A Standardized Test Measuring the Quality of your Soul

Read the passage bellow, then answer the following four multiple choice questions. Select the ONE best answer

You are getting ready to leave your apartment for work. Your girlfriend of several years is still in her bathrobe on the couch, reading a paper, drinking coffee. You say goodbye. She does not reply. You say you are leaving for work, and she makes a non-committal noise that may or may not have something to do with what you just said. You leave. Walking down the stairs, you find yourself randomly thinking of ‘Young Goodman Brown’, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a short story you read in high school. The title is just about all you can remember, except that Brown was alienated from a lot of things. Later that day, you will nod numbly during your annual performance review, and only as you sign the written copy will you realize you do not remember a single thing your manager has said since you walked into her office.

1.) In the selection above, your girl friend responds with a non-committal noise. What was the noise most likely to have meant?

A.) Something to do with a story she was reading in the paper. She was absorbed and never heard you.
B.) ‘Goodbye, sweetheart. Have a nice day at work.’
C.) To answer ‘B’ would be what is politely called ‘magical thinking’. She doesn’t love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did.
D.) If answer ‘A’ is correct, wouldn’t it become more accurate if it began ‘Because she doesn’t love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did, the sound she made…

2.) The selection suggests a predisposal to what philosophical outlook?

A.) The idea of ‘romantic love’ is a genetic construct designed to instigate partnerships necessary for societal cohesion. After a few years, the brain stops creating the chemicals associated with romantic love, and if we are lucky we come to a more mature understanding of partnership.
B.) A man grits his teeth and keeps moving forward
C.) After five o’clock, it is sociably acceptable to start drinking.
D.) Before five is okay too, but keep it on the down low and always carry tic tacs.

3.) The dynamic contrast between your girlfriend and your manager can best be described as

A.) This answer is obviously incorrect.
B.) This answer can almost certainly be ruled out.
C.) This answer is the correct answer.
D.) This answer is exactly as correct as answer ‘C’.

4.) In Hawthornes ‘Young Goodman Brown’, Brown’s wife Faith is uneasy with his plans for an overnight trip that will take him through the forest. She asks him not go. Brown surmises that she fears though they have been married only three months, he intends to commit adultery. Why is Faith uneasy?

A.) Wait… what?
B.) Okay, if Faith represents my girlfriend, and that’s why I thought of the story in the first place… wait, we’re not married. Is that why she can’t even be bothered to say goodbye when I go to work? What the hell?
C.) During the Colonial period, the forest embodied all that was evil, including the unknown.
D.) I was assigned the book in high school. That was a long time ago. It’s likely I didn’t read the book and faked my way through class discussion, something I generally managed quite well, thanks. But I have yet to find a way to make this strategy work in life outside of school, and to be honest, I have no other strategies.

5.) Change is constantly falling out of your pocket at inopportune moments. (Church, movies, dating) You have never noticed this happening to anyone else. Does it?

A.) Wait; is this referring to the passage? How?
B.) I thought they said just four questions about the passage. That would mean this is a stand-alone question. But what if I’m wrong?
C.) Do I have time to go back and check the instructions? I’m sure it was four questions. But what if it says four but that’s not what they meant? THESE TESTS ARE WRITTEN FOR SHIT, DO THEY NOT EVEN HAVE A PROOF READER?!
D.) Change never falls out of anyone else’s pockets. It’s just you. And that is the tip of the damn iceberg.

6.) Did you use a Number Two pencil?

A.) Yes. Sure. Isn’t pretty much any pencil you buy a Number Two? Isn’t that, like, the default number for pencils?
B.) This pencil has no number written on it anywhere. So it’s a Number Two, right? Right?
C.) Are you seriously telling me if the pencil I used is some other Number… Wait, what happens if it’s not a Number Two? You never said what happens! Tell me you bastard!
D.) I will put this assumedly Number Two pencil right in your God damn eye.
E.) ‘E’? ‘E’? All the other questions stopped at ‘D’! What the fuck?!
F.) All of the above
G.) STOP THAT!
H.) Okay, none of the above.
I.) The answer is ‘H’. In the grand scheme of things, ‘H’ is pretty much always the answer.
J.) Any answer containing the phrase ‘in the grand scheme of things’ is incorrect.

Close your Blue Book. Return the Blue Book to the Proctor. Return to your home and wait for the results. Continue to wait. Make pointless inquiries on a semi regular basis. Eventually forget you ever took this test until at some point in a poorly funded old age home that smells of urine and dollar store off brand disinfectant, you think you hear a visiting grandchild on the other side of a curtain saying something about a school assignment. Did he say ‘Young Goodman Brown’? Is that possible? Probably not. No one visits anyone in this place.

