Home > Stories and Essays > A Reply from the World Bureau of Fame

A Reply from the World Bureau of Fame

Advice from the Director

by Alan Harris


PDF for printing

Bursting into glory W EAR I. M. PRESSER:

Thank you for your unwritten application to become famous. Here at the World Bureau of Fame we receive millions of such applications every day, through the air as it were. We note that you, along with about half of the world's population, harbor a fond hope that fame will soon visit you, solve all of your problems, and allow you to live out your days in easy glory.

"If everyone were famous, one wonders who would be left to care about anyone else?"
We note that you have been working quite diligently toward fame. Be aware, however, that as you concentrate upon your own work, you become less aware of other people's work, undermining their prospects for fame by not noticing them. And they, in their quest for fame, are hardly likely to notice you. If everyone were famous, one wonders who would be left to care about anyone else?

Here at the Bureau our policy is to dispense world fame only to people who, for whatever reason, need to suffer intensely. To our applicants who require only moderate suffering we offer plenty of opportunities for lesser fame. For example, you can achieve local fame (and a good taste of suffering) by serving on your school board. Or, you might try being the pastor of a church in order to discover the slings and arrows of being famously good. Even at home, you can test your fame on your fickle, unappreciative cat.

To come to the point, we must deny your application for fame at this time. Please read up on the inner lives of several world-famous people of your choice, and after that, if you continue to itch for fame, you may send us a second unwritten application. If we detect that your itch is strong enough, we'll dig around here in our bin of sufferings and give you a whirl.

Kind regards,

Frank Who, Director
World Bureau of Fame