A Resume That Tells The Whole Story

by Kevin Burton

    A wise man in Alaska once told a gathering of council members, public spectators and media, “My resume is always ready.”

   And so should yours be. You never know when a virus or worse, will interrupt your career plans. But what about that other resume? 

   “All work and no play,” you’ve heard that one.  What if you had a second resume, one that covered the “play” part?  With this one you’re trying to impress, well not sure who.  Could be a potential mate, the world at large? 

   This second resume answers the question, “who are you really?” Maybe this is a resume you want to keep to yourself?  Well my friend, what fun would that be?    

   So, as a public service, I will present my “other” resume or part of it anyway.  You can pattern yours after mine, or laugh in derision, whatever feels right to you.  Here we go.

   Item 1:   Quoted Richard Pryor at my grandmother’s funeral. 

   OK, I took this one both ways.  I quoted “one of our comedians” who said, “The ultimate test is death. So far, nobody we know has passed the ultimate test.”

   That was because the comedian, didn’t know Jesus.  Jesus has passed the ultimate test.

    Item 2:  Tricked a store clerk into selling me a “sample” cassette. 

   I was in a Mexican-owned music store in Garden City, Kansas.  They started playing a Spanish-language song to the tune of “Half A Boy And Half A Man,” by Nick Lowe and I really wanted that song. 

   So I asked the clerk “cuanto cuesta,” or  “How much does it cost?” He told me twice in Spanish that it was just a sample tape and not for sale. But I pretended I didn’t understand and kept repeating “cuanto cuesta?”

  He finally just sold me the cassette. It is by the group “Mazz” and the song is “El Rock And Roll.”  Good tune.

   On a return trip to that store a different clerk told me in English, “I’ve never heard Spanish that good come out of a face that white.” 

   Item 3: Kept a cat in my room at the Ohio State School For the Blind, a major no-no.

   OK, I kept it for one night, the night before I graduated.  My friend Alex gave me a cat as a graduation present. I named her “Graph” after the dog in the book “Alas Babylon” by Pat Frank.

   I took sand from the triple jump pit at the track for her first litter box.

   Item 4: Delayed delivery of a sidebar to make sure it got into the newspaper.

   A sidebar is a smaller story that relates to the main article you are writing.  The Muscatine Journal assigned me to watch the first ever Late Night with David Letterman show on CBS.  They did this because I was known to be a big Letterman nut.  The sidebar was to be a top ten list.

   I turned in the main story early, but my top ten list was, the top ten reasons why Dave’s new show is better than sex.  I wasn’t sure my editor would love that idea, so I only gave the desk about ten minutes to think about it. 

   The copy editors (and the readers) loved it but some higher ups at the paper didn’t. 

   Reason number ten was “Dave’s show lasts a whole hour.”

   Item 5: Made a fake whistle noise to save a wrestling teammate from being pinned.

   My teammate Mike Wilkinson was wrestling a very tough opponent. With my voice, I made a sound that sounded like the referee’s whistle. The wrestler got up off Mike because he thought he had heard the whistle. 

   After that, the only thing the ref could do was restart the match with Mike in the down position. But at least he wasn’t on his back. Alas, Mike got pinned anyway a minute later. 

   That stunt should have cost us a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

   Incidentally, I just tried, and I can no longer make that whistle sound with my voice.  Rats.

Join the Conversation


  1. Great article. I never knew about you whistling to save your friend from being penned at the wrestling met.


  2. Wow Kevin! I never knew that you named Graph for ALAS BABYLON. I’ve read that book at least twice and I did not recall the dog. I think it’s about time to read that book again and I’m going to watch for that this time.I always wondered where you got that from. LOL! The first time I read that book, I was staying at LaRene’s house and her brother had read it. I got it from him and gave it a listen. I think I’ve read it twice more since then. It gave me a lot to think about each time I read it.



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