The following discussion NEVER happened:
Henry: "First thing I thought when I got the call... was it had to be a practical joke. I figured Tricky Dick was pulling a fast one on me. After all, how do you give a peace prize to someone who purposefully extends a war? And why extend the war? For the nobel reason of ensuring that Tricky Dick would win in a landslide."
Barack: "Come on Henry. You know you laughed a little bit at the irony."
Henry: "Excuse me Barack, how's that glass house-"
Barack: "You mean White House."
Al signs deeply while glancing at his watch
Henry: "Seriously Barack, how many weeks were you in office when you were nominated? Two? Hey, my five-year-old granddaughter is thinking she wants to end all wars. Should we nominate her now or wait until she finishes elementary school?"
Henry and Al fist bump and smile. Barack slumps in his chair.
Barack: "I thought about declining it. I could have simply said, 'thanks but no thanks' since I haven't done anything to earn it (Barack pauses for a few seconds, poses thoughtfully with his hand rubbing his non-existent beard, then continues) yet. Probably would have helped my legacy more to decline it rather than taking the prize. Now even my daughters ask me about Guantanamo and scaling up drone strikes. Al, how'd you feel about your award?"
Al: "I earned mine. After all, I had put together one heck of a great PowerPoint presentation. Have you seen it? It's got different fonts, figure movement, clever color schemes and even has that great trick where I show the CO2 build-up."
Barack: "Al and I get to say we won the Norwegians Really, Really, Really Don't Like George Bush Prize. What's your excuse, Henry?"
Henry: "Excuse, don't need an excuse. Just need some more polish to shine my prize. Every time the Norwegians toss out another embarrassing Peace Prize, I think of how the Swedes must be cringing. After all, the Medicine, Physics and Chemistry Prizes don't have flakes."
Barack: "Good point about those science prizes. What about Economics?"
Al and Henry together: "It's not a Nobel Prize!"
Note: The Economics Prize was created by Sweden's Central Bank in 1969, nearly 75 years after Alfred Nobel founded the prizes. The award's official name is the "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" and it is not officially a Nobel Prize.
This article was inspired by a discussion the author had with a colleague while currently working in Hanoi.