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.

“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 is a labourer for the Dunedin counsel and well known collector of local species of lice and ticks that plague the local sheep. He has been running a local men’s group on a Friday night for about 12 years and has seen a number of relationships and marriages restored through his sensitive and supportive group therapy 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 men have about relationships, local Dunedin by-laws and sheep dips.

“Johnny really help me and my wife last year when I was drinkin’ and beating her up,” admitted Hemi, a former men’s group member. “Johnny said that if anyone in the group knew that I was drinkin’ and beating my wife up again that they would all come over and drive me into the ground. There’s some big blokes in that group, so I stopped. Saved me marriage he did.”

Apparently both Mrs and Mr Smith believe Johnny deserves the Noble Peace Prize 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.

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 marriages do you think President Santos has saved 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.