RECALCITRANT FALLS, MINNESOTA — Last month, Cheryl Sherer won a highly-coveted prize from the International Coalition of Intractable Relentlessness, Persistent Doggedness, and the Unflaggingly Pertinacious, but she hasn’t picked it up from the coalition’s local satellite office. And she says she probably never will.
“I told them I didn’t want that damn award, and they gave it to me anyway,” Cheryl told our reporter as they drove to a local convenience store for some beer and a snack. “I have no idea who nominated me for it, but I told them when they called to tell me I won it that I ain’t takin’ it, and they can’t make me take it, either.”
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Sherer is the 2020 winner of the World’s Most Stubborn Person award. The ICIRPDUP handed out the first such award over a hundred years ago, and Chad Beefington, the coalition’s executive director, said that she’s not the first winner to refuse to actually take ownership of the trophy that comes along with the award. Beefington says that usually the winners can be coaxed into picking up the trophy from the nearest ICIRPDUP office, but that every now and then, they just refuse for so long that the trophy is moved to a secured storage area and the coalition begins the process of finding and selecting next year’s recipient.
“Look, for starters, I don’t even have room on my bookshelf for a trophy, and the mantle above my fireplace gets too hot to put anything on for risk of melting it,” Ms. Sherer told our reporter as she picked a cheap American domestic lager for herself. “So as flattered as I am, I don’t want no goddamn stubbornness award, and there ain’t a damn thing anyone can do to make me take it, is there?”
While our reporter was sitting in the park as she drank her beer and ate her potato chips, Cheryl received a call from Beefington, making another effort to convince her to take the trophy.
“Did I mention before that part of your prize is a year’s supply of Jell-O pudding? Because it is, and a lot of people really love that pudding,” Beefington tried. “Hell, I’ll drive the pudding crates and the trophy over to your house for you, Ms. Sherer. I live just a couple of miles away.”
But Cheryl wasn’t having any of it.
“I’m not having any of that,” Cheryl said with almost no emotion in her voice. “I don’t like pudding, for starters, have nowhere to put a year’s supply of it in my home, and I don’t want any trophy you have for me. So please, please stop asking me. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask me, in however many ways you’re gonna phrase it. I ain’t never taking that lousy award for stubbornness.”
Beefington just couldn’t resist taking one more shot, though.
“Ma’am, I gotta try just one more thing. I really do believe this sweetens the pot considerably,” Mr. Beefington implored her. “Not only do you get the trophy and the year’s supply of Jell-O pudding, there’s a cash prize! You get free money, just for being the literally most stubborn person on the planet! Can you imagine that? Surely, Ms. Sherer, you must want to take the award now? There’s free money in it for you.”
Cheryl sat and thought for a moment or two.
“Hmmm. Money, eh? You say there’s money in it for me,” Sherer asked, rubbing her chin. “Hmmm. Nope. No thanks. Don’t need it. Don’t want the trophy. Don’t want the Jell-o, and don’t want the money. Could impact my tax situation.”
She hung up. Beefington told us he’ll continue to try to convince Cheryl to take the award until this coming November, when meetings are held to determine next year’s winner.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.