Monthly Archives: October 2015

A Nightmarish Pop Quiz

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I signed up for an animal education course at our local community college. I thought I was going to learn how to train Blackie the dog not to poop in the bedroom. I was wrong. It was some kind of animal anatomy and physiology class.

The first evening, Professor Grinwoe circulated a pop quiz for all students to complete. “This is to assess your knowledge before commencing the seminar,” he intoned.

The complexity of the test questions was overwhelming:

  1. Ethmoturbinates form the ventral margin a horse’s nostrils.  True? Or False?
  2. A zebra’s gastrocnemius flexes the stifle and extends the hock.  True? Or False?
  3. The gizzard of a squash is distal to the proventriculus.  False? Or True?
  4. Flamingos have several pancreases.  Yes? Or No?
  5. The life span of a chinchilla is longer than the half-life of a dill pickle.  False? Or False?
  6. Rabbits are monogastric hindgut fermenters.  Si? O No?
  7. The digital flexor tendon is responsible for bringing about the perching reflex so that ostriches can land on twigs without falling to the ground.  Oui? Ou Non?
  8. The hallux is the foot of a gerbil.  Sim? Ou Não?
  9. The average litter size of a rat is 80 every month.  Yell? Or Scream?
  10. The triceps is responsible for the extension of the Ankole-Watusi cow elbow.  Ja? Oder Nein?
  11.  The infraspinatus asparagus abducts and rotates the forelimb.  Ee-Mah? Ah-High? Ooot Ah-High-La?
  12. The bronchitis muscle protracts and retracts the forelimb and abducts the catfish ear.  כן או ?לא?
  13. The female rabbit develops a large fold of skin under the left whisker known as a dewlap flap.  Да? или нет?
  14. The upper lip is divided into philtrum, which aids in getting people by the short hairs.  What? Or Who?
  15. Jackals are unable to vomit because of the arrangement of the cardia in relation to their knuckles.  Flea? Fly? Or Flue?
  16. The foreleg of the pig has 5 toes?  Or Not?
  17. Essay Question: When did you stop kicking your neighbor’s groundhog?

The quiz was not easy for me, but I passed with walking colors. I know you think I’m smart, but I’m not, because I cheated.

Next week we’re going to learn about painting the lips of ladybugs for Valentine’s Day. I better start studying.

Meanwhile, I have to clean the bedroom floor.


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Student Driver Teaches Driving Teacher to Drive

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“Look out!” I screamed. “On the curb! That grey-haired lady with the walker might dart out!”

“Dad,” said my daughter Rhonda. “She’s sitting in a Plexiglas bus shelter. I don’t think she’s going to jump in front of our moving car any time in the predictable future.”

“Maybe you’re right,” I said.

“You’re going to have to learn to stop screaming at me. It doesn’t make my stick-shift driving lessons any easier,” said Rhonda.

It was my second day on the road with Rhonda in our little brown compact. Rhonda wasn’t doing too badly, but I was a nervous wrecking ball.

“Watch this upcoming intersection! This intersection! It’s an intersection! You have to stop and then go again after the intersection!” I yelled.

“Yes, Dad. I know. You’re continuing to provoke anxiety.”

“Okay, okay. Now slow down. You can downshift, but you don’t have to if you don’t feel comfortable, but you must apply your clutch eventually, gradually, slowly, RIGHT NOW, with your left foot. That’s the foot on your left side with the masking tape on your shoe. I put masking tape on your shoe to remind you it’s the left. Push the middle pedal! NO! I’M WRONG!” I cried. “IT’S THE LEFT PEDAL, I THINK! AM I RIGHT? Yes! The middle’s the brake. Right? No, I said LEFT! It’s the LEFT, LEFT, LEFT!”

“Yes, Dad,” said Rhonda. “I know my left.”

I tried to speak a little more softly. “I’m sorry. This is wearing me out. After driving for years, it’s second nature and I can’t even explain it correctly. Left shoe, middle pedal, up, down, back, forth, tube sock, cake mix… Whatever.”

Rhonda suggested gently, “Maybe you should just… How can I say it? …Shut up?” She eased to a stop at the intersection.

Suddenly my adrenaline flow increased again. “Stop! Stay stopped here!” I screamed. “Don’t go! I think you won’t be able to accelerate here at this intersection because we’re going up a hill, and you’ll probably pop the clutch, peel out, and blow a hole in the muffler. Plus there’s gravel on the road here, and I don’t think you’re ready for this!”

Rhonda and I hopped out of the car. I ran sweating to the driver’s seat. She got in the passenger side.

I put the car in gear, popped the clutch, peeled out, and threw gravel all over the car behind me. Minutes later I realized I blew a hole in the muffler.

When we got home, I called Joe’s Stick-Shift Training School. My first class is Tuesday.

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