Persuaded by several factors, I decided to sell my Nobel Prize (NOZE).
Factor One: I’d gotten all the glory I was ever going to get from it. My wife was proud, but she wasn’t going to get up every day saying “Wow, you won a Nobel Prize.” I know, because I asked her and she said “Hah!” Then she got up and said “Back to the real world. Your turn to make the bed.”
The guy across the street thought I’d won an award for the most original door-knocker. A close friend said “I won a prize once for belch-singing the entire national anthem without barfing.”
Factor Two: My NOZE fell off the wall in the bathroom where I had hung it above the shiny white stagecoach. Police found evidence that the little brass nail which held the NOZE to the wall had become despondent and leapt to its death. The unsupported NOZE fell into the dust.
Police found the lifeless and badly bent brass nail next to a still stinking stinkbug. It was pinned beneath the weight of the NOZE medallion with its bas relief sculpture of Alfred Nobel. Ironically, the only damage was a slight divot on Nobel’s golden NOZE nose.
The dying stinkbug told police he’d overheard a bitter argument between the brass nail and the medallion.
“I invented dynamite,” the bas Nobel boasted. “What did you ever do with your life but hold up a cheap Wal-Mart reproduction of The Last Supper—probably the one with half the Apostles still playing shuffleboard downstairs in the barroom and the other half upstairs at the supper table throwing bread sticks at each other.
“Or wait. Maybe you spent your life holding up a Popular Mechanics calendar filled with naked popular mechanics.”
The brass nail cried out “Why don’t you shove some TNT up your nose and blow it.”
“That was so funny I forgot to explode,” said the bas Nobel. “Seriously, I’ve seen sharper toenail fungus. Let’s face it, you don’t have the brass to be a man-sized nail. You’re just a flat-headed carpet tack.”
Factor Three: I have never liked talking wall-hangings, especially the arrogant ones–although I make an exception for my singing walleye trophy.
Factor Four: While stopped at a red light I noticed a sign on a light pole:
Sell us your NOZE
We are currently buying Nobel Prizes
in your neighborhood. We will
pay cash–even if it’s too talkative
and/or arrogant. Get a FREE, no-obligation offer.
(Sorry, we do not buy singing NOZEs)
A man came out to the house and I showed him into the bathroom. Most people, he said, kept their NOZEs in the bathroom. Too many bad experiences with guests admiring a host’s NOZE in the living room or library and the bas Nobel saying something like “Psst. Step closer. BOOM! Scared you, didn’t I? Piece of advice: Never stand too close to the man who invented dynamite.”
The guy then offered me fifty bucks for my NOZE.
“But…but this is a Nobel prize for literature,” I said.
“Do you write literature?”
I told him I wrote lawnmower manuals in Haiku. Everybody in Copenhagen loved them.*
“Give me a break,” said the bas Nobel suddenly. “Anybody can write that crap.”
“Eat me,” I said.
Haiku schmykoo, dude.
I invented dynamite.
Here, pull my finger.
Factor Five: I have never cared for wall hangings that eat me.
“Fifty once,” said the guy. “Fifty twice…”
“Get it out of here,” I said, pocketing the cash. “I’ve gotta make the bed.”
*See the Nobel Prize-winning “Haiku, haiku very much,” posted on September 24, 2013.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.
Ha ha! My favorite line was about the little brass nail that became despondent and leapt to its death. Speaking of death, I was just unpacking the Christmas ornaments and found a petrified mouse.
I’m trying to read between the lines. There are two meanings for petrified. One is dead as a rock. The other is “quite worried.” I can’t help you with the former (i.e., the former mouse), but if it’s the latter I think talk therapy and some cheese might work.
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