I am sitting in the lobby of our Kuwaiti hotel.
I am a high-value target.
I am bored.
With no beer to constructively fill my time, I decide to do the next best thing:
Bring peace to the Middle East.
One person at a time.
I approach a Kuwaiti man.
“May I take my picture with you?” I ask.
“Yes,” he says.
But he has a request.
“Can I hold the Kuwaiti flag?”
I want to say no. But I am a diplomat. So I agree.
“That would be acceptable to both me and my nation,” I say, speaking for our nation.
We take the picture.
It is one small step for Stephan, but it is a giant leap for mankind.
And it is obvious to anyone watching that the gap between East and West, Islam and Christianity, has begun to close.
Bringing my Nobel Prize that much closer to my deserving hands.
And then it is ruined.
“Can I take a picture with you too,” asks the inappropriately jovial Rick Kirkman, co-creator of “Baby Blues”.
He is oblivious to the diplomatic moment at hand. And the history-making event is cheapened to a degree that words alone cannot express.
“Okay,” the man replies.
They take the picture.
Surely, I say to myself, this is not happening.
“Can I take a picture too?” asks Mike Peters, “Mother Goose and Grimm” creator.
It is a full-blown diplomatic catastrophe.
The Kuwaiti man forces a smile. They take the picture.
More cartoonists walk over.
“One more and I charge you money,” says the Kuwaiti man, intuitively sensing that cartoonists are above all guided by their own cheapness.
“Oh,” the group mutters collectively and shuffles off.
The Kuwaiti man lights a cigarette and leaves.
The peace train is derailed.
My Nobel Prize, gone.