. But, each summer thereafter, became warmer. The last summer brought the fjord’s water close to Florida’s warmth. In fact, a trip to Norway brought us to Oslo on the hottest day in over one hundred years—not fun when the apartment we rented had no air conditioning.
But, I digress—back to fishing in Denmark. I was not a beginner angler. But this was a rocky shoreline, I was using antiquated equipment, and it was windy. I could not cast as far as normal, which meant I could not get past the floor bed of rocks. After an hour, I had enough of struggling with catching my hook on the bottom. The last snag required an extra yank to get the line unhooked, so that I could reel it in, and be done with it.
I was too successful. The line came flying out of the water, wrapped around my head multiple times, gagging me, and finally hooked into my heavy sweatshirt.
After trying to call for my husband, with fishing line wrapped around my face, literally tying up my mouth, I stomped my feet and managed to scream-mumble. “I’m finished. I’m finished. I’m never fishing in Denmark again. I’m finished.”
A kindly passerby with a sly grin said, “Oh, you Finnish? I thought you American.”
That’s when I understood the second Danish joke—you can’t say the word “finish” within earshot of a Dane either.
Thank, God, he began unhooking and unwrapping me so I smiled, my frustration disappearing on the crest of Danish humor, which always comes and goes like breath on a cold Danish morn.
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