I hope you all are sitting down, because I have some unbelievable news. According to a poker buddy of mine, who heard it from his bowling teammate, who read it on a fortune cookie, I am on the short list for the Nobel Prize for Literature! It is all thanks to my hilarious, only moderately offensive satirical coloring book, I’m So Sick of White Guys – available at fine bookstores everywhere, as well as a few fly-by-night operations I’d suggest steering clear of.
While my endowment is not yet official, I figured I should work on my acceptance speech, so I’m fully prepared when I do get the call. To be honest, I did not see this coming. Oh, sure, I figured I’d eventually win a Pulitzer for my award-deserving humor writing. Heck, my piece called Don’t Let Your Dishwasher Destroy Your Marriage alone should have garnered me that trophy. But a Nobel? Now you’re making me blush.
I’ve long envisioned receiving that life-changing call from the Nobel Committee. I’ll admit, in my mind I was being honored for my accomplishments in a more popular category, such as physics or chemistry. If only I’d stayed awake during chemistry class or even audited a physics course. I blame my high school guidance counselor for leading me astray astray toward majoring in the Humanities.
What I really had my heart set on was the Peace Prize – the big enchilada. Talk about impressing my racquetball buddies! But the committee probably gained access to my pre-school transcript (I thought it was sealed) and learned of my recess scuffle with Cindy O’Connor. That undoubtedly took me out of contention. I maintain I was within my rights to pull her hair and put a frog in her lunchbox after she gave me a card with hearts drawn all over it. Yuck! But I digress.
Back to my acceptance speech. It’s merely a first draft, so I’m open to any suggestions to punch it up a bit.
“Dear Nobel Committee, friends, esteemed guests, View from the Bleachers readers, United Nations General Assembly, my new Bestie President Obama, the original cast of Glee, and Cindy O’Connor, whom I hereby formally forgive for giving me a mushy card.
It is with great humility that I accept the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature as the greatest writer of all time. Deal with it, Mark Twain. I am indeed honored to receive this award and grateful you chose not to hold against me my column Fashion Advice for Men Who Wear Shorts or My Sister’s Plot to Kill Me, which in hindsight were not some of my better efforts. Hey, they can’t all be home runs.
It is indeed a tremendous tribute to be among the 115 conferees of this coveted 18 carat gold coin since the inception of this distinction in 1901. And even more remarkably, to be one of only 112 Caucasians to have ever won. There are so many people I wish to thank, starting with Erma Bombeck and Art Buchwald, two enormously talented, deeply deserving and witty writers, neither of whom was eligible this year on account of them both being dead. Poor planning on their part.
I also want to express my gratitude to my father, who constantly encouraged me to get out and make my own mark on the world. In retrospect, I think he was telling me to get out of his house (since I had graduated from college several years prior), but still, I thank him for pushing me in his own special way.
I could never have achieved my literary goals were it not for my wife, who motivated me in her own special way to keep on writing. Her notes, texts and emails reminding me to take out the garbage, rake the leaves, or vacuum the car, were a constant inspiration to delve deeper into my creative inner being.
Perhaps the greatest muses for my writing were my daughters, who over the course of two decades continually reminded me that as a parent I was in way over my head, which spurred me on to write my acclaimed parenting book YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE – Misguided Parenting Strategies that Sounded Good at the Time, which, by the way, makes a great Secret Santa gift (you might not want to reveal that the book was from you).
I also want to acknowledge the profound contributions of fellow humorists Dave Barry, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart – without whose creativity and copious publications and monologues, I would have had to come up with my own ideas to craft my articles.
There are myriad reasons why this recognition means so much to me. For starters, this proves once and for all, that contrary to fellow funnyman, Ben Rothstein, who once said “your humor writing makes the Dead Sea Scrolls read like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” some people actually enjoy my scribblings, my wife notwithstanding. Even my younger daughter, when asked to appraise my latest literary endeavor, has lavished me with high praise using words like “Meh” and “I’m busy, dad.”
I am humbled just to be nominated for this prestigious bestowment. Honestly, I’m not sure what to do with the one-million-dollar award money. I’m leaning toward building a 20,000 sq. ft. laser tag funhouse and indoor skydiving arena at the back of the house. Or purchasing lifetime box seat tickets to Seattle Mariners games. Perhaps an anonymous donation to a worthy cause is befitting. At the moment, I’d say it’s a coin flip.
In conclusion, I want to thank the committee for recognizing the importance of humor writing in this divided world. I believe it can bring people together in a bond of mutual understanding and comradery. I know this to be true because week after week, I discover people coming together, united in their fierce outrage over my latest column.
And to those people, I can only say, “Sorry, can’t respond to your hate mail right now. I’m too busy skydiving in my living room!”
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2018