STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—This year at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, held on the 10th of December in Stockholm, Sweden, heard speeches extolling the Nobel Laureates and their work, after which His Majesty the King of Sweden hands each Laureate a diploma and a medal. One couple who were not celebrating on the this night were Margaret and David Smith of Dunedin, New Zealand, who’s son Johnny has missed the coveted prize now for 10 years running. The Counfounding Variable was able to obtain an exclusive interview with the distressed couple.

“It’s a terrible blow,” said Mrs Smith from her country homestead in Dunedin. “He’s always been a good boy, and a bright one at that. He’s always talked about getting a Nobel Prize and it just breaks my heart when we found out there was no prize for Johnny this year,” she said breaking down under the weight of immense disappointment of this year’s list of prizewinners. Johnny Smith, librarian’s assistant for the Dunedin Public Library, and well known collector of local species of lice and ticks that plague the local sheep, was unavailable for comment.

Johnny has been running a local science group on a Friday night in the library for about 12 years, and has seen a number of tick related issues resolved on local farms as a result of these sessions. In the past 3 years Johnny has written a regular column in the Dunedin Times entitled “Dear Mr. Smith”, where he answers difficult questions farmers have about lice and ticks, local Dunedin by-laws, and offers relationship tips.

“Johnny really help me last year with our sheep dipping, and some overdue library books,” admitted Hemi, a former Friday night science group member. “Johnny’s a top bloke and bloody smart if you ask me. He got a tick out of me dog once,” came the endorsement from Fred the owner of the local “fish-n-chips” restaurant.

Both Mrs and Mr Smith believe Johnny deserves the Noble Peace Prize based on his uncanny ability to identify all 9 species of ticks in his collection, and have been nominating their son to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for consideration intermittently for the last 10 years—often accompanied by newspaper clippings from the Dunedin Times substantiating their son’s peace making achievements for the local sheep population.

This year the Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country’s more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people.

“How many sheep do you think President Santos has saved from torment this year?” asked Mrs Smith indignantly. “There’s something wrong with the whole system if they can’t see the wonderful peacemaking my Johnny has accomplished over the last 10 years, and instead award the prize to some Colombian!” she shouted before breaking down once again.

When The Confounding Variable called the Norwegian Nobel Committee for a comment about Johnny Smith’s continual rejection for the Peace Prize they hung up… three times. It seems the committee may have something to hide and The Counfounding Variable will continue to investigate this story.