Donald Trump reportedly wants to buy Greenland from Denmark…
Winter was coming.
It was still only August, but then Autumn does not happen in Greenland. Soon the midnight sun would set, then snow would fall, at first gently, then not. Night would fall too, and remain fallen for months to come.
In a bar in Nuuk three men were sitting at a table, sipping from cold tankards. They sat contentedly in bearded, woolly-jumpered silence, happy to let their conversation take as long as their beer. Eventually Einar spoke.
“He has some nerve, though,” he said.
“Who has?” asked Kunût.
“Trump,” said Einar. “saying he wants to buy us.”
“Too right,” said Kunût. “He thinks he can do it just because they already have an Air Force Base here. That makes as much sense as him being able to buy France because they have a Disneyland.”
“Would we get a Disneyland?” asked Einar, sitting forward.
Kunût shrugged. “Who needs one?” he said. “A load of slides and so called high-speed rides. They should come here and try to walk uphill in November, or try to stay on a sleigh being pulled by muskox.”
“You’re right,” said Einar, sitting back again. “Good job the Danes told him to get lost.”
Aatuut spoke for the first time, but slowly, like a man who had been giving some things some thought for some time. “Of course, it’s got nothing to do with them,” he said.
“How do you mean?” asked Einar.
“Well, we’ve had home rule since 1979,” said Aatuut, “so it’s us the US would be buying us from.”
Kunût frowned for a second as he tried to work out that sentence. “Still wouldn’t matter,” he said. “We wouldn’t be interested.”
They sat in silence again, but it was a different silence, one with an almost audible hum of thinking going on beneath it. Eventually, as before, it was Einar who spoke first.
“Um,” he said, “how much is he expecting to pay?”
“Dunno,” said Aatuut, “but in 1946 Truman offered 100 million dollars.”
“I see,” said Einar. “And, um, just out of interest, what would that be today?”
“One point four billion,” said Aatuut quietly. “I looked it up.”
“Wow,” said Einar, “and there’s only fifty-six thousand of us. We’d probably get a couple of million each.”
“Yes,” snapped Kunût, “but so what? I mean, we’d all become Americans. We’d all have guns.”
“I don’t think they’re actually compulsory,” said Aatuut.
“There’d probably be a lot of fracking,” said Kunût.
“A lot of fracking what?” asked Einar.
“No, that was the end of that sentence,” said Kunût. “It’s a type of mining.”
“We have mining already,” said Aatuut. “Rubies, iron, uranium, you name it.”
“We’d have Trump as our President,” said Kunût desperately.
“And so what?” said Aatuut. “We’ve been owned before. Everyone’s had a go – Norway, Denmark, Portugal -”
“Apparently so,” said Aatuut. “I think they were lost. Anyway, the point is that they’ve all ruled us, and didn’t pay us for the privilege of doing it. Why not let America have a go? We’d get Netflix, we’d get Starbucks, we’d get Obamacare (news sometimes takes a while to get to Greenland), and most of all, we’d get two million bucks each.”
“God bless America,” breathed Einar.
“But if we all got it,” said Kunût, “then prices would just go up. Puek would charge us more for beer.”
They all turned and glared at Puek, the bar owner, who’d been following the whole conversation from behind the counter. He smiled at them.
“Worse than that,” he said, “if I had two million dollars, I don’t see why I’d open the bar at all.”
Einar stared at him in horror. “Probably just as well,” said Aatuut. “We’d all have to speak English, and you’d have probably had to change the name. A bar called Puek’s might not thrive.”
The group glanced around the room, empty apart from the four of them. “Sorry,” muttered Aatuut.
“No problem.” said Puek. “Anyway, twenty-five thousand.”
Einar frowned. “Twenty-five thousand what?” he said.
“Dollars,” said Puek. “If you divide one point four billion by fifty-six thousand, you get twenty-five thousand.”
“Is that all?” spluttered Aatuut. “I couldn’t even buy a new fishing boat.”
“The tight-fisted git,” growled Einar.
Kunût grinned. “He can go and frack off,” he said.