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A monologue from the play by C. Denby Swanson
BETTY (twenties – thirties)
Betty, a transplant from Kentucky, has lived in Minnesota for five long winters. Her heart has recently been broken by a Minnesota man of Norwegian descent.
You could do this as direct address to the audience, or she could be talking to another woman she’s met in a bar.
The Norwegians. They are insidious. Dangerous. Clever. Strong. They are weather proofed, as children, to not mind extreme cold or large flying bugs. Or Canada.
They don’t mind being close to Canada. They are insulated, somehow. Well trained for outdoor survival. Even babies. They kayak. Babies! Yes. They ski.
It is like they are all little baby Navy SEALS. They learn to drive on frozen rivers, they learn how to slam on the brakes and spin wildly into the snow.
Not babies. But teenagers. And on purpose, not like the rest of us, as an act of rebellion, or inadvertently because we don’t know how to brake,
but sanctioned, organized, they are trained to do it the right way. All their driver education classes take place outside in the winter on frozen rivers.
All of them. On purpose. Training little Norwegian Jason Bournes. They are well fed, despite the limited window for agriculture, but they rarely get fat.
In fact, they appear wholesome. And charming. And handsome. And perfect. And pure. But they’re not. Don’t be fooled.
They prioritize social services, like elder care—they even call it elder care— and drug rehab for teenagers and independent living programs for the mentally ill—
and they give to the arts with an unshakeable ferocity, even in difficult economic times, even in deficit years,
as if they actually believe in those things, in the worth of those things, in the benefits of community.
I asked one, I asked why, why these donations, why all this money going to artists and addicts and museums and public gardens?
And he said, Because otherwise it would be like living in Omaha, only further north. I swear, it’s what he said directly to me.
A**hole. Think they’re loyal, upstanding citizens? Think again. Norwegians started colonizing this country five centuries before Columbus.
Greedy b*stards. Never in large numbers. Secretly. Under the radar.
Until they dominated the lumber trade and farming and fishing and crafts trades and back home there was a crisis and they decided to take over the flat,
fertile land of our precious Midwest. Like they take over our flat, fertile women.
There are five million of them now, in this country, committed to their homes and parks and neighborhood watch groups and to their extended families, too.
“Family,” right? You’ve seen The Godfather. But note this: In the last hundred years, almost no Norwegians have become Mormon. Okay? Right?
You don’t find that suspicious? Who can resist the Mormons these days? They knock on the doors of Jehovah’s Witnesses and walk away with new converts.
I mean, Mormons are freaking everywhere, and they have that pitch about saving the souls of your dead relatives,
despite the fact that they’re dead, if their souls are anywhere they’re in Hell, you can imagine your great aunt suddenly yanked out of the fire,
Oh, she says as the flames recede, I knew I could count on that one, my niece, she is such a nice person.
But Norwegians, no. They’re like, Well, now there’s a hot dish, oh sure. I’m telling you, a practical people.
Warm. Thoughtful. Destructive. Evil. Don’t ever fall in love with one of them.
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