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Sorry to have bothered you

It has yet to be reported that there's an out-of-control crime problem in rural southern Norway. Still, it pays to be on guard against the possibility. So perhaps it wasn't surprising that police in the small town of Forresfjorden responded quickly to a telephone call early last week from a resident who wanted to report an unsettling text message that turned up on her cellphone. It read: "The gun is on the cabin steps." That set an investigation in motion, and it wasn't long before the message was traced to Leif Harry Ersland and officers were at the door of his home. He wasn't in, but his friend Hilde Pedersen was, and soon she was undergoing 45 minutes of intense questioning. Where was Ersland? Was he a gun nut? Did he have enemies? "I was shocked," she told reporters later. "It was very unpleasant." She protested that she knew nothing about the text message. And the cops apparently believed her because later they called to say that the whole thing had been a misunderstanding. A misunderstanding? Yes, it seems the text message had gone to the wrong party – someone Ersland didn't even know. What's more, the gun in question didn't fire bullets; it was a power tool of the type used by contractors to nail shingles. Ersland had borrowed it from a friend and was trying to let him know that he'd returned it.

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