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Squid #526
(published February 17, 2011)
Ask the Giant Squid: The Lazy and Ignorant Come Testing Day
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
will i pass the exam


My Dearest Lorna,

I am much afeared that the answer is, almost entirely beyond the doubt's shadow, No; you shall not pass the exam.

Many factors contribute to this, my conclusion. First and foremost, if the exam is to be administered in English, and if any portion of it should offer you the opportunity to self-express beyond the simple selection of a forced multiple choice, then it is assured that your final score will be penalized in direct proportion to the looseness of your grasp of your mother tongue, which is itself at best a slapdash concatenation of Latin loan-words, Greek borrow phrases, a mismatched collection of suffixes and prefixes outright stolen from the Germans, several loose handfuls of bolts, some wax, and a crippled Tlingit's kerosene-soaked contempt for reliable syntax. Even within that flexible frame, it is hard to argue that your free-form writing complies with its norms. In this regard, I find your failure to punctuate especially ill-boding, and your ignorance of—or overt laziness preventing your acceding to—the widely accepted English norm of capitalizing the first-person singular pronoun to be downright distressing; have you, as of late, suffered a closed, yet traumatic, head injury?

My more forgiving readers—of whom there are many, likely because humans are endowed with such sweet and fat-chocked hearts—likely will hasten to slice you some measure of slack, Dear Lorna. Perhaps, I can imagine them jabbersquawking, she asks of her performance on an upcoming multiplied-choice mathematics exam which is already issued in her name, thus obviating the need to block-print her name accurately and with appropriate use of capital and lowered-case letters; what then, prognosticatory Squid? To this, I still defer to my earlier answer, in the form of quoting my dear occasional lab assistant, Rob:

"Ugh; listen, chicky: No. You aren't gonna pass that test, or write that paper, or win that art contest, or whatever. And yeah, I know that I'm totally coming like a hater, 'cause I don't know you, or your art, or your music, or your poems, or how good you are at whatever, but really, I don't gotta, because the brass tacks are right here: If you are asking Lord A and me and whoever is kicking around the lab if you are gonna achieve or not, instead of working at whatever it is you're trying to succeed at, then the answer is No. You know that late-night TV how-to-succeed-in-businesses-without-really-trying bullshit? Cool, 'cause the only way to succeed without trying is to get your ass on late night TV and sell suckers the opportunity to learn how to do that, and even then, even that get-rich-without-trying scheme takes a lot of trying, so the short answer is NO; the fact that you asked a talking sea monster and a dude who once smoked stolen Chinese pool cleaner basically, that's like, a total indicator that you more-or-less don't got what it takes to pass the exam."

"What if," my teenaged typist Jarwaun hazarded, "It's a tittie test?"

Rob looked at Jarwaun blankly, "I . . . J., I've got no idea what that could mean. I mean, I got a lot of ideas what that could mean, but like, I got no idea what you could mean."

"He means a mammogram," Molly called out from her cubicle, one palm tightly clamped over the phones mouthpiece, "It means a goddamn breast-cancer screening, and if anyone hopes to see a buck out of Borders for the books we've shipped them, I suggest you TURN YOUR FUCKING BLABBER DOWN A GODDAMN NOTCH!"

"Yeah," Jarwaun said somewhat more quietly, "Like, what if she asking about her man-o-gram or an STI test or somethin'?"

"Then I'm still sticking with No," Rob said flatly, "Same reason: If your idea of preparation is emailing us without hitting the shift key, then I got my doubts that you've been eating right, copping your anti-lump feels in the shower, or insisting folks wrap it before they tap it. Let's face facts: Our inbox is, like, totally the last fucking refuge of scoundrels, fuckarounds, and dudes who walk holes through the cuffs of their pants instead of hiking 'em up or getting a belt."

Jarwaun nodded. "Also, probably she emailing us when she oughta be studyin'. And also listenin' to the radio with the TV going, and got like 18 windows on the computer with Facebookin' her twitters and all that. For reals. Folk ain't meant to try and learn trigonometry that way; least that's what Ms. Spindler in third hour say. She say there's science all over that shit."

At this Molly approached, having concluded her telephonic negotiations with the sole bricks-t-mortar sales venue for my published works.

"Well," Molly said, arms crossed afore her man-o-ray glands, "the guy in accounts payable laughed so hard that he got the hiccups and had to pass me to someone else, and I'm pretty sure she was drunk. She called me 'Honey,' and said that, if we wanted, they could pay us in shelves and fixtures from one of the stores they're closing. Happy Valentine's Day."

Which, in the end, is not entirely unagreeable, as we could use further bookshelves, as well as a twirling display rack, and an espresso machine. In any event, I hope that your Valentine's Day passed without fatality, and that you passed your academic or anatomical exams (although I entirely accept the unlikelihood of this).

I Remain,
Your Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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Ask the Giant Squid: Just Chill Your Tea Party Shit Out for a Damn Second and Listen

Ask the Giant Squid: The Reader

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