Universal Oddities

April 4, 2002

A Little Bit on Jacques’s Fundamental Endeavors

Until now, few people have been allowed a glimpse into the inner sanctum of my motivating desires. Those very desires which prompt me to pursue, moment after moment, this futile activity that is life.

What is it that drives me? Well, like many people, I found my outlet. A hobby which I, one day, hope to transform into my profession.

That is, my attempt to get assaulted by as many Nobel laureates as possible.

The challenge, at first, was in that I limited myself to rudimentary verbal and physical provocation. I cannot (I realized) launch any manner of unauthorized offensive upon the candidate. There were very specific limitations upon the forms of provocation as well.

Nevertheless, I realized that this would merely be prompting an assault in one form or another. Eventually, I concluded that the assault must be as unwarranted as possible for me to consider it acceptable.

Wole Soyinka

I remember a run-in I had a few years back with Wole Soyinka, the Nobel prize winning African writer. He was giving a speech about human rights in Africa, and I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity to add a notable notch to my belt, so to speak.

Unfortunately, surrounding himself with adoring fans, an unintentional buffer zone arose between him and myself, drowning out my attempts to get nearer him and (unfortunately) shielding me from any possible offensive. I didn’t have a book of his (to get autographed) with me either, so I would have felt too embarrassed using this as an excuse to get closer to him and “within range”, so to speak.

I waited by the doorway for a while until Wole had slipped through the circle of his admirers, ready to retreat for the night. Moving in my direction, he steadily passed the doorway I waited beside, paused for a moment, hurled his right arm sideways, decked me, and then proceeded on his way.

Henry Kissinger

The difficulty Dr. Kissinger poses resides mainly in the fact that he’s not really bothered or antagonized by anything anymore. I followed him around for the better part of a week, appearing at his book signings, at his conferences, his social functions. I even helped him carry his groceries home a few times.

I knew I shouldn’t lose hope, but it was a difficult few days. And then, as we were walking home one evening, groceries in hand, Dr. Kissinger simply paused for a moment, turned, and belted me across the face.

Toni Morrison

My primary concern for Toni Morrison was that she wouldn’t be able to draw blood. Suffice it to say that my fears were soon allayed by the deep scar that now resides upon the tip of my right shoulder.

When I reminisce upon my encounters, rarely are there moments of regret or guilt. In the end, it’s not my fault. I didn’t write The Bluest Eye.

Arthur Miller

The problem with Arthur Miller, I soon realized, was that he had simply been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, yet not the Nobel Prize. But it’s a notch.

As such, I allowed myself a little leeway in the matter of provocation.

“Wow. You were married to the most beautiful woman ever... So... What’s it like to fuck that up?”

He’s kind of old though, so he only really bruised around my collarbone and worked the midsection a bit before getting tired and going home to watch Murder She Wrote. Seeing as how I was still slightly conscious, I followed his lead and returned home to watch Murder She Wrote as well. It was the episode in which this guy’s severed head turns up in a luncheonette and it’s up to Angela Lansbury to figure out why aliens are so interested in colonizing the earth.

Yassar Arafat

With his sleek features and boyish good looks, Yassar Arafat comes across a bit like an ugly muppet.

Actually, my favorite episode of Sesame Street was the one in which Arafat and Alec Baldwin made an appearance and lectured Elmo on the Oslo Peace Accords and why Elmo should always cross the street with a grownup.

Arafat: Well, Elmo, crossing the street is much like obtaining Jerusalem. It is something I have sworn to do.

Elmo: But aren’t you scared?

Arafat: I know those cars look awfully big to you Elmo, but if you let your fears control you, they’ll overcome you.

Elmo: Elmo love you.

Then Mr. Snuffleupagus strapped on some C-4 and blew the shit out of disco. 12 Muppets were injured in the blast, including 3 Fraggles. Big Bird called for a halt to terrorist activities, but, since he was simply a gigantic, yellow bird puppet, no one really listened to him. I never saw how the episode resolved though.

In any case, Arafat was the first Nobel laureate to attempt a jump-kick. I was sent as a Saudi delegate to smooth over peace initiatives, and that’s when he took the flying leap. The moment the door opened. Before he saw my face, I saw the shadowy, groggy imprint of a foot.

Granted, he is a bit old now, and he required some help and a boost from a few of his officials to get airborne, but that bastard knocked me out cold for three hours. It was in my stupor that I had a vision...


In my vision, Ghandi appeared before me and helped me get up. He then made contact with a roundhouse kick to my head. Throwing me off center, he performed a quick series of shoulder chops. And then, his special move: as I lay on the ground squirming, he pinned me with his butt, sat on my head, and drowned me in a continual stream of farts.

Ghandi: I’ve been holding that one in for 50 years. It’s all a matter of passive resistance.

me: This is amazing. Getting the shit kicked out of me by Ghandi... this is such an honor. No one will ever top this.

Ghandi: God would be here doing this Himself, but He was never awarded the Nobel prize.

me: But neither were you.

Ghandi: God and I got overlooked every year.

“Where’s the justice?” I commented as I was silenced by an especially musty, creamy, and debilitating fart. I could see that it took a lot out of Ghandi; a lot of effort.

Suddenly, I saw nothing but blue-violet, and then passed out.


When I opened my eyes, things were cloudy. I sat up, clutching my head. The subtle hint of an electrically charged fart still hovered in the general vicinity. The air was thick; dense with fart.

The heavy aroma of philanthropic fart carried itself through the room; through the houses and neighborhoods; the cities and provinces... The fart spread in all directions, doing in its dispersion and death what Ghandi had attempted in life, bringing a calm to the land; intoxicating its inhabitants with love and methane.

For a brief moment, it felt as if it could have been imagined, but the smell was too overpowering; too convincing. Before long, Ghandi’s phantom fart had blanketed the world in a stinky haze of peace.




Copyright © 2000-2002 Jacques. All rights reserved.