A Standardized Test Measuring The Condition Of Your Soul
by: Max Burbank

Read the passage bellow, then answer the following four multiple choice questions. Select the ONE best answer.

You are getting ready to leave your apartment for work. Your girlfriend of several years is still in her bathrobe on the couch, reading a paper, drinking coffee. You say goodbye. She does not reply. You say you are leaving for work, and she makes a non-committal noise that may or may not have something to do with what you just said. You leave. Walking down the stairs, you find yourself thinking of 'Young Goodman Brown', by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Try as you might, the title is just about all you can remember, accept that he was alienated from a lot of things. Later that day, you will nod numbly during your annual performance review, and only as you sign the written copy will you realize you do not remember a single thing your manager has said since you walked into her office.

1.) In the selection above, your girlfriend responds with a non-committal noise. What was the noise most likely to have meant?

A.) Something to do with a story she was reading in the paper. She was absorbed and never heard you.

B.) Goodbye, sweetheart. Have a nice day at work.

C.) To answer 'B' would be what is politely called 'magical thinking'. She doesn't love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did.

D.) If answer 'A' is the correct answer, wouldn't it become more accurate if it began 'Because she doesn't love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did, the sound she made must have had...

2.) This selection suggests you are predisposed to what philosophical outlook?

A.) The idea of 'romantic love' is a genetic construct designed to foster the continuation of society. After a few years, the brain stops creating the chemicals associated with romantic love, and if we are lucky we come to a more mature understanding of partnership.

B.) A man grits his teeth and keeps moving forward.

C.) Women appear to be individuals, but in fact are all the same.

D.) After five o'clock, it is sociably acceptable to start drinking.

3.) The dynamic contrast between your girlfriend and your manager can best be described as:

A.) This answer is obviously incorrect.

B.) This answer can almost certainly be ruled out.

C.) This answer is the correct answer.

D.) This answer is exactly as correct as answer 'C'.

4.) In Hawthorns', 'Young Goodman Brown', Brown's wife Faith is uneasy that Brown plans an overnight trip which will take him through the forest. She asks him not go. Brown surmises that though they have been married only three months, she suspects he intends to commit adultery. Why is Faith uneasy?

A.) Wait... what?

B.) Okay, if Faith is my girlfriend, and that's why I thought of the story in the first place... wait, we're not married. Is that why she can't even be bothered to say goodbye when I go to work? What the hell?

C.) During the Colonial period, the forest embodied all that was evil, including the unknown.

D.) I was assigned the book in high school. That was a long time ago. Plus I often didn't read the books and faked my way through class discussion and managed quite well, thanks. But I have yet to find a way to make this strategy work in life outside of school, and to be honest, I have no other strategies.

5.) Change is constantly falling out of your pocket at importune moments. (Church, movies, dating) You have never noticed this happening to anyone else. Does it?

A.) Wait; is this referring to the passage? If so, I don't get it at all.

B.) I thought they said just four questions about the passage. That would mean this is a stand-alone question. But what if I'm wrong?

C.) Do I have time to go back and check the instructions? I'm sure it was four questions. But what if it says four but that's not what they meant? THESE TESTS ARE ALL WRITTEN FOR SHIT, EVERYBODY KNOWS IT'S ALL A HUGE FUCKING RACKET, SO WHAT DO I DO?!

D.) Change never falls out of anyone else's pockets. It's just you. And that is the tip of the damn iceberg.

6.) What effect did the Enlightenment have on Political thought in the Colonies?

A.) I hate this damn test.

B.) I kind of remember what the Enlightenment was, but I have no idea what the people in the Colonies thought before it, or after.

C.) Wait, which Colonies?

D.) 'Colonies' has the word 'colon' right in it.

'We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'
-The Declaration of Independence

7.) The above selection:

A.) Has nothing to do with me. Ask my girlfriend. Just don't hold your breath waiting to see if she notices you asked her something.

B.) Should say 'inalienable' but it doesn't. 'Unalienable' is the correct word, but it's wrong anyway.

