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PACKING HEAT IN OSLO
BY PTIM CALLAN
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Their smiling helpful Norwegian faces smile helpfully at me. I知 the American. I知 exotic. I知 cool. I represent what these young people crave. Nose rings and dreadlocks look at me in the smoky bar. They all speak great English. They wear denim and leather and try to look like someone out of Spin magazine. But they still smile the naïve Norge smile with the small white teeth beneath the small noses and those intensely blue eyes. They can稚 be I any more than I can be they. Los Angeles would kill them in about thirty minutes. And if I don稚 get out of Scandanavia soon, I知 bound to wind up imprisoned.

的 would love to be American, Gisle tells me again. 添ou walk in and just say, 践i, I知 Ptim Callan. I知 American, and shake their hand. We Norwegians can稚 do that. We池e, pause, 的 don稚 know the word.

鄭fraid, wimpy, small, I try.

He doesn稚 realize I知 teasing him. 哲o, not that, he sez brightly.

撤assive, reserved, quiet.

添es. Reserved is a good word.

That痴 why I have to leave. In no time flat I値l be doing real estate speculation or distributing heroin or knocking over convenience stores or humping all the clear-skinned, bright-eyed, teenage girls. I would have to. Anyone with a shred of entrepreneurial instinct, with a particle of pluck, would have to take these people for all they池e worth. We池e as born to victimize as they池e born victim. There痴 quite simply nothing to be done for it.

哲ext week we have holiday, Bengt chimes in, 鍍o celebrate our independence from the Swedes.

典hose fucking Swedes, I say.

添es. It痴 seventy-four years of independence.

鄭ssholes. Shits. You know, you guys need the bomb.

徹h, I don稚 think so.

鉄ure. I bet the Swedes are working on the bomb right now. I bet those Finn fuckers bought up all the nuclear shit they could get their hands on when the Soviet Union went tits-up. You watch those Finns, they値l fuck you.

I have to get out of here before I blow the whole thing sky-high. 鏑ook, I say, 的 gotta go. I have an appointment. I have an appointment with anything I can find. Get a whore or spray paint a statue or kick some Norwegian smiling face in. 展ill I see you guys here tomorrow?

鉄ure. We can come here tomorrow. I know you like the ladies here.

添eah, I like the ladies here. Haldebraa.

Leaving the bar I put on my sunglasses against the brightness of the late night sun.

 

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