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Column: Not winning Nobel Peace Prize has its own rewards
by Dick Yarbrough
Columnist
October 17, 2013 04:33 PM | 3952 views | 0 0 comments | 94 94 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough
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Bummer.

I just learned that I did not win the Nobel Peace Prize again this year. This is getting old. I was so confident this time that I had my tuxedo pressed and new laces put in my Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers.

It seems the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons nosed me out. They are involved in trying to get Syria to destroy its arsenal of chemical weapons in the country’s ongoing civil war and to kill each other in a more civilized way instead, like with car bombs and AK-47s.

When I told the Syrian government and the Syrian rebels recently that We the Unwashed suggest they stick their dispute where the sun doesn’t shine, that may have hurt my chances of winning. I need to be more careful how I phrase things.

It can’t be all that hard to win the Peace Prize. President Barack Obama got it in 2009, only eight and a half months into his first term and after having been nominated less than two weeks after taking office. The Nobel Committee said he deserved it for fostering a new climate in international relations.  I’ll have to go back and check but it seems that this was before Obama tried to get us mired in the war in Syria, which sounds a lot like the old climate to me.

In truth, Obama won because he wasn’t a Republican. Republicans don’t seem to do well in the Peace Prize business. I get the feeling that the Norwegians don’t like Republicans. I don’t think Republicans care. They are too busy fighting with each other to give a rat’s bottom about what Norway thinks. They are more concerned with what Tea Party zealots and Sean Hannity think.

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his work in human rights. When told the man ran a shameful racist campaign for governor of Georgia in 1970, which might raise some questions about his reputation for human rights, the Nobel Committee said, “So what? At least he wasn’t a Republican.”

Even former Democratic Vice President Al Gore got one. Mr. Greenjeans won in 2007 for predicting global warming, but he almost didn’t make it to the ceremony. He couldn’t find Oslo, which was buried under 4 feet of snow and ice, proving once again that God has a sense of humor.

Still, I would really like to have that Nobel Peace Prize. For one thing, it would make my hometown of East Point (population 33,712) the only city in America with a velodrome and a Nobel Laureate. That’s pretty heady stuff.

And then there is the fact that it would look good on my resume if I ever had to seek other employment.  (“And what makes you think you could sell used cars, sir?”  “Well, I’m willing to work weekends and I just won the Nobel Peace Prize.”)  

I am aware that I would have a lot of competition next year. Vice President Joe Biden has to be considered the frontrunner. He is a Democrat and he, too, tried to get us involved in the war in Syria.  That’s Peace Prize material. Plus, his acceptance speech would be a hoot. Rarely do his brain and tongue work in sync. My favorite Bidenism: “The No. 1 job facing the middle class happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: J-O-B-S.” You gotta love the guy.

Frankly, my advisors aren’t very encouraging about my chances of winning. They keep reminding me that I have this propensity to pick on the humor-impaired and that this won’t sit well with the Nobel Committee in Norway, which is known for not having much of a sense of humor. When you are up to your wazoo in snow for much of the year and you eat a lot of dried whitefish, this can seriously impact your funny bone.

They have a point. Forsaking the humor-impaired would be like giving away my Ray Charles CDs – unthinkable. Sure, it would be neat to hang the Nobel Peace Prize medallion from my rearview mirror along with my fuzzy dice and the $1 million that goes with the prize would be nice. I would probably spend the money on a nice dinner for the Legislature. They don’t get the opportunity to eat out much, but I’d rather tweak the humor-impaired. I find that a lot more rewarding than having to go to Norway in my tuxedo and eat dried whitefish.

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at yarb2400@bellsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Ga. 31139.
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