I had been led to believe that I was once again a front-runner for the Nobel Prize in Physics. I have come so darned close the past few years. I believe that being a modest and much-beloved columnist has biased the committee against me. These folks hate it when a journalism major from the University of Georgia, the oldest-state chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, is clearly smarter than some dweeb from Bulgaria Tech who thinks a plastic pocket protector is chic evening wear. The physics crowd really looks out for its own.
Still, this seemed as though it might be the year for me to finally win my much-deserved Nobel Prize in Physics for my seminal work in identifying the boson (or is it “bassoon”?) most responsible for humor-impairment.
I asked the editors for time off to get my curriculum vitæ (that’s Nobel talk for a biographical sketch) polished up for the selection committee. The editors were very gracious to grant me the time and suggested that while I was padding my résumé perhaps I could take a few minutes and read some books on punctuation and see if I could figure out where commas go. My editors are a riot.
When you win the Nobel Prize for anything, you must be mindful not to take all the credit for your success, even though you deserve it. The only exception was Jimmy Carter who took all the credit for the Nobel Peace Prize even though he didn’t deserve it. The Nobel crowd was just mad at George W. Bush and gave the thing to President Peanut assuming Bush would give a rip about what they thought. He didn’t.
I was going to start by thanking State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) who is to humor-impairment what Gillette is to razor blades. You can’t think of one without the other.
My work with the Chipster began when he led the fight in the General Assembly to keep us from having our body parts microchipped against our will. As we all know, that was one of the pivotal issues facing the people of Georgia at the time and won Mr. Rogers the coveted title of “Mork from Ork.”
Later, we discovered that Mork was really a slick-talking cable TV sports handicapper named “Will the Winner” who for a decade guaranteed bettors slam-dunk success with his picks on selected college and pro games. One of his defenders opined that Rogers wasn’t necessarily a “reputable sports handicapper, but more of a tout” and, yes, he was in the “kind of seedy end of the industry.”
I thought that was falling-down funny. Mr. Rogers didn’t. Humor-impairment can do that to a person.
I would also pay tribute to U.S. Rep. David Scott, (D-13th) who not only represents parts of Cobb County when it suits him but likes to talk about being the “general rapporteur” of the NATO Parliament, whatever that is. He was pretty proud of himself and announced he was going to get Russia and the U.S. to become better friends. I rained on his parade when I said I’d bet Russia didn’t know David Scott from George C. Scott and that his biggest contribution to international peace was preventing Estonia from declaring war on Cobb County.
That got me a public rebuke from the head honcho at NATO and led me to believe that he was more humor-impaired than Chip Rogers and David Scott squared. It never ends.
I was hoping the Nobel committee would consider my total body of work with the humor-impaired, which includes a couple of lawyers who think their sweat doesn’t stink, the now-extinct state flaggers, former Gov. George E. Perdue, Georgia Tech supporters who get tired of me talking about UGA’s 18 Rhodes Scholars (they’ve had three) and Baptists who get their wings in a wad when I extol the virtues of women preachers.
Alas, I have just been informed that the Nobel committee has given the award to a Frenchman and an American for finding ways to measure quantum particles without destroying them. Big honking deal.
You may be sure that I will try again next year. I believe the Nobellers will eventually recognize my contributions to the study of humor-impairment, give me the Physics Prize I have rightly earned and put my face on a box of Wheaties. In the meantime, it is back to the grindstone.
Now, where did I put that book on punctuation?
You can reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.