I’m not sure if I find writing cathartic, or if it’s the drinking that I do while I’m writing that helps so much. I know that sometimes it’s a helluva lot more fun to make shit up than to think about what’s going on in real life. When I write about the thing that’s screwing me up, I feel better about 50% of the time. The other 50%, I just feel like I’ve once again used this site to bitch and moan about my personal shit, pushing it one step closer to becoming a blog even though I hate that idea, and even though I hate that word even more.
When Trey first approached me with the idea of The Strangelands, it was supposed to eventually grow to encompass other writers, like a community writing project where anyone could come and say pretty much anything they wanted, whatever they wanted to get off of their chests. Instead, it ended up what it is: a dumping ground for my imagination, and pretty much constant pissing and moaning, peppered with stories about my penis.
All that is just a wordy bit of rambling to try and justify the rest of this post, which is—you guessed it—me bitching about my shit.
I try to tell the people who know me that I’m not very smart, but either they don’t believe me, or they feel I need the ego boost, because most of the time, they dismiss this line of talk with a roll of the eyes, or by saying something like, “Yes, you are.”
The thing is, I’m pretty clever. I don’t mean to brag here, but I’ve been known to make a damn fine joke or two in my time. I can be witty on occasion, I concede this. But intelligent in any helpful way? Not so much.
I’m going back to school. This is something I’ve talked about off and on over the years, and I even took a class a while back, kind of like a warm-up thing to see if I would even be able to remember how to fill in those little circles completely with my #2 pencil. But now I’ve gotten serious. Or rather, my princess has gotten serious about helping me, because I’m pretty clueless about the entire process of continuing education. I seem to remember something about binge drinking, so I’ve been practicing that…for about ten years now.
So I should have had this college thing wrapped up, right? Shit.
I had to take an entrance exam for math. The English stuff, I didn’t have to worry about—I took a class a long time ago, fresh out of high school, and apparently intelligence doesn’t expire, because they accepted my dusty transcript without a problem. But I never took a math class. I don’t blame me, really, because I’ve always hated math.
But actually, I do sort of blame me, because although I never liked it, at least I understood it.
They sat me down at my computer, and I clicked on the mouse to begin my test, and then the screen filled with some weird bit of jargon that, at first, caused me to think my computer had locked up. Then I realized this was actually the first question.
You know those pictures they make entirely from words and numbers? That’s what this looked like, except instead of a baby or Einstein or a naked cartoon woman, there was only numbers and letters. Like a picture of confusion. I just stared at it for a little while, thinking that maybe if I just let my eyes adjust, it would turn into a sailboat or something.
I glanced over at the piece of scratch paper the lady had given me when she sat me down at my desk. I picked up the pencil she had given me, and wrote a number or two on the paper. Nothing happened. I erased the numbers and wrote a few more. Still nothing. This shit made absolutely no sense to me. I mean, I didn’t even know how to begin to solve this problem.
I finally clicked box E and moved onto the next question. It was a little better, not so many variables and fraction lines and stuff, but I still didn’t know the answer. I wrote some stuff out on the paper, so it would at least look like I was trying, but then I got all paranoid that they would compare my scratch paper to the questions after I had gone, and just sit around laughing at me. I erased the numbers and clicked box E again.
The whole test went pretty much the same way. I kept thinking they would eventually throw me a bone, give me something that I had a chance of solving, but then the test was over. I stood up, turned in my scratch paper, my pencil, and my calculator—which, for all the good it did me, should have been used to spell out “BOOBS” for a laugh.
To say I did poorly is an understatement comparable to saying that Hitler didn’t care much for the Jewish people. I’m pretty sure the printer giggled as it printed out my results. The guy glanced at it, and his eyes bulged a little. He tried to keep a straight face, but it just wasn’t happening.
He told me that I would need to talk to an advisor next, so I would know what classes to sign up for. I glanced at the number at my grade. “Holy shit,” I muttered.
“Good luck,” he said.
I laughed. “I’m going to need more than luck.” He blushed, and I spared him the embarrassment of having to agree with the retarded kid by leaving.
My princess was waiting, a big smile on her face. Poor girl. I shook my head. “That was…harsh,” I said to her. “I failed.”
“It’s a placement test,” she said. “You can’t really fail it.”
I showed her on the piece of paper where it said I had failed.
Both my brother and my sister have won awards for their intelligence. I have the honor of being the first person in my immediate family to take remedial classes.
Oh, well. I say “fuck” a lot. That’s gotta count for something, right?