By contributing writer Jake Christie


– Yes.

– Dude, what test?

– I studied all night. Well, not all night. I took a break to watch Grey's Anatomy.

– I think so. It's about scientific taxonomy, right? Oh, please God, please tell me it's about scientific taxonomy.

– No.

– …and then I was like, “Whatever, bro! That's not a Jager shot. THIS is a Jager shot!” I woke up in New Hampshire! What? Yeah, I'm ready.

– My dad went to school here, so, you know. I think I'm all set.

– No.

– No.

– If this test were a fly, I would be the huge steaming pile of knowledge that it is sucking from.

– Yes.


“I really hope this chapter's gonna be on the test. I've been studying it for 3 hours.”

– No, my girlfriend made me watch Grey's Anatomy. It was okay. It wasn't like bad or anything, but I don't like it. I mean, I enjoyed parts of it, but I don't like Grey's Anatomy. Do not tell anybody that I like that show.

– Yup.

– Yeah, I was studying all night… with your mom! High five! Seriously, dude, high five me. I had sex with your mom.

– As ready as I'll ever be.

– No.

– Define “ready.”

– …Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species Kingdom Phylum Dude Don't Distract Me Class Order Family Genus Species I Have A System Kingdom Phylum Class…

– I dunno, not really. Our grade’s based mostly on participation and attendance right?

I wrote the answers on my shoe. See? What do you mean… oh. I guess it's behind the dog feces.

– Why, are you in this class too? Dude, lemme borrow your notes…. SERIOUSLY, lemme borrow your NOTES dude! I’m not driving you home until you let me borrow your notes. ….Dude, where’s my car?

– Yes.

– If by “ready” you mean “drunk,” yes. I am unbelievably ready for this test. Stop moving around, I'm trying to talk to you.

– Nope.

– Yes.

– Yeah.

– Yes. I made note cards, see? Don't you just love note cards? Would you like to borrow my note cards? Please. I need somebody so badly.

– Dude, what test?

– I think I'm just going to do the extra credit instead.

– The real question is, “Is the test ready for me?” Yes.

– Totally. It's easy, you just have to remember this mnemonic device: Kangaroos Play Cellos, Orangutans Fiddle, Gorillas Sing. That way you have to learn just as many words, but you also have to learn other words to represent the words that those words mean. It's much simpler that way.

– Yes.

– No.

– No.

– If by “ready” you mean “stoned,” yes. I am unbelievably ready for this test. Dude, moving around feels awesome.

– Can any of us truly be ready for anything? And if we're ready, are we prepared? Are readiness, preparedness, and capability really related? Well, I guess that's not really important. I got drunk last night.

– Is 65 years too soon for a Pearl Harbor joke?

– Dude, chill out. I’m about to pop this Adderall and start studying. Then it’s all downhill from there. Like, the good downhill. Not the one where things start to spiral out of control. Wouldn’t it be crazy if you were a downhill skier and you just lost it and started tumbling down at like 50 mph?! I got a speeding ticket yesterday and it really scared the shit out of me. Like, I’ve never even been pulled over before but I can totally see how that would FREAK some people out. Especially if you had any drugs in the car… man, that’s insane I would flip out and probably lose my shit but– YO DOUG! Hey buddy whatsup, you wanna hit the slopes next weekend? So, wait, did you wanna go get a drink in a minute or what?

-I'm ready for you to shut the fuck up and let me listen to my MP3 player. Okay? Is that all right with you? Because I was just sitting here, listening to my headphones, getting into the Lindsay Lohan album, just really getting into a slow groove, and you went and fucked it up. You callous son of a bitch. You know how often a Lindsay Lohan album comes out? It's not every day, you plebian motherfucker. Shit.

– Is this a test? ‘Cause in that case, I dunno. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not…

– No, my… my grandmother died last night. It was… I just wanted to come in and take the test anyway. Just to make sure my grade didn't slip. You know, for Gram-Gram. … … Okay, you believed that, right? You think he'll buy it, right?

– You know what a real test is? Vietnam, that's a real test. I passed Nam, son. I think I'll be all right.

– My buddy Chip took this test last year. I didn't study at all, dude, because if the questions, answers, and grading procedures are all exactly the same as they were two semesters ago, which I am hinging my grade in the course on, this test is going to be a breeze.

– I was ready before I was born. You see, I was a biologist in a past life. My name was Clancy and I specialized in muskrats.

– I've been drinking coffee all morning, just to be awake. And coke, too, just to stay sharp. I did some Viagra in the shower, but that's more of an experiment. That's really more for me.

– You don't even I know how ready I am. If you were to know how ready I am for this test, your brain would explode. It would literally explode, sending pieces of brain in every direction, some landing as far away as 7-11. Enormous casualties. That's how ready I am for this test. Okay?

– This reminds me of a test I took in 1993. It was Ms. Henderson's class. “Cursive.” We had to write our names in script, ten times, without making any mistakes. Accuracy or the lash, as Ms. Henderson used to say. She was 63 and most days she wore very conservative flowered dresses that went right from her chin to the floor, but by God there was fire in those eyes. We were all deathly frightened of her. The test started and Ms. Henderson began walking around the room, looking at the papers with expressions of scorn. Suddenly she was standing behind my chair, her hot breath on the top of my head, staring at my paper. I had not yet written anything. My pencil quivered over the space for the first unwritten name. I felt as Beethoven must have felt when he dipped his pen to make the first mark of Symphony No. 9; there was fear, yes, but it teetered on the edge of pure exhilaration. I started at the tip of the “M,” my desperate line making a small, unsure loop, then moving down with feverish caution. It crashed to the ground and stopped. I willed my hand to move on; willed the line to get up again. I closed my eyes. In the face of defeat that one quavering line moved up, climbing, pulling itself hand-over-hand to the peak. When the line crested that first mountain it dove magnificently down again, gaining speed, then seemed to bounce as if from a trampoline into the air. It was a beautiful arc, like a rolling ocean wave, growing higher and higher until it sighed, rolling back on itself, and fell gently to the sandy shore. A moment later, I realized that I had finished. Ms. Henderson had stopped breathing. I slowly moved my hand aside and, with some trepidation, opened my eyes. The “M” was absolutely breathtaking. At that moment Ms. Henderson knew, I knew, and even the paper itself knew: I was ready for that test.

– No.

– Yes.

– Yeah, I totally am. This is exactly what they talked about on CSI last night.

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