It was strange how a day like any other could turn into the most extraordinary. This morning, the 9th of December, everything went as usual: The family got up, the kids were unhappy with their calendar gifts and Mr A forgot his lunchbox on the railing. It was frozen hard when she found it. She had to break it loose with a little ax. Nothing unusual. Same same.
Then – as she was in the middle of the Vørterbrød recipe – the wonderfully spiced sweet bread she only made for Christmas – Mr A called from his office with the most delightful news.
It so happened they were invited to the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony! It was unbelievable. The highest ranked social event of the year – the one where only true glitterati were invited, the creme de la creme internationale! Not a single cheap reality show star would be in sight for once -only the intelligentsia with just a couple of royals thrown in for good measure!
And yes, the last-minute nature of the invitation was due to someone falling ill. Initially it was Mr A’s boss that was invited, as the prize winner was the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Brain researchers were wanted for once! And now Mr A’s boss was sick.
The Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded the next day. The celebration included the presentation of the award itself – an afternoon event at the City Hall with about 1000 guests present – then there was the banquet at the Grand Hotel with about 250 glitterati attending – and the Nobel Concert that was open to everybody.
The A’s were invited to the award ceremony at the City Hall – thus not viewed as the totally creamiest part of the Creme de la Creme, the banquet crowd – but still – pretty creamy and it was an incredible honour that blew her away. She was going to the Peace Prize Award ceremony and she was going in style, she was not letting her country and her neighbourhood down.
Now, many women would have run off to some ridiculously expensive store to buy the most stupidly overpriced dress. Luckily Mrs A didn’t fall into this lamentable category. She was the proud owner of a very classy little, black dress that she had sewn with her own hands out of an old ball gown. With the right accessories she would look splendid. The dress wasn’t entirely new – not only was it made out of recycled silk fabric, she had also worn it at several occasions including the launch party of her good friend Mrs Bonkers’ blog. Anyway, she wouldn’t only look terrific in that dress, she would also be doing the right thing ethically speaking. The world didn’t need higher consumption, it needed less; it needed a higher degree of recycling.
A fast thinker, Mrs A went to her local mall and bought new makeup, a terrific pair of pantyhose and a belt that would match her dress and shoes. And it was a joke – the belt was so cheap she couldn’t believe it, and the makeup was nearly free as the drugstore was going bankrupt.
It didn’t matter that it was cheap. Class never had anything to do with money. Class was all about an attitude to life, the choices one made and so forth. Mother Theresa and company didn’t spend millions on their outfits either.
She got into her pyjamas at night and was just dipping her upper lip into a glass of ice-cold buttermilk when there was a news clip on TV about the fantastic event she would be attending. There were clips from earlier Awards too. She saw Michelle Obama in her beautiful gowns. She saw the royals and the first men and ladies of the world. She would be part of that gang of glitterati herself! Frankly, it was unbelievable!
That night she woke up as she fell out of bed. She had been dreaming:
With Mr A she had just arrived at City Hall, and as they were passing the Security Control outside, a torchlight parade was seen on the horizon. The security agents didn’t react at all. It was a scandal.
In vain she tried to make them understand – a torchlight parade! It could be terrorists!
She jumped over the security fence and ran toward the approaching parade. She would teach them!
As she found herself in the middle of City Hall Square, she was blinded by a great, white light. The only thing she could discern was the silhouette of a big man approaching.
Wasn’t that…could it possibly be…? Was it…? Yes, it was. It was Al Gore. The sounds and noise of the city faded out.
-Mr Gore, she cried out in the dead silence. -Stop them, please! The torchlight parade could be dangerous!
But Mr Gore didn’t care. Instead he scrutinized her from top to toe before accepting a loudspeaker out of the hand of Mother Theresa. His authoritative voice was thunderous, causing heavy snow slides from many a roof as he exclaimed to the listening ears of the world:
-For Christ’s sake, Mrs A! It’s the Peace Prize Award!
Disgusted, Mr Gore eyeballed her dress again.
-When I spoke about recycling back in 2007 and when I still do – I never meant for anyone to take it that far! That flea market thing is the stupidest choice of dress I ever saw at any international event of reputation!
-Had it only been from the flea market, Mother T added. -But no, this lady, she made it herself! This last minute filler of the back row seats actually thinks she’s elegant!
A sqeaking laughter escaped Mother T, and Al Gore looked absolutely shocked and outraged by that last piece of sensitive information. He went on:
-Please Mrs A, show some respect!
-Back row or not! Mother T joined in.
Mrs A looked down at the dress and yes, it was really terrible. It was, it was, it was! How come she hadn’t noticed? Even Mother Theresa did!
But she wasn’t in hell yet; Mr Gore and Mother T had gotten company. It was Barack and Michelle Obama. They were laughing their posteriors off and Michelle said they had never ever seen anything like this over at the Obamian residence, the socalled White House. Just the thought of such a sight made Barack break into laughter. He fell to the ground and rolled in the snow, unable to speak at all.
Mrs A got up from the bedroom floor, still shaken by her dream, with the echo of Mr Gore’s last statement ringing in her ears:
-Hey, Barack. We have to act! This recycling thing is out of control!
Of course -it was only a dream! It was a dream, nothing but a nightmare and not reality, far from it! Tomorrow she would feel better, wouldn’t she?
And as she curled up under the duvet with Mr A happily snoring by her side, she thought about how she was the rightful President just like Al Gore had been – and yet like him she never got in office – and stupidly enough he never even got to know they shared the same destiny. She thought of her own insignificance compared to the life and death of Kark, the Viking serf that had his own Coffee Shop and an entry in Wikipedia.
What were the odds that a serf would be remembered more than a millennium after his death? And what where the odds that Mrs Donut would be a crook? How did she know that Mrs Nemesis had sent an email to the Election Committee on the day of the Election? She didn’t know anything when Mrs A called her that afternoon.
-I never really meant to wear that dress to the Nobel Peace Prize! she whispered to God, -You know that! I was just considering it for fun, for laughs.
-And I am worth my own price and it’s pretty darn high, she added. -I am not a loser, you know me well enough to know that, too.
For a moment she lay completely still watching the moon through the window.
-Don’t you?, she added as she wiped something out of her eyes. -You do know me well enough, don’t you?
Maybe the Almighty did, maybe not. Somewhat calmer, she fell asleep and a moonray hit a tear on her cheek and was refracted, creating a little rainbow on her soft eiderdown pillow.
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