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Monday, February 28, 2011

Wherein Mary Elizabeth and I Consider Becoming Sit-Down Comedians

Another money-making opportunity came our way not long ago and neither Mary or I could resist.

This time around? A four-hour nursing certification test.

That's four hours of silently watching people take a test.

Normally these tests are taken by anywhere from 15 to 30 people. Today's attendance?

Five.

That’s seven people in a silent room for four hours.

Judging by the general attitude of the test-takers, this is about the right amount of time to take these tests. For the people that are there to distribute, explain, watch, time, and gather these tests, however, it is four hours of reading and free-rein imagination.

Four hours is a long time.

I’ve come to find that I naturally check my watch every 30 minutes or so. I’m not particularly proud of this and sometimes make an effort to go longer, just to see if I can.

In my experience, the first three half hours float by rather easily, especially if you’ve brought a good book. It’s that fourth half hour that’ll get ya.

I was grinning absentmindedly after having come to the somewhat dreamy realization that I had been the recent recipient of a “rash” of butt-dialings – cell-phone calls from friends who had not intended to call but had done so unwittingly, perhaps by sitting on their phones – when Mary started it.

Mary always starts it.

She pushes a legal pad toward me.

“This is a little dull. My next career will be in the exotic dancing arena. I hear they do well.”

It is important to note here that we had been, just two hours earlier, discussing the horrors of beachwear and what it would take to get us to come out of a dressing room in less than our full complement of clothing.

“I have my stripper name all picked out,” she continued.

I wrote back: “What is it?”

“Frieda Livery.”

I smiled as quietly as possible.

“I’ve been thinking of picking up a little cash myself,” I write. “You know that e-mail that went around a while back? The one that says your stripper name is the name of your first pet followed by your mother’s maiden name? WB.”

“Yes. WB.”

“I’ve got it made. My stripper name is Puss-Puss Bloom.”

Mary snorts and then chokes. There is a brief pause as she pulls herself together.

She picks up the pen.

“Would people think I was copying Prince if I changed my name to a symbol? Because that would not be my intent.”

It is my turn to snort.

Five earnest nurses scribble furiously against the timed test.

Mary hands me the pen.

“I’ve been thinking of changing my name to something more ethnic,” I wrote. “What do you think? WB.”

Mary sips her coffee carefully, her smile ear-to-ear.

“I think you can pull it off. WB.”

I write, slide the pad back. “I’m thinking of changing my name to Mary Elizabeth Blankett-Hogg.”

Mary spit her coffee out.

As I say, she started it.



Please note that no test-takers were harmed during our note-writing frenzy and that the exchange above took no longer to occur than it did to read. We respect, admire, and field more than a few questions from said test-takers - some of them quite silly - and always wish them well in their quest for certification.

38 comments:

Sue said...

OK. I must look into this test-taking gig. Sounds like bliss.

Oilfield Trash said...

Oh my, blanket hog. That is hilarious.

And the last hour is always the worst one.

Hutch said...

Having done more than my share of proctoring (and doesn't that sound like it should be MUCH more fun than it is) I wish the two of you could have been with me. I was usually with a dull person who simply would not misbehave.

Irisheyes said...

In the event that I ever have a child by divine intervention, (Note: I am in my mid 40's and completely content just having a well mannered dog), I would name said child...Humunga Mistakia. Is that wrong?

Tracy said...

Pearl,
Always a 'pearl' of wisdom you are! Where would I be without my daily chuckles from you?
...never mind, don't answer that! I don't want to know :)

Kal said...

I would say that all those second, third and forth jobs will be worth it one day but I see already that they are. PURE MATERIAL.

Cheeseboy said...

I need to get a job like this. Can I make my First Graders sit silently and take a test for four hours? I do teach the "gifted" class. Are they that gifted?

If there is one thing I have learned from TV and movies it is to never drink a cup of coffee while someone funny is trying to communicate with you.

Simply Suthern said...

What happened to the other 4 half hours? Wuz you sleeping??

In my single days I had a blind date with a girl named Candy Fox. Turned out it wernt a stage name and techinically she was neither. Imagine my disappointment. Where was truth in advertising back then?

Cheeseboy said...

By the way, I forgot to mention that I picked your blog as one of my 3 favorites in a recent interview I did. You can read it here:

http://purseblogger.blogspot.com/search/label/favorite%20lady%20of%20the%20week

Bossy Betty said...

I may try drugging my classes to get them to sit this long without talking.

Polly Scott said...

I LOVE the sit down comedian idea. Lately, I've been telling people that I'm a professional sit down comedian, and it always makes me grin.

