- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2002

Ronnie Few is the outgoing D.C. fire chief who recently obtained a Ph.D. in obfuscation from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

His dissertation was on Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

Meanwhile, Washington is having a cow over Chief Few and his three deputy chiefs, all of whom have been nominated to receive this year's literary prize in the best-resume category.

Chief Few, who is believed to have garnered nearly every firefighting honor there is, insists he is still hard at work, ever committed to his job, the city and Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

So Washington is burning, and Chief Few is fiddling.

"I am still chief," he says.

The announcement is noteworthy, considering the source.

The city just wants the truth.

To which Chief Few says: You can't handle the truth.

This is a "A Few Good Men, Part Deux."

Whatever else they do in Augusta, Ga., besides celebrate the flight of the little white ball each spring, they write the best resumes in the business. You can't take that away from Chief Few and his three deputy chiefs. Not that you would want to take it.

Chief Few, who invented the Internet, along with Al Gore and his three deputy chiefs, is said to owe much of his impressive background to an enterprising aide in Augusta. The aide must have been employed by Norman Mailer before landing the writing gig with Chief Few.

Need a job? Lack the requisite qualifications and references? No problem. Tell the former aide in Augusta that Chief Few sent you.

The revelations have resulted in the typical pleas of reform, as if writing a resume is an art form.

Council member Harold Brazil, at-large Democrat, has come up with an interesting concept. In the future, he says, it is imperative the city verify all information on an applicant's resume. Mr. Brazil did not reveal if he came up with this idea all by himself or if he had help on it.

Who's running the city?

We think we know who is running the fire department, although that is subject to change.

"I love you all," the mayor says.

The mayor loves us, we love him, and it is nice to know that love is in the air.

As a public servant, however, the mayor has an odd way of showing his love to the masses. He has refused to say what disciplinary actions have been taken against Chief Few's three buddies.

The public has a right to know if the people in charge of putting out fires are what they say they are. For all the city knows, Chief Few's three buddies could have been in charge of lining the softball fields in Augusta, and the only fire they ever put out was on their backyard grills.

City Administrator John Koskinen undoubtedly is exhausted, if not confused, following a thorough background check of Chief Few's three buddies. Mr. Koskinen found no fault with their job-title claims in Augusta, only their educational claims, despite the reams of material that show one was as flimsy as the other.

Mr. Koskinen has the sympathy of the city. It is hard to know what is what with the fire department, starting with Chief Few, assuming that is his real name. Maybe Few is a nickname, short for Small Number. You never know with the fire department which is the problem.

Confidence is a diminishing resource in the resume flap.

There's a fire in your neighborhood.

Do you call Chief Few or a plumber to turn on the fire hydrant?

How many firefighters does it take to put out a fire in the city?

It beats the heck out of Chief Few.

The professors never covered that material while he was at Morris Brown College in Atlanta.

Seriously, the vivid imaginations of a few, or Few, should not be held against the institution.

As a practical matter, the next time Chief Few and his three buddies receive another award or degree, they could shred their resumes and use the scraps as confetti in celebration.

Here's to their future endeavors.

If they are smart, they are using this time to polish their resumes.

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