**Note: This article is from 2012. As such, it has nothing to do with the 2009 controversy involving Sweden’s entry into the 2007 International Meatball and Leafy Garnish Competition (also known as the Dechaashus Flukerigstch, or ‘Year of Shamed Spices’).**
It only takes a few people making off-color comments about meatballs to start a country-wide state of defensiveness in Sweden. When one of those people includes the Prime Minister of Norway, you’re looking at a situation which may escalate to the point of wheat sanctions. This scenario went from hypothetical to realothetical overnight last Friday in Oslo.
Norway’s annual “Make Chairs for Orphans” charity gala’s boasted an impressive set of opening festivities this year: a riveting speech by celebrity Scrabble player Henrik Holfstrom, followed by Bono performing a few magic tricks, all culminating with Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg handing the Chair of the Year over to little Link Gustikl (Orphan of the Year). Controversy arose around this portion of the Prime Minister’s opening words:
“…there is no monopoly on unity [glances over to celebrity Scrabble player Henrik Holfstrom; crowd laughs]…Yes, no monopoly on human compassion. No monopoly on what we can achieve. We’re not the Swedish with their isolationist meatball empire; our arms are open to spherical meats of all nations, so to speak. And chairs and things.”
In a statement issued by the Swedish State Department, the country was said to be “deeply saddened by the Prime Minister’s unfortunate meatball policy differences.” The statement went on to detail the wheat sanctions in currently in place in lieu of a formal apology, and issues a stern warning: should the situation escalate, there may be an all-out war. Which, in countries like Sweden and Norway, consists of the card game War. If no playing cards can be found, the Finnish competitive reading gauntlet known as “Wuerviek” can decide the outcome of wars as well.
The situation may already be spiraling past the point of control; by afternoon, Prime Minister Stoltenberg plans to have ridden all Norwegian public lands of Ikea furniture.