Tuesday, August 22, 2006

“Polishing My Campaign Resume”

“Boss, I was checking over your bio, and it says that you’re forty-five years old, but you graduated from high school in 1958.”

“Did I forget to change that high school date? Make that—let’s see, if I’m forty-five years old that would mean I graduated in—1978. Change that to 1978.”

“Okay, that’s easy enough. Change one digit. What about your religion? I see you had ‘Methodist’ in there, but you’ve crossed it out. I can’t quite make out what you’ve scribbled in above it. Is that ‘Baptist’?”

“Right, Baptist. No votes in being a Buddhist Quaker. Where’s the nearest Baptist church? I’ll start going this Sunday. Do you suppose they need a Sunday school teacher or anything?”

“I’ll check. I’m sure there’s one nearby.”

“How about the education section?”

“Uh, here it is. You say you got your BA in History from West Virginia University, and an MA in Philosophy at Harvard, where you were fifteenth in your class.”

“I think Chris Wakim already claimed he was fifteenth. Make me tenth.”

[Making change on text] “Got it; tenth. Do you really have a BA in History from WVU?”

“I have a history with WVU. For campaign purposes, it’s the same thing.”

“How about your military service?”

“What did I say? I want to be sure I stay consistent.”

[Flipping through pages] “You fought overseas during Vietnam, and were wounded several times.” [Laughs]

[Defensively] “I did fight overseas during Vietnam. I worked for the Agency for International Development in Nigeria. I fought boredom, I fought mosquitoes, I fought culture shock. Don’t tell me I didn’t fight. Say, when was the war in Vietnam over? Do I need to adjust my age and graduation date?”

“I’ll Google it before I run off the final version. What about your wounds?”

“Hey, I was wounded constantly. My pride was wounded every time a woman turned me down. Where did Wakim say he was wounded?”

[Checking file] “It doesn’t say how his injuries occurred.”

[Reminiscing] “I got carpal tunnel syndrome from repeatedly lifting those heavy pitchers of Guiness stout. I had to drink to relieve the pain.”

“Maybe we should do the same thing Wakim did, and be vague about the nature of your wounds. You could just get a tortured look on your face and say that you don’t want to relive those painful memories—something like that.”

“That sounds good.” [Checks his watch] “We’re going to have to leave in ten minutes for my speech at the Kiwanis Club. Let’s run over my main talking points again. I want to be sure I stay on message.”

“Sure. Number one, you want to restore honor and integrity to Congress. Number two…”

© Tony Russell, 2006

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