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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wherein Mary Elizabeth and I Consider Becoming Sit Down Comedians

After almost a full week without a computer, my laptop is back.  It's been so lonely...

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?


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. 


NotesFromAbroad said...

My husband asked me why I was laughing ...
I said : "“Frieda Livery.”

He then asked what is so funny ??
I said " Mary Elizabeth Blankett-Hogg"

Thank you Pearl, I needed that ~

Rene Foran said...

Blankett-Hogg!? Oh we may be distant relatives...have you heard of the Ball-Hoggs's?

Susan Williams said...

I think the sentence: "Mary always starts it" pretty much says it all.

Between Mary and Liza Bean, I don't know how you stay out of jail.


Tabby Cain

Paula Wooters said...

Sit down comediennes... a noble profession, so long as people don't mind reading your note-pad version of sub-titles. (The evolving stripper names are sure to keep them reading.)

Anonymous said...

When the test writing was completed...did anyone ask you what the joke was?

fmcgmccllc said...

Mine is Fi Fi La Ruche Rock.

Sioux said...

She who finishes with causing the last snort wins...

Joanne Noragon said...

The end came when the bell rang or when your note pad was wet with coffee?

Sparkle Farkle said...

"Frieda Livery"?! Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Hee hee ho Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Hah ha Ha! You two crack me wide open!

Noopy Kasmiski. That would be my strpper name. Noop Kasmiski.

fishducky said...

Greetings from Inky Burman!!

Mel said...

Oh, I feel your boredom, as I've proctored 4 hour exams myself. Unfortunately, my partner in proctoring was No Fun at All, not even a tiny laugh. There's something about having to be quiet that makes funny things even funnier, and I'm not sure how you both didn't laugh out loud. I did and I wasn't even there. Loved your pole dancer names. Mine would be Shatzie Hickman. I don't think a lot of dollars would be tucked my way...

TexWisGirl said...

too funny!!!

R. Jacob said...

the chemistry between you and Mary is fantastic.

I wish I had a chemistry set of my own!

jenny_o said...

It is clear you two had your fair share of note-writing in school.

WB, indeed :)

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Mine is perfect, should I take up the exotic dancing career change - REX PLUMBER. I know, I know, the sheer imagery of that... "MY EYES, MY EYES!". Roth x

Mitchell is Moving said...

If she's such a good friend, it's time for Frieda Livery to be honest with you. I know her and I've already seen her act. (She's very good.)

Jacquelineand.... said...

Again with having to clean the monitor!

*le sigh* from Goldie Diggin

Gigi said...

Hmmmm, I think Duchess Dougherty sounds more like a soap opera name than a stripper name, but whatcha gonna do?

HermanTurnip said...

Hey, it could be worse. You *could* take a bartender's exam, then visit dive bar after dive bar looking for work, but realizing that nobody will hire you without experience.

You could then get mad the world and swear revenge, decide to finish college, get a kick-ass job in the IT field, then go back to those places that wouldn't hire you and set fire to the lot of them...

...or so I've been told.

Eva Gallant said...

That was a fun read.

My stripper name would be Double Ditto Martin.

Lin said...

you always make me laugh, pally. Blankett-Hogg got me too.

Linda O'Connell said...

I usually engage in note swapping at writer's meetings. I always fear being asked to read it aloud.
You and Mary are a team.

Rose L said...

I think I would win the worst stripper name award---Snuffles Hodgerson. I would make more being paid to NOT take it off!
This was so much fun!

esbboston said...

I think it is just so regal having the double letters on the end -tt -gg. Your gong to make it after aLL. Oops, so sorry, You're going to make it after aLL.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

It's got to be SO HARD for you two to sit still and behave...

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

Wow, based off those rules my stripper name is Strippy McTakesclothesoff. What are the odds?

Nessa Roo said...

Dear Diary, I tried to take a nursing certification test today, but I'm sure I flunked. Two of the test monitors were passing notes and smiling at some funny secret between them. I was so distracted, I couldn't concentrate on the questions. If this nursing thing doesn't work out, I think I'll just be a stripper. I've already got my name picked out. Spunky Tiger Thomas.