In a surprise development Thursday the Scandinavian prize-giving concern Nobel bestowed its annual peace prize on the planet Mars. Nobel (motto "We Give Prizes") described the planet Mars in its citation as a "tremendous force for good in an otherwise belligerent universe."
Lars Prizegiverstrom, Chair of the Nobel Prize Giving Committee, added in his award ceremony speech that Mars, long feared for its alien invasion potential, had "instead remained resolutely within its borders and - despite the bogeyman status bestowed on it in countless cold-war era novels and movies - had in fact never posed any discernible risk to the future of mankind."
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Mars was only mildly better received than last year's to the Warsaw Pact but it concluded a string of surprising nominations this year. The Nobel Prize for Chemistry went to Boots the Chemists, the Physics Prize to "the law of gravity", the Medicine Prize to "placebos in general", the Nobel Prize for Literature to Paul O'Grady and - most controversially of all - the Nobel Prize for Economics was shared between the Royal Bank of Scotland and the nation of Greece.
In Greece itself a top prize-giving expert at the Athenian School of Prize-Giving, Professor Gimme an-Awad, said he feared the Nobel Prize Committee was "losing its marbles". The insensitivity of such a remark in a nation still struggling to recover the priceless antiquities it lost during an earlier austerity period led to his immediate suspension on quadruple pay.