Nobel Prize Claim Form

By Bruce McCall

1. I deserve a Nobel Prize in: Lit___ Math___ Physics___ Medicine___ Peace___ Other___

2. BASIS OF MY CLAIM
Before you begin: Applicants must be smart enough to know that writing in Swedish and/or familiarity with the history of dynamite will not necessarily increase their chances for a favorable ruling. Put a check next to the claim basis that most closely resembles yours.

A. Deserving winner, but anti-me fix was in.
B. Temp secretary sent nomination form to Pulitzer Committee.
C. Forgot to include return postage on nomination form.
D. Not told 12-midnight nomination deadline was Swedish Standard Time.
E. Other.*

* "Other" may not include: King of Sweden holds grudge against me/Tux rental store out of my size/Won prize but left it in taxi outside Club Ecstasy afterward, and driver took off after waiting 8 hours.

3. MY MERIT VERIFICATION
The following statement as to why you deserve your Nobel Prize must be written by someone other than yourself who is not your pastor/high school principal/parent/parole officer/warden.

He/She deserves his/her Nobel because:______________________________.

Reminder: "He/She even knows who the Democratic vice-presidential candidate was in 1952" is not sufficient grounds for being awarded a Nobel Prize.

4. BRAIN TWISTERS Nobel Aptitude Requirements: To eliminate impostors, you must answer at least 1 of these 3 questions:

A. Without using pencil and paper, calculate the circumference of Kirstie Alley.
B. The desert island that a rabbi, a Scotsman, and a nymphomaniac are stranded on lies ___ leagues (rounded to the nearest team) from the Galápagos Islands.
C. In what novel besides The Mill on the Floss does the phrase "Call me Ishmael" not appear?

Answers: A. Wrong B. Wrong C. Wrong. A legitimate Nobel Prize candidate would have recognized these as trick questions and countered with 3 authentic Brain Twisters. New Rule: Imposters must return this claim form, torn in half, with a check or money order in the amount of $1.

5. DO I THINK LIKE A NOBEL LAUREATE?
Imagine yourself in the following situations and describe what you would do if:

A. The Queen of Sweden "came on" to me as I sat waiting to make my acceptance speech.
B. Greenpeace picketed the awards ceremony, condemning me as a guppy-murderer.
C. Visa declined my card when I tried buying the Awards Committee a round of drinks.

This has been a test of your sangfroid. These situations and the proper responses are listed in "So You've Won a Nobel," the pamphlet included with the welcoming fruit basket in your Stockholm hotel room. (Do NOT accept pamphlets tendered by masked gypsies riding in the same hotel elevator.)

6. WELL, DO I GET MY NOBEL PRIZE?
Be advised that of the 432 applications accepted from the more than one million claimants just like you who applied for a Nobel Prize in 2003, 4 were approved:

RecipientClaim
Name Withheld, Ottawa, CanadaEx-spouse melted down my original Nobel Prize.
"Madame X," Paris, FranceWas promised Nobel Prize by a relative of a Scandinavian crowned head.
H. K., Toms River, NJ, U.S.A.Proud grandparent of high school honor student.
King Fleagle, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.Had perfect poker hand.*
* Nobel Prize later withdrawn on finding that there is no Nobel Prize for poker.

Delivery of your Nobel Prize, if awarded, will be 6-8 weeks after the decision. Shipping charges of $50 U.S. will be deducted from your award check. Sorry, no returns.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/12/nobel-prize-claim-form/303600/