C.) Is just a huge crock of nice sounding shit.

D.) I heard once? The founding fathers all smoked a lot of pot.

8.) A train leaves the station 8:00 am, heading east at an average speed of 78.5 mph. At 10:45 you awake from uneasy dreams somehow involving squid. You are unemployed, and hung over. Over coffee you spend close to an hour worrying about the physical shape of your head. Is it too skinny? Does this make you unattractive? If instead of doing that, you had launched a rocket into the sky with a trajectory that would end in hitting the train. At what point in the parabola would a woman you will probably never meet who is perfectly suited to you begin to cry?

A.) Wait... what?

B.) Listen, there are doors I could slide my head under.

C.) No woman on earth is suited to me, let alone perfectly.

D.) I notice you didn't say anything about what she looked like which means she's fat.

9.) Life is a journey. Respond.

A.) It's not about where you're going, it's what you do on the trip, la la la la la. Does it matter I've been using a #3 pencil? I didn't even know there was any such thing. Just so you know, I am NOT erasing shit.

B.) I hate Journey.

C.) Screw you, Jack.

D.) I just started crying.

10.) "If you want, you can take a nap," a voice says. You-

A.) Take a nap.

B.) Ask the voice to be your girlfriend even if the voice is a boy.

C.) Ask the voice to be your boyfriend. No woman beside your Nana is ever going to say anything like that to you in your entire adult life, and no way are you dating a dead woman.

D.) Ask your dead Nana to be your girlfriend.

Are you trying to score this? Seriously? Don't you know, deep down inside, everything we already know about the condition of your soul? I'll give you a hint: It isn't the physical shape of your head that makes you unattractive.

If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

So You Got Laid Off

Reader Comments

Kat Kat is offline
Breathes Comics
Apr 8th, 2009, 06:54 AM
A great thing to skim across at 5:53 in the morning.

I agree as well. If such a thing as a soul existed inside my being, it would match the shape of my head. Completely unnatractive.

Okay I'm just saying nonsensical shit now. Perhaps that's all you do, but it looks so much better than my nonsensical shit.

Story of my life.

Great job, by the way. Hope you didn't think I was being NEGATIVE...
Apr 8th, 2009, 01:18 PM
You got me, Max.

There I was trying to memorize all of my answers only to get at the end of the test and find out that there was nothing to score. Despite not believing in having a soul or other by-products, I always have this urge to answer a test thrown at me.
Shining Beacon of Virtue
Apr 8th, 2009, 01:18 PM
I liked the last sentence.
is hopped up on goofballs
Apr 8th, 2009, 02:30 PM
What is this "girlfriend of several years" you speak of?
Forgets Passwords Easily
Apr 8th, 2009, 09:12 PM
Cheesy Highness
Apr 10th, 2009, 10:54 AM
I answered "L" on a number of these, but I think I may have missed something somewhere.
Apr 10th, 2009, 10:15 PM
9.) Life is a journey. Respond.

B.) I hate Journey.
Apr 12th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Okay, my answer for number nine was "D.) I just started crying," but the tears were most assuredly from laughter. I think.
High Priest of Burbank
Apr 14th, 2009, 09:55 AM
This is why I joined the clergy; no tests.
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:08 PM
life isn't a journey, life is a highway

and i'm gonna ride it exactly long enough to get the hell out of this town
Insane Writer
Apr 19th, 2009, 02:02 AM
Love it.

The sad thing is, I can remember "Young Goodman Brown" very well. Which is odd, considering that I was frantically scanning it at 7:45 in the morning, trying to answer ten or so questions on it before class began at 8:00.
after enough bourbon ...
Apr 19th, 2009, 11:59 PM
The correct answer is "Beat the shit out of her."

Did I get an "A"?
after enough bourbon ...
Apr 20th, 2009, 12:01 AM
BTW, I stopped caring about the questions after question 5, since you said answer only 4 questions. My answer still stands.

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