I have mixed feelings about awards. For my business, I view them as a marketing vehicle-I can tell my readers that the work we do stands up against the work of our peers.

But I realize that they're partly just validation for my own ego. At some point, one has enough validation and more awards mean less and less.

My friend, whom we'll call Mike, because that's his name, has come up with a novel way to win awards. He just made one up, named it after a buddy, buttered up said buddy, then proclaimed himself to be a finalist. The buddy had no choice but to award Mike the prize especially since Mike determined that said buddy was ineligible to win it himself.

So, Mike is the first winner of the Pete Buckley Award for Journalism. I tried to win the PBAJ, but I only glanced at the rules and mistakenly showed up with a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. It was a fabulously delicious double decker; best PBAJ ever.

Mike needs the affirmation. Being a state's attorney, judge, local hall of famer, artist, property developer, celebrated athlete, accomplished author and in-demand scalp model apparently isn't enough.

I have a simpler way to win awards. I just buy them.

In my office, I have a space for my more than 30 first place plaques and trophies. But don't look too closely at the wording on them.

On my shelf, I have the Grand Trophy for Journalistic Mediocrity, the Napping Marathon Gold Cup and the sheepskin for my self-induction into the Cigar Aficionados Hall of Fame. My trophy for best procrastination is still on order.

On the wall are my certificates of Nominal Achievement, the Ramblin'man Award for Rambliness and the plaque collected at my dentist’s office. I have the Bottoms Up award for Journalistic Flatulence, the Medal of Odder award for weirdness, and the Badge of Scourge award for ticking people off. I have certificates of Inappropriateness, Inaptitude and Indulgence and an Honorable Discharge for a job I quit that I would have been fired from. I have three blue ribbons that I stole from the county fair and the Pustular Prize for Adolescent Acne.

This year, I hope to win the Doolittle Prize for Doing Little and the Mike Carroll Award for Winning Awards.

Last year, I was a runner-up for the Nuptial Prize. Alas, always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

I'll never win the PBAJ, though. I already ate the sandwich.

©2020 by David Porter who can be reached at [email protected]. Who needs awards? I am the big door prize.