Pearl said...

Normally we just sit, all well-mannered and such, reading books, making grocery lists, and thinking of what we want to eat for lunch (the set-up for the test being at 7:30 a.m.) but toward the end the mind wanders...

Cheeseboy, thank you so much! That is so cool! I'm gonna go take a look...

Pat Tillett said...

Okay, it's official! You are one of the funniest people I've ever met! (or semi-met).

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

This proves my point about interesting people never being bored.

Belle said...

I love the stripper names. Mine would be Perky McLeod.

Eva Gallant said...

Mine would be Chunky Salsa. Pass the Pita.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

a rash of butt dialings...that is my favorite group name ever in the history of group names.

WrathofDawn said...

Misty Crystal Dawn Bird-Parrott.

Real name.

Honest to Pete.

(not mine BTW)

Joshua said...

I found at least 4, maybe 5 "That's What She Saids" in that post. Well done. Ummm, forgive my ignorance... "WB"?

becca said...

love the stripper name to cute

jabblog said...

I could do with four hours legitimately watching other people . . .

Douglas said...

A "rash" of butt dialings.

Nice word image that I really didn't want to have.

How do you find jobs like proctoring tests for nurses. Not so much now but in my younger days I would have killed for a job like that. You see, I had this nurse fetish and... well, you really don't need to know more.

Jhon Baker said...

too funny - I didn't know that one could do this for extra cash - now I am on the lookout.

Pearl said...

Oh, man, do you guys have any idea how funny you are?!! Seriously, I'm thinking of writing a post about the COMMENTERS!!!

I got hooked up with this little gig, btw, through a work-friend who no longer wanted to do it but knew I was always looking for weekend jobs.

I'll have to write about the woman who explained to me, after 30 minutes of instructions followed by 4 hours of test-taking that she had been confused and wanted to re-take it. HA HA!!! She wants to re-take the four-hour test! She could not believe I wasn't game...

Mamma has spoken said...

I've had enough students with weird names, that all I have to do is think of them and I have my stripper name. Hum, there's the one name Crystal add Chandoler and that would work! Oh how about Mercedes add Benze! Oh, oh, how about the one that was named Absolutely Prescious! OOOHHHH how about Diamond and I could add Sparkle to it! I'm on a roll now! But I better stop....because these really are names of former students.....

Happy Frog and I said...

I always learn something when I read your posts. Genius post!

On My Soapbox said...

Oh, if you need more "interesting" names, look no further than roller derby. Some examples: Ivana Hercha, Bess B. Ware, Indy Pendant, Ida Slapter.

lisleman said...

That's cool the both of you could do it together. Can you imagine exchanging notes with some stranger. Also, would it be weird if someday one of test takers becomes your nurse and recognizing you?

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

The first name of my porn name would be Snuggles. Could be worse.

The Retired One said...

The sad thing is that when I took my nursing boards...that is TWO eight hour days of straight tests,(thank you very much)....I was thinking that the monitors (who actually escorted you to the bathroom and waited for you to pee and then escorted you back to avoid any opportunities for cheating or taking drugs during the exam! LOL) that they probably send notes about where they were going to dinner that night and joke about the people who were suffering through the exams.
Now I know I was right. haaaa

Fragrant Liar said...

I like sit-down comedy. It's for lazy people who live to entertain but don't live to exert any undo sweat. I should know.

Amanda said...

If you can't make your friend snort coffee out of her nose, you really aren't trying hard enough!

John McElveen said...

“rash” of butt-dialings:

2% Cortisone, Tucks and Aveeno baths- and that's just for the Phone!! LMBO!!!!!!

I cried through this one--thinkg of my Urgent Scare pals reading this!!!

You are the Best!



J

hoodyhoo said...

okay, so I get "Bogie Ball" for a stripper name -- which sounds more like something you get when you have a sinus infection. Sex-ay! And I'm changing my name to a gesture. You know which one.

Gaston Studio said...

Can't believe neither of you thought of Pussy Galore, from the old Bond movie that really shocked everyone at the time. *smiles*

Hutch said...

Having spent most of my career as an OB nurse, helping moms fill out birth certificates, I have heard some names. One of my favorites remains - Satin Sheets. For real. She did become a stripper. What else could the poor girl do?

Kate Mohler said...

I do a few things "on the side" for extra cash, but have never monitored an exam. You guys made the most of it!

Susan in the Boonies said...

You're so lucky to have a great friend like her!
I would have been a true distraction if I had been reading y'all's stuff.
~snortorific!~