100 Unkind Nicknames I Would Have Made Up for Miley Cyrus Had We Gone to Grade School Together.

1.) Miley Virus

2.) Miley Psycho

3.) Miley Stye-rus

4.) Miley Cry-rus

5.) Miley Papyrus

6.) Miley Flat tire-us

7.) Moldy Cyrus

8.) Viley Cyrus

9.) Cry-ley Cyrus

10.) Cry-ley Crybaby

11.) Cry-Me A-River-us

12.) Crimean Crisus

13.) Grimy Cyrus

14.) Slimy Cyrus

15.) Slimy Walrus

16.) Mildly Psycho

17.) Wildly Psycho

18.) Miley Cyrus Vance

19.) Mile High-rus

20.) Moldy Papyrus

21.) Mowgly ‘the jungle boy’ Cyrus

22.) Malady Cyrus

23.) Cyrusno Debergerac

24.) Moldy Circus

25.) “Big Apple” (Circus)

26.) Jerky Circle

27.) Motor Cycle

28.) Slimy Psycho

29.) Beguiling Walrus

30.) Smelly Cyrus

31.) Smelly Walrus

32.) Smokey Bear-us

33.) Mile-High Apple-Pie-rus

34.) Mundane Cyrus

35.) Mundane Walrus

36.) The Walrus

37.) Goo-goo-ka-choo (because Miley is the Walrus)

38.) Paul (because the Walrus was Paul)

39.) Malachai Cybernaught

40.) Malachai Walrus

41.) Malted Milkshake

42.) Moleman Drypress

43.) Miley Cypher

44.) Mister Cyrus

45.) Mister Walrus

46.) Mechanical Virus

47.) Robot Walrus

48.) Malachai Cybernaught, the Mechanical Walrus

49.) Milky Cyrus

50.) Milky Virus

51.) Milky Psycho

52.) Milky Walrus

53.) Mickey Cyrus

54.) Mickey Mantle

55.) Milky Cyclops

56.) Miley Chiclets

57.) Ol’ Walrus Chiclets

58.) Miley Cyrust

59.) Marley’s Ghost

60.) Bob Marley

61.) Morely Safer

62.) Ol’Sixty Minutes

63.) Morely Walrus

64.) M.O.D.O.K. Cyrus

65.) Miley Cypress

66.) Miley Cider-press

67.) Smiley Soup-dress

68.) Snidely Whiplash

69.) Miley Cyborg

70.) Miley Cyborg Walrus

71.) Miley Cylon

72.) Miley Styrus-foam

73.) Miley Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

74.) Miley Widely

75.) Piley Cyrus

76.) Biley Cyrus

77.) Wile E. Coyote

78.) Wile E. Walrus

79.) Smell-me Cyrus

80.) Moley Cyrus

81.) Holy Moley

82.) Whack-a-Moley

83.) Guacamole

84.) Ol’ Guacamole

85.) Male-He Cyrus

86.) Viral Cyrus

87.) Viral Virus

88.) Viral Walrus

89.) Hey, isn’t your Dad that dude from ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman’?

90.) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

91.) Dr. Quinn, Medicine Walrus

92.) Chumly (The Walrus on ‘Tennessee Tuxedo’)

93.) Mildew Cyrus

94.) Yes, yes, Mildew Walrus too

95.) Eye Me Cyrus

96.) Miley Syrup

97.) Moldy Syrup

98.) Mildew Syrup

99.) Walrus Syrup

100.) Man-a Montana

Fifty Sentences and Three Pictures I am at last Willing to Part With

It’s been observed by some unkind professionals that I may suffer from a hoarding disorder of the mind, collecting as I do fragmentary, teetering stacks of mildewed ideas where one might place a useful mental chifforobe or sideboard if one knew what those were. As an act of good faith, but with no guarantee I won’t want some of them back later, I give you these sentences and pictures I have decided I will not need again before I die. Think of yourself as my literary ‘Savers’ or ‘Goodwill’ or ‘unwitting grandchild whose address I have’.

1.) The old man spoke rarely, as if someone had salted and smoked his tongue against a future long haul, stashing its wisdom deep in a rucksack for potential emergencies far out in the Yukon or halfway across the Gobi Desert.

2.) “That is not the instrument I would have chosen, Dr. McGillicutty,” Helen shrieked. “If you did not know it then, then know it now!”

3.) Harrison’s trousers were of the sort one wants to avoid; pinched and taut in delicate places, yet let out like slowly deflating balloons at odd, asymmetric points.

4.) Damn you, Damn you, Damn you and your leering Boston Terrier, Dame Johnson.

