Volume 35, Number 8, August 2000
Im a Who Are You? Any Who Will Doby Lyle R. Hill
Good morning, Mr. Hill. My name is Linda and Im calling on behalf of Whos Who in the Galaxy. As the result of our studies of millions of professionals, you have been selected as a possible candidate for inclusion in our upcoming edition of Whos Who in the Galaxy.
This wasnt the first time Id received a call or letter like this. Usually Id take the Groucho Marx approach to these things. Wasnt it Groucho who said he wanted nothing to do with any organization that would want him as a member? Perhaps my ego got the better of me because I decided to pursue the matter a little further.
Okay, Linda, I said. What is this going to cost me?
Absolutely nothing, she responded. Although you may want to take advantage of some of the items we offer exclusively to our members.
Like what? I asked.
Well, you can order the official Whos Who in the Galaxy plaque with your name engraved on it for $129.95 or the official membership certificate for only $99.95. And we have all kinds of things in our catalog like mugs, pens, even neat stuff for your car like the magnetic signs and bumper stickers, she replied.
Youve got to be kidding. Do people actually order magnetic signs for their cars telling the world that theyre in the Whos Who in the Galaxy?
Yes, mostly lawyers, she answered. The bumper stickers are quite popular, too: the architects like them. Our three most popular ones are HONK, IF YOURE A WHO, IM A WHO, ARE YOU? and MY SONS AN HONOR MEMBER OF WHOS WHO.
Now, Ive always been envious of those parents who had the bumper stickers on their cars proclaiming that their kids were honor students at a particular school. Dont get me wrong, Ive got three of the finest kids on earth, but Id never gotten a whiff of one of those stickers. I was hooked and wanted inbadly.
Okay, I said. What do you need to know?
We have quite a bit of data, Mr. Hill, but we need to know about any unique accomplishments or honors youve received.
Now I was in trouble. But hey, I can be as creative as the next guyand how closely are they going to check this stuff anyway?
Well, Linda, I started. Ive recently received my Ph.D. in glassology and was recently nominated for an international award for my research into the origins of glassmaking. You see, Im the one who uncovered the truth that the OPlate brothers, Patrick and Michael, were the first to actually discover glass. You may have read about it in USGlass.
From there it only got worse. By the time we were done talking, Id listed two more Ph.D.s, several inventions and a Nobel Prize nomination for my work in economic forecasting, Finally, she asked what I did for a living.
I manage a highly efficient, professionally run, profitable contract glazing company.
Thank you, she responded. We just need to do some formal fact-checking and the like, and Ill get back to you in a few days.
I didnt think Id ever hear from her again. After all, Id really gone overboard with the fictitious Ph.D.s and all the other garbage. To my surprise, she called exactly five days later.
I have some bad news, Mr. Hill. Our researchers have rejected you because of an inconsistency in the information you provided.
Rats, I thought. They caught me. It was that last Ph.D. in corner key metalurgy that probably got me.
Okay Linda, why was I rejected?
Well, she responded. Our researchers kicked back your form. They could find no record of any dynamic, highly-efficient, professionally-run contract glazing company having existed anywhere in the galaxy at any time in recorded history. Are you sure thats what you do for a living?
I was only kidding about that, I quickly answered. Im actually a salesman for used aluminum siding.
Ah how many bumper stickers would you like Mr. Hill?
Lyle Hill is president of MTH Industries-Glass America of Chicago, IL.
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