TICKET TO RIDE

 

 

Pulse rate: check.

Body temperature: check.

 

Comfortable footwear: check.

Non-constricting underwear: check.

 

What time is it?

Left wrist watch: check.

 

Ten pens, pencils, sharpener,

eraser, calculator: check.

 

What time is it?

Backup watch on right wrist: check.

 

30 minutes and counting.

 

Tissues to soak up

thermonuclear sweat: check.

 

Coughing? Wheezing? Sneezing?

Decongestants: check.

 

Silence, please. No sound please.

Exam-hall kind of silence, please.

 

25 minutes and counting.

 

Rows upon rows thinking: Exam,

last chance.

 

The alternative? Being a brickie,

low-paid admin or Burger King.

 

One thought:

‘My emaciated body’s not built

for the quick money on building sites.’

 

20 minutes to exam and counting.

 

Stress?

sitting at an old school desk,

 

with Retakers, rows upon rows

of lifers

 

on the CV-to-interviewee

merry-go-round.

 

15 minutes to exam and counting.

 

I need the toilet. I need the toilet.

I need the toilet. I need the toilet.

 

10 minutes to exam and counting.

 

I think I’ve

pissed my pants.

 

Five minutes to exam and counting.

 

Ready to attempt questions

in legible handwriting: check.

 

Two minutes to exam and counting.

 

Ready to attempt questions

in legible handwriting: NO.

 

Go.

 

MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS MUST BE TACKLED

WITHOUT THE AID OF A CALCULATOR.

Oh fuck@x!!!80085.

 

THE EASY MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS.

 

Is it A? No.

Is it B? Definitely not.

Is it C? Is this supposed to be a joke?

 

D, what happened to D? There is no D.

All the rest are ludicrous answers.

There must be a D. There’s no D.

 

 Two minutes to the end.

 

DO NOT SPEND OVER 30 MINUTES

ON THESE APTITUDE PROBLEMS.

 

I must not panic I must not panic

I must not panic I must not panic.

 

10 seconds to the end.

 

DO NOT SPEND OVER 30 MINUTES ON –

 

Put pens down, that is the end.

Collect all papers together. That is the end.

 

Rows upon rows looked at answers:

a bunch of hieroglyphics.

 

One thought:

 

 Oh fuck. Time’s up.

 This is the end.

 

Can we all trade our school uniforms and suits

for hard-hats, steel toe-capped boots at the brickyard?