I can’t remember who the author was, but I once read a book jacket bio that read, “And he has no dogs or cats.” I checked out the book from the library for that reason alone, and now wish I’d gone to a bookstore to buy it. That kind of sarcasm deserves acknowledgement. 

There are two things in book bios that bother me a bit. One is the mention of pets, even though Jack is curled up next to me as I write this blog. The other is a long, long list of job titles that shows both the remarkable accomplishments and the quirkiness of the author. “_______ is an award-winning actor, director, rodeo cowboy, winemaker, lumberjack, and philanthropist. He, his wife Connie, and their two cats Morris and Mr. Green Jeans split their time between New York City and St. Petersburg.”

After reading an especially long work history on a book jacket, I tried to remember all of the jobs I’ve held. Going all of the way back to grade school, I initially came up with 24 different jobs and have since recalled four more. My bio could read, “Steve Simpson has been a farm laborer, paperboy, fast food cook, ditch digger, furniture mover, flagman, cookie maker, bus driver, lifeguard, wrestling instructor, library assistant, Kelly girl, Social Security claims administrator, store clerk, bartender, naturalist, wilderness trip leader, camp director, museum tour guide, inventor, editor, publisher, columnist, and college professor. He lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin with his wife Manyu and their dog Jack. His writing has yet to receive an award.” 

In my younger days, I listed some of these jobs on my résumé. Whenever I interviewed for a new job, potential employers always wondered about my time as a cookie maker. I never asked why that particular line of work caught their attention, although it was one of my more interesting jobs. I’d dropped out of college and worked as a Pillsbury doughboy. I wore white coveralls just like Poppin’ Fresh. Someday I’ll write a blog about the day I misread a recipe and made 2,000 pounds of unusable cookie dough.

Steven Simpson