The Swedes have a lot of rich cultural offerings, including a penchant for sensible industrial design and, it appears, a healthy sense of humor. They have recently chosen to exercise the latter at the expense of the President of the United States.
During a rally in Melbourne, Florida on Saturday, President Trump seemed to make reference to a non-existent terror incident in Sweden the night before. Trump later said his comments were "in reference to a story that was broadcast on (Fox News) concerning immigrants," in Sweden.
The damage was already done. Swedes and internet denizens of all nationalities began parodying the non-events with hashtags like #JeSuisIKEA.
A Swedish news publication, Aftenbladet, published a list of things that happened over the weekend in the country, which included a car chase and a real moose making love to a wooden moose. They published it in English, specifically for the President's eyes, writing: "Anyway, Mr President, here is what happened in Sweden Friday night." It was a rather tepid list, save the whole moose thing.
The Swedish Embassy opted for a less humorous, but painfully pointed approach:
The "Swedish incident," as it is being called, is not the first time the Scandinavians have sassed the President.
At the beginning of February, Sweden's deputy prime minister tweeted out a photo of herself signing a referral of Swedish climate law, surrounded by a group of other women representing Sweden's government.
The message here was twofold: One, that Sweden's stance on climate change is far different from the one espoused by the Trump administration. Two, that President Trump is fond of pictures of himself signing things surrounded by people looking on approvingly. Those people are, more often than not, men. Sweden, the tweet is saying, does things a little differently.