5.) Lately he’d been thinking about letting it all go, sawing through his tether and just drifting away, one assumes to the sounds of jumbled hectoring.

6.) The Internet opened marvelously before him, like a vast undulating sea of crap and Pop Tarts.

7.) “Make me an offer Alice, I’m at the end of my rope and my knees are swollen up something awful with the lumbago.”

8.) It doesn’t pay to trust you teeth, especially the lower ones.

9.) It was the Mambo Italiano what did it.

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“Tears of a clown in the Chapel of Bones”

10.) Easterbrook-Smythe’s hashish was of dubious pedigree, smoking like an unfortunate collection of carpet shavings, cat hair and mothballed furs, but it packed a pleasant enough wallop.

11.) Harrison’s pants looked like he shared them with a particularly unhappy rat.

12.) Oh, I’ll show you what’s in my pocket all right.

13.) Delightful, delightful, delightful, in pieces now but still delightful.

14.) The Swede continued to pull at the hookah, his withered old lips stretching out prehensile as an elephant’s snoot, making a horrid clacking sound that brought to mind agitated clams.

15.) “I won’t, Nancy, not even for you, not even if you wore the Flamenco costume and begged, not even if you existed.”

16.) It occurred to him he should have had a dog, an old hound that would tilt it’s head just so and look at him, to whom he could assign various human emotions clearly beyond it’s canine scope, but now, of course, it was too late.

17.) “Samson’s a bastard,” I howled petulantly, applying iodine, “and that’s the best of him!”

18.) Harrison, his way of always being just around the corner at a bad moment, the prissy lingering of his cologne, his God damn trousers…

19.) “Mary”, I said, “Mary, Mary, do you ever wish it had all gone differently, that after that dinner at Luigi’s all those years ago we’d gone our separate ways and maybe looked back fondly on what might have been or maybe not”, but try getting answers from a severed head.

20.) He was sure she’d made the sauce wrong on purpose, but there was no damn way of proving it.

21.) I’d had it with her, had it, had it, had it so damn bad it was up to here and then some.

22.) It tasted like shrimp toast, but it wasn’t.

23.) “Harrison!” He bellowed into the swirling miasma, “Where are your pants?”

24.) The baby.

25.) Carried ever upward in a whicker basket tethered to the great gasbag of a wit stitched of a thousand regrets and little else, he giggled.

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“Visiting Hours”

26.) To hell with you and your lederhosen full of agitated clams, Harrison.

27.) Gifted or cursed by God with a set of testicles that harked back to an ice age of lumbering behemoth mammals, Harrison was forced to keep a tailor on retainer.

28.) “I love you Irene, you and your helper monkey.”

29.) I’d meant to say something pithy, stinging, memorable, apt, Jeffersonian, but what I did was belch just slightly and cry.

30.) “Hey, Rappaport, had any second thoughts now that you’re impaled on the business end of my rapier?”

31.) “The trousers!”

32.) “Pinch me,” I screamed, “my great aquatic menace” and she did.

33.) Alice never wanted anything and that was what she got.

34.) The Vole was the problem, the rare Mexican Fairy Vole and how flammable it turned out to be.

35.) At rest he featured a slack, open jaw, a mysterious cavern opening in the great flesh rockslide of his face concealing who knew what aboriginal relics, blind fish and rabid bats.

36.) “I don’t like that toaster, Mother, and you know it!”

37.) Papa may well love Mambo, but I’d kill it if I could, kill it and dance on its dance grave.

38.) “Oh, you’re sexy all right, sexy like a monkey with a knife!”

39.) Wilson said ‘sport’ and ‘maths’ and ‘crisps’ and he had bad teeth, but he wasn’t British, so I shot him.

40.) I only loved you for your helper monkey.

41.) She spoke only a rare dialect known to no one, even herself.

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“The Yodelling Contest”

42.) If you name a Hedgehog Percival, you’ve only yourself to blame when it grows up arch, snarky and wearing assless leather chaps.

43.) I loved them, I loved them all, of course I did, but in my way, which turned out to leave them with fewer fingers than they’d come with.

44.) I comb it that way on purpose, you son of a bitch.

45.) When I told you I was an ex astronaut NASCAR driver with a hook hand, I was lying.

46.) At the end, it was over.

47.) It struck him that his whole entire life consisted of being passed things, or passing them.

48.) Time heals all wounds, even the self-inflicted, and so I tend to hack the edges ragged just in case I should forget too soon whose fault they were.

49.) Plumper, plumper, plumper until it popped, and then alas, too late, no turning back, get a paper towel.

50.) Harrison said nothing, nothing being left to say, the pants having said it all.