Nobel Committee, I’m not bitter

Kurt Strazdins

The phone call never came. I freed up most of my days for the last couple of weeks in anticipation of the phone call from the Nobel Committee, but it never came. Although I’m not bitter, I have to admit I’m surprised. Considering that I was nominated in several categories, it was hard to believe that, once again, I was skipped over for the Nobel Prize. Admirers the world over recommended me in several fields. Here’s a short list of categories and my corresponding achievements or discoveries, as the case may be:

Anthropology: Immigration from lawless countries, when combined with a high concentration of plastic surgery billboards, in regions with annual average temperatures above 86 Fahrenheit, results in reckless driving and higher than average Medicare and tax fraud.

Linguistics: Based upon observational studies in Hialeah, I discovered that no matter how long or how well Hispanics speak English, they cannot bring themselves to use the word “but” instead of the Spanish “ pero.” They can speak flawless English, but the “but” will never replace the genetically and culturally imprinted “ pero.”

Complaining: This one was recommended by a Herald reader who commented that I was the biggest tool in the world for complaining so much about everything. I am very gratified by his newfound sense of irony and humbled by his nomination.

Literature: This one is obvious.

Chemistry: I discovered that no matter how tasteless the food is in our house, if you add liquid aminos, which is an all purpose condiment made from soy, it prevents throwing up.

Peace: I moved to Israel from Argentina in 1976. In 1977 Anwar El Sadat came to the Holy Land and in 1979 signed the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel with Menachem Begin. Say no more.

Medicine: The failed launch of Obamacare is causing heartburn to the Democrats. The successful launch will cause heartburn to the Republicans.

Economics: When the GDP (Gazillion Debt per Person) of the United States is equal or higher than the gap between the actual and reported rate of inflation in Argentina, the Chinese burst in laughter and go on a shopping spree, growing consumer demand, and raising commodity prices in Australia, leading to record sales of beer and wine Down Under.

Psychology: I discovered that when members of a particular political party lose the elections they develop electile dysfunction, which is characterized by regression to the temper tantrum age of two, the impulse to destroy the country, and political suicide.

Physics: In Miami the wavelength of the colors yellow, green, and red are the same.

Not since Leonardo da Vinci has anyone come up with so many discoveries to improve the human condition, but I’m not bitter. I’m just curious. At first I thought that the Nobel Committee did not pick me because I was Jewish, but then I read about all the Jews who were given the Nobel Prize and I figured it must be something else.

I wonder if my nomination went to spam? No, wait, I wonder if the paper copies were not delivered because of the government shutdown? That must be it! USPS must have not delivered the package! While I was worried sick that my scientific and artistic attainments did not reach Nobel level, there is a more sensible explanation: my materials did not reach the committee. Next year I will UPS the submission, with a copy via FedEx. I tell you, you cannot trust government services.

I know what you are thinking, that I’m full of s---, pero I want you to know that I did have an uncle who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. César Milstein, who received the Nobel Prize in 1984, was married to my dad’s cousin, Celia Prilleltensky, which goes to show that in my family we are smart enough to marry Nobel material, which is not a far cry from getting the Nobel Prize ourselves.

I know I’m getting close because Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist, like me, who lived in Israel and then the United States, like me, received the Nobel Prize in 2002. This year, the writer Alice Munro, who is Canadian, like me, received the Nobel Prize in Literature for writing short stories, like me. My uncle César Milstein left Argentina because of political instability, like me.

I just have to make sure that my materials get to the Nobel Committee in time next year. I’m already working on the press release. I’m blocking off the entire month of October. The phone call is coming. I know it.

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