A just reward

Ed Smith
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It's an uncertain world. No doubt about it. When a vintage writer such as myself can pass almost without notice through any mall in Eastern Canada, and Barack Obama win a Nobel Prize for peace, nothing can be taken for granted anymore.
I don't write for glory. I hope everyone understands that. Some writers do, you know. They're always looking for the attention garnered by an intense novel based on the love life of the Siberian goatherd or an essay on the relative fat values in various road kills.
Glory is more ethereal than the blush on the last rose of summer. One day it's in full bloom, and the next, faded and gone.
Then there are those who write for personal satisfaction or as a catalyst to escape various demons within. Others are making a desperate stab for some kind of immortality denied to other common and untalented folk. Don't know anything about that stuff.
I don't go in much for glory. I'd say the only reason I've never found it is that I've never looked for it. Same with fame.
Truth is, they've never looked for me, either. When neither one of you is looking for the other, there's not much chance of either of you finding yourselves. You may want to read that again. Or not.
On the other hand, did Barack Obama go looking for a Nobel Peace Prize? Rather unlikely, I'd say, since there's very little in his history as president to suggest that he deserves it, and he knows that better than anyone. Don't get me wrong. I'm a great admirer of Mr. Obama, and I think he'll ultimately do great things for his country and perhaps the world at large, not to mention Mrs. Barack and the little Barackites.
But has he done that yet? The war in Iraq is still going strong and he's planning on enlarging the war in Afghanistan.
Granted, he has marvelous intentions and he has managed to negate some of the warlike images perpetuated by George W. throughout the world but the world is hardly a safer place yet.
Obama getting the Nobel Prize for peace is, as someone said, like me getting the Nobel Prize for literature based on the great novel I intend to write. I wish I'd said that, but I didn't.
Yes, it is a world where nothing is and all things seem.
I fully expect before long to see Nobel prizes awarded to children in kindergarten who show the greatest potential in architecture based on their proficiency in Lego blocks. Or a kid in Grade 3 getting it for mastery of the flute as evidenced by her work in the recorder band.
It may be that I have this all wrong. There are those among you who wouldn't find that hard to believe. But I thought the Nobel Prize for anything was meant to reward great achievement in the world at large, like 26 years writing columns for … No, I didn't mean to say that. Strike that from the record.
Lester Pearson got it for the peacekeeper idea when Egypt and Israel were both about to haul much of the world into another world war. That was there for everyone to see and admire and approve.
Same thing when Russell M. Wallabieshe received his for the Otis Lee affair in Southeast Asia. Is there anyone on Earth who doesn't remember that, or where they were when the whole thing broke.
But just to highlight how fickle fame is, does anyone know where Russell is now, or what finally happened to him? Right.
You may know of the 10 Ig Nobel awards which are given each year in conjunction with the Nobel prizes. These are described as research that makes you laugh and then makes you think.
For example, a Dutch researcher and her colleague had sex inside an MRI scanner to see: 1) what the effect would be on the act in question; and 2) what it would look like on a video. The acceptance speech of the lady in question made the answer to the first question quite clear, and the video of the MRI made the answer to the second question equally clear.
The lady said the experience was a whole lot of fun, once they got situated and positioned.
She confessed that they both reached their desired goals in what one writer (me) has called, "a splendid burst of harmony."
You'll have to watch the video for yourself, if you really want to. It's on the Internet.
Another bit of improbable research had to do with an American team (naturally) which came up with a brassiere that would double as a gas mask. Most any old joke will do here.
The idea was that the thing would come in for double duty in case of a terrorist gas attack on a subway or an aircraft or the ferry to St-Pierre-Miquelon.
However, they did do it and they did it well. Evidently, it involved several multilayered cups, filters and the kind of release mechanisms with which most young men are familiar.
They even came up with a mask that would serve two people at the same time.
They didn't say whether or not the two people being so served had to be the same gender, but I was left with the impression that they did the breast they could do.
Another attempt to match science with real life came from the group that conducted research to explain why very pregnant women don't tip over. I didn't follow up on this because I felt confident that OH would never be in that situation again. Of course, I forgot about Abraham and Sarah.
I don't think I'm much in line for a Nobel Prize in literature, either. But then again, I'm forgetting about Barack Obama.
Oh, you're wondering why I do write? Simple, my dear.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His e-mail address is edsmith@nf.sympatico.ca.

Geographic location: Eastern Canada, Iraq, Afghanistan Egypt Israel Southeast Asia Springdale

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