A younger, slimmer, slightly-more-fearless ChefShwasty would tell you that this was solely out of boredom. The actual truth being is that at the age of 23, I discovered dark rums, and for a period of time, it made me fearless like a pirate. I felt like the world was at my fingertips. The only thing to stop me was my limited attention span. And after three rum-drinks, that span was very limited.
I don’t remember exactly what made me pick Greenland. It must’ve had something to do with the globe that sat next to my mini-bar. Something inside me lusted for land to call my own, and never one to limit myself, I assumed that more land would be better! However, my job put me right around the poverty line, so purchasing any large plot of land would be vastly unreasonable. That left precious few options. It would take decades to amass a fortune vast enough to acquire the satiable about of land I craved, and being in the mindset I was, if it wasn’t going to happen in the next few hours, it wasn’t worth it. Rum, man. It’s a hell of a thing.
Enter, Greenland. A large, juicy fruit hanging from the top of the world, ripe for the plucking. All that land! And it could be mine! Were it not for the fact that it was inhabited and thriving under the Danish empire, that is. No matter, though. After a brief couple reconnaissance searches, rum-brain decided that this gigantic island wasn’t profitable enough for Denmark, and thought that it would be polite, nay, GRACIOUS of me to take it off their hands. I mean, one less thing to worry about for them, right?
And here we have the first email. Full disclosure, this was probably closer to 4-5 rum drinks, hence the scattered trains of thought (like transitioning from letting a country borrow my copies of Rolling Stone magazine to swapping Xbox games). The only reason why there weren’t any typing mistakes was due to a very zealous spell-check; I was writing to a country, dammit. I was very adamant on not making any clerical errors.
After hitting send, I must’ve fallen immediately asleep. And being 23, I woke up early in the morning without a trace of a hangover and went about my business. It wasn’t until I checked my email days later that I even remembered my diplomatic conquering endeavor. The memory-jog came in the form of a reply.
THE COUNTRY OF DENMARK REPLIED TO ME.
I was immediately terrified; had I broken laws? What law did I break? What was Denmark-jail like? Did they serve those pastries (Danishes) in Danish-jail? Am I too pretty for jail?
I calmed down after actually reading the email, in which they politely denied my request, and then said: “but thank you for asking.” Seriously, Denmark? How cool are you to thank me for asking if I can have one of your territories?
In it, they said that I “dream big,” and gave me a soft job-offer to teach English. I printed out the two correspondences and showed them to my mom, who had raised me to have such an off-balance sense of humor. This was apparently too good for the fridge, and now, several years later, both emails are now framed and hanging in the guest bathroom.
I think, at some point, everyone reflects back on mistakes that they’ve made with a pinch of regret. Did I regret emailing Denmark? Not even a little. Do I regret having never played Titanfall? Given my dislike of online-shooters, not so much.
But I do regret not applying for that job. Are you listening, Denmark? I’m available.
One night, after few drinks, I decided to write an email to Denmark and ask to borrow Greenland. The subject I used was “Are you using Greenland?”
My name is Joe, I’m 23, and my friend and I are looking to own a country. Now, since we’re young, we wanted to start out small, and wanted to make sure that it was okay with the former owner of that country. We don’t want to make any mistakes and end up driving such a fine country into ruin.
Not that we don’t have managerial experience! Nothing on the scale of a country, but… Like smaller, more intricate managing. I’ve PERSONALLY overseen about 5+ people for a few years in one of the United States’ 50 largest privately-owned commercial suppliers. And my friend has the charisma and courage needed to be a co-ruler of Greenland, as well.
I shan’t keep you, though. I’m sure the Danish Empire has a lot better to do than to sort out little details of who gets what country. So, when you think about it, we’d be doing you a favor. One less thing for the great people of Denmark to worry about.
In return, if Greenland meets our satisfaction, I’m willing to part with an autograph from Hugh Thomassen (yes, THAT Hugh Thomassen), several cans of “Surge!” which I’ve had stashed since the 90’s, and the issues of Rolling Stone I get delivered, BUT ONLY AFTER I’VE READ THEM. Okay, Denmark?
We can also share Xbox games. Do you have Titanfall? That’d be sweet. I hear it’s good.
In advance, thank you for the 836,109 square miles of land. We really appreciate it. If you need to contact me back, you can do so at the email you’re receiving this from: [Redacted]@comcast.net
And I was more than surprised to find their answer
“Dear Joe age 23.
Thank you for your mail.
We like the fact that you dream big. And you never know if your dreams one day are going to come true.
But in the matter of us giving you Greenland, it is not possible. But thank you for asking.
But maybe you should start small.
Here is a job on Greenland where they are looking for a guy who can teach the pupils English. [Link]
That could be you!
Or maybe just read more about the government of Greenland. [Link]
Good luck finding a suitable country.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF DENMARK”
Feel like being generous? Team Shwasty is doing a November charity drive for Prostate Cancer Awareness! You can participate without giving a dime here.