“UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM …….”
by Anton Wills-Eve
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/id-like-to-thank-my-cats/”>I’d Like to Thank My Cats</a>
“UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM …….”
I was standing on the balustrade of the gardens of the villa Borghese overlooking the dome of Saint Peter’s in the distance in Rome when I was given the news that the Nobel Peace prize for that year, 1961, had been awarded to Dag Hammerskjoeld the recently deceased secretary general of the United Nations.
I immediately thought back to the plane crash in the Congo in which he died while on a peace mission earlier that year. That was one price I would never pay for being given one of the highest awards in the world. The price was far too high. But over the years since then I have wondered which Nobel prize I would like to receive and how high a price I would be prepared to pay to get it. In all honesty when thinking about being given really important recognition for something I have done in my life I have always bordered on fantasy, not least because I can think of no field in which I might ever merit a really high honour. I suppose the first thing most people do is review the Nobel options.
I could just about reach a high enough level of medical research to qualify for the physiology laureate because the amount of original work I have done on mental illness, and the various ideas I have put forward for treating any form of anxiety neurosis, could certainly reach the top level when viewed from the question of ‘do I have a broad enough and original enough knowledge of the subject?’ while obviously being mentally unbalanced, where I might fall down is on convincing people that I could cure many of the illnesses covered by this field. You see the price I would have to pay would be suffering from the anxiety levels myself and thus being able to empathise fully when treating them. Well in this case I do, but I doubt if I could bring myself to think them through again while writing up a thesis and still remaining sane.
The physics prize is one I have always believed I could put in my pocket any day of the week, but only because I can prove that atomic physics can never be subjected to an auto-logical series of tests that would leave no question that quantum physics is a load of rubbish. I know that it is, as put forward by most leading physicists, but I would have to learn how to speak the language of physics in which scientists couch the lunacy of their ideas. Pity, because that one would have been a cert, but the price would have been learning something I thought was valueless. No, I could never do that.
Now chemistry is really up my street when considered from the point of view of the invention or discovery of new elements which can be unearthed through phenomenological tinkering with archaeological sites which may yet reveal new aspects of the chemical make up of our world. However the price I would have to pay for that would be personal exposure to the natural climate of our planet, which in snow or high winds I would not enjoy at all.
This brings me to the literature prize. This is the one prize that the laureate can never manufacture for themselves on purpose. This prize has to be the whim of others so all I can say is that I would put in as much research as I needed to write a definitive history of thirteenth century Western Europe. The price, the work load, would be enormous but I would embrace it whole heartedly. However, there is no way I could ever guarantee ultimate success.
Now when it comes to economics I would have a very good chance if I were to win the prize jointly with my wife. Together we have an unequaled knowledge of the machinations of world financiers and financial procedures but to prove just how clever we are at manipulating global fortunes we would need to be given at least one billion US dollars cash up front to start with. There are many ways this can be acquired, but when I started to contemplate the options I realised that neither my wife nor I would stoop so low, or jump so high, in the realms of chicanery to kick start our financial dealings.
So we are left with the peace prize. Well I would like to win it for setting up a world wide charity devoted to feeding the starving, sheltering the homeless and comforting all the bereaved people who make up some forty percent of the population of the world. There would be no price involved, all I would need to do would be to raise my level of oratory in each of the five languages I speak and, with golden tongued eloquence, convince the rich of this world that they should shower me and my charity with their geldt. Now that is fantasy, but you must admit it is also really nice, isn’t it?
So my acceptance speech would begin as follows,
“Unaccustomed as I am to doing, saying or writing anything worthwhile………..”