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Monday, January 21, 2013

You Call That Work? or As Usual, Mary Started It

Don't think of it as a re-post.  Think of it as a "repeat performance".  

Yeah.  That's the ticket.

Another money-making opportunity came our way last Saturday and neither Mary or I could resist: a four-hour nursing certification test.

Four hours of watching people take a test.

Normally these tests are taken by anywhere from 15 to 30 people. Saturday’s attendance was 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 am 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 starts it.

Mary started 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, just two hours earlier, been 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 continues.

I write back: “What is it?”

“Frieda Livery.”

I smile 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.”

A quick expulsion of air escapes my lips.

Five earnest nurses scribble furiously against the timed test.

She hands me the pen.

“I’ve been thinking of changing my name to something more ethnic,” I write. “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, sliding the pad back. “I’m thinking "Mary Elizabeth Blankett-Hogg" says everything I want to say.”

Mary spits 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.


Shelly said...

My note writing skills, honed in 6th grade, still serve me well all these decades later. I'm glad to see you have kept yours fresh, as well.

My stripper name actually made me LOL.

You and Mary behave yourselves, now hear?

Camille said...

I did remember this post, except for the punch line, which made me spit my coffee out...again.

Camille "Dusty Laframbois"
AKA: Dirty Raspberry.

Oh yea...WB :-)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

At least you had company while you were proctoring. It's a dead bore all on your lonesome.

Sioux said...

I proctored an engineers' board exam a couple of times. Some of them had taken the test multiple times, so they brought along their little plastic figures and little good luck charms to line up on their table in front of them. It WAS a deadly dull four hours.

I wish I had had a Mary to make the time go by faster. In fact, it sounds like many experiences would be better if I had a Mary.

Do you ever rent her out? It could be a lucrative sideline...

joeh said...

I was going to correct you and say that it is the eight HALF hour that is the worst, not the fourth, but I hate those kinds of people.

Funny stuff as usual.

jabblog said...

Just as funny second time round:-)

TexWisGirl said...

you two are like flint and rock.

Cheryl said...

Oh, Pearl, I jarred loose by teeth whitener thingie laughing through this post. I really want to hang out with you and Mary. We could take irreverent to a whole new level.

jenny_o said...

Imagine how fun high school would have been with Mary by your side.

Maybe she was and I'm assuming wrong. If she was, I'm betting your teachers got a run for their money!

Ian Lidster said...

Puss-Puss Bloom so totally works for me. Do it!

River said...

I'm curious about the WB.

sage said...

You were supposed to wear high heels and walk around and keep the test keepers on edge, at least that was what I remember of the administrator of the SAT when I was in high school. The floors were hardwood and the woman had heels and all we were was them clicking as she walked up and down the rows of students... of guys who lost precious seconds as we looked at her legs--I think it was a conspiracy to make us score lower than the women in the room

vanilla said...

We are kinder to the younger set. I think my longest uninterrupted proctoring session was ninety minutes.

That Janie Girl said...

Love this! Did y'all fold them up into those little triangles and, you know, kick them over the goalposts?

Daisy said...

I love shenanigans and tomfoolery such as this. :D I think Mary is an instigator. She sounds like she's good to have around.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

You and Mary have the kind of friendship we'd all like to have. You can't do that kinda stuff with just ANYBODY, ya know.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Mary, that red-headed rabble rouser. Never tells us when Bruce Springsteen stops over. Not very nice, Mary!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face and a chuckle to my lips.....my stripper name would be lame so I will not share it unless.......no not sharing.......lol