I once met a talkative old man in a suit and hat who spoke in beautiful hepster slang. He said he was usually in bed by “jazz noon” and that he’d gotten his “wisdom” not from schooling but by “interviewing his brain.” I found him charming and mysterious. I asked him, “What do you do?”
He hopped back and snapped, “Don’t ask me that, man! That’s the world’s squarest question!”
That was the last time I asked the world’s squarest question. But it’s a question I’m still often asked. I’ve learned a few socially appropriate ways to answer, but I don’t find them inspiring. I would love to answer with the accomplishments and activities I care about most. But I’ve found that one is not supposed to identify himself as an interior decorator simply because he loves decorating his apartment.
When I’m forced to answer the institutionalized version of the world’s squarest question by compiling a professional resume, I cheer myself up by writing a resume that would never get me a job, an unprofessional resume.