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Everything is Satis-Factual

December 9, 2011

“Good morning, Mr. Lucchese. I’m Abner Mallory. Won’t you have a seat?”

“Thank you, Mr. Mallory. Very nice to meet you. Just one thing, though.”

“And what’s that?”

“It’s Nucchese. Lucchese is a brand of cowboy boot.”

“Heh, heh. Of course, I knew I was going to mix that up. Well, Mr. Nucchese, I’ve been looking over your very impressive resumé. Very impressive, indeed. I mean, are you sure this is all the gospel truth, heh, heh?”

“True? Yes, I assure you it is completely error-free. I have the highest commitment to that standard.”

“Good. Good. That’s as it should be. We have our standards, you know. It’s just that some of the items are so startling.”

“Startling?”

“I mean, you look so young to have played for the ’88 Celtics.”

“I try to keep in shape.”

“Quite commendable. I’m just curious, though. Wanted to ask about…”

“Larry? We were like that. Still get together at Christmas time.”

“This was before you joined NASA, I believe.”

“Yes, they brought me on in the early nineties. Mainly, they were looking to fix some problems with the shuttle program.”

“And you were able to do that?”

“Well, it wasn’t brain surgery.”

“Just rocket science, heh, heh.

“Um. Yes.”

“What really caught my eye was your service with Seal Team Six.”

“Understand, I didn’t actually pull the trigger.”

“Quite. Quite. But, I have to confess when I first read this section of your resumé, I have to admit I was somewhat skeptical.”

“Skeptical?”

“Yes, I mean, this is really true, right?”

“Yee-ess… in an apocalyptic sort of way.

“Apoca-what?”

“It makes for a nice flourish on the page, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t quite understand. Flourish?”

“You know. Flash. Sizzle. Special effects, if you will.”

“Are you trying to tell me… it is not factual?”

“Well, I don’t think factual is quite the word…”

“You did say your resumé was completely true?”

“Understand, there are many kinds of trueness.”

“And this is the kind that is… non-factual?”

“Mr. Mallory, I have to ask, do you know anything about resumé as a genre?”

“A genre? I don’t quite follow.”

“Well, I’ve studied the genre of the resumé for many years, and I can show you multiple examples of a standard feature known as padding.”

“Yes, I know about padded resumés. Lies, of course.”

“Lies? Well, now I know you don’t understand. You’re not a literary scholar, are you?”

“Why, no, I’m a personnel manager…”

“Well, you can take it from me, it is a standard feature in the resumé, as a genre, to have a mixture of fact and legend.”

“But isn’t that…?”

“Deceitful? Certainly not. You see, it would only be deceitful if I intended it all to be factual. In fact, writing according to the standards of the genre, my mélange, if you will, of ‘actually happened’ and ‘never actually happened’ is quite intentional. So there is no error involved.”

“Error? Quite, but I was talking about…”

“Can we just agree on ‘completely true’?”

“Well, now that you’ve explained…”

“Any more questions?”

“Only one. When can you start?”

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