“Why do we want these people from all these shithole countries here? We should have more people from places like Norway.” — Donald Trump
1. Heidi Larsen
Heidi had her first baby in Norway three years ago, followed by a standard yearlong Norwegian maternity leave. Back at work for two years, she is now happily pregnant with her second baby.
Although Norwegian maternity leave was accommodating, Heidi is eager to test her mettle by working in an environment where her pregnancy will be considered a burden to her employer. She is excited by the prospect of shamefully hiding her condition until she begins to show and finally assuring supervisors that it won’t interfere with her ability to do her job, beyond the standard unpaid two months of American maternity leave she is begrudgingly offered.
During the brief leave, Heidi looks forward to answering daily work emails remotely while healing from a cesarean, all while sleep deprived and stressed out about returning to work.
In her spare time, Heidi likes to familiarize herself with US culture by learning her way around a portable breast pump, which she hooks herself up to from the driver’s seat of her Hummer during rush hour while listening to Hank Williams Jr. She can’t wait to use the pump during her half-hour American lunch break in a janitor’s closet equipped with a folding chair.
2. Oskar Sørensen
He was born with an esophageal birth defect which was surgically repaired when he was two days old. Because of Norway’s single-payer national healthcare system, rather than falling into financial ruin paying five-digit medical bills like they had hoped, Oskar’s parents were instead forced to focus on their careers, buying a home, and growing their small family.
Oskar’s condition requires a minor outpatient procedure to dilate his esophagus every five years or so. Though the relatively simple procedure is currently covered under his Norwegian health plan, Oskar has long dreamed of wasting hours a week on the phone getting jerked around by an American insurance company trying to get out of covering it. It is his greatest hope to one day be just one accident or abnormality away from medical bankruptcy, just like Uncle Sam and Jesus intended.
3. Stig Persson
Stig has enjoyed a relatively peaceful life, much of which he credits to having grown up in a close-knit, utopian ski village off the coast of Northern Norway. Despite his contentment, Stig has often felt that something is missing from his life. After some contemplation, Stig realized that he’s been carrying a void at never having been the victim of a shooting rampage. He now lives in a constant state of jealously reading American news headlines detailing their almost weekly, riveting gun massacres.
Sure, he’s participated in hunting, a useful and legal Norwegian pastime, but sensible firearm storage and purchasing laws have made mass shootings practically nonexistent in Norway.
If Stig is granted an American citizenship, he plans to re-enroll in high school or work at the mall, which he thinks would increase his chances of being shot at homicidally by a stranger. Alternatively, he would also settle for dropping a loaded gun while drunk and accidentally shooting himself or someone he loves while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
4. Grete Berg
Grete has been obsessed with becoming a doctor since she was nine. She worked hard throughout grade school to get into a competitive Norwegian six-year medical program.
Currently in her first year of medical school, her only concern is that Norwegian universities are so affordable that she is on track to graduate without a crippling amount of debt, which seems unfair to the banks.
Grete says that given the chance, she would devote her energy to going deep into debt while earning a degree she hopes to use in a faltering health care system treating cancer patients who are also going into debt. She is hoping that with some good, old-fashioned American pluck, over time she could end up too burnt out to have compassion for her patients, and possibly even develop cancer herself, just like her hero, John Wayne.