A few decades ago, on a harsh winter Saturday evening, we were locked in the dressing room of the prestigious Royal Dramatic Theater in Stockholm, waiting on hundreds of people to settle down in their seats, before we would go out on stage. As we were not professional actors or musicians, we were scared to death that something would go wrong, especially since we had not been rehearsing as much as we should have. But we were also thrilled and full of expectation. When the clock stroke a minute before 8 o’clock, we took a deep breath and went out on stage to face the crowd.
To this day, there is still footage of that evening, taken by one of our friends, and it is even available on YouTube. It was a successful evening and the day after, we were invited to the embassy of our country. Then we remembered that one of our friends from back home and us had a bet, 5 years before this, that if we ever made it to the stage of the Royal Dramatic Theater, we would need to get a picture of the ambassador. However, the ambassador was nowhere to be found that day at the embassy and they refused to give us any official photos of him. They told us to come back on Monday but we would be gone by then.
When we returned home, however, and we met the friend against whom we played the bet, my partner was carrying an immense portrait of the ambassador under his arm. We were shocked, because it was a large portrait framed in oak. We inquired him about the portrait and, to our dismay, he confessed that he had actually taken it off the wall of the Embassy before we left that Sunday.