The Lazy Pupil's Examination Aid.

It is the time of year when caring parents try to ensure they offspring are not shirking their studies, after all good educational qualifications are so important in securing good future prospects. Pupils however, if they have any self respect at all are trying to find ways to skive off and spend time boozing and listening to cool music in the company of friends. So for the benefit of skiving pupils and caring parents Greenteeth Media has prepared this Lazy Pupils Exam Guide, designed to help the clowns, wannabe rock stars, idle burghers and general dickhead exploit the politically correct attitudes of the lefties who have hijacked the education system and secure good grades for even those who have done no work.

(first published 2009 on my Greenteeth Media site)


In my school days, admittedly more years ago than I care to remember, trying to justify the non - delivery of homework projects with the excuse "please Sir, the dog ate it," was not exactly fresh and original but was still guaranteed to raise a ripple of laughter from classmates. Now of course it is a tired and lame excuse used as a last resort only by the terminally dull - witted. Family pets have advanced in status so much they can actually make a positive contribution to academic achievement.

Britain's leading examination boards announced this week that results may be upgraded if it is known that the candidate has suffered an emotionally distressing experience in the run up to the exam. Qualifying experiences include death of a parent or sibling (5% upgrade); parent or sibling being diagnosed with a serious illness (5%); death of a distant relative (3%); a broken limb within 48 hours (3%); a broken limb on the mend (2%) - this throws a whole new light on the theatrical expression of encouragement "break a leg" ; and long term illness of disablement of a close family member counting for 3%, with the death of a family pet, Fido or Tiddles, weighing in at 2% if it happens within 48 hours of the exam or 1% between two days and a week prior. Monty Python fans will be emotionally distressed to learn that the death of a parrot warrants nothing. A clear case of speciesism we think.

A spokesperson for one of the examination boards responding to criticism that the scheme is politically correct mollycoddling of the young said that the maximum upgrade had been set at 5% in order to discourage abuse of the system. As she avoided answering when asked if the upgrades will be cumulative I fear the bureaucrats have once more underestimated the ingenuity of ordinary punters. Consider the possibilities in a literature examination…

QUESTION: In Shakespearean tragedy the downfall of the main character is often a result of a failure to address obvious flaws in his own character. Discuss this with particular reference to Hamlet and Macbeth.

ANSWER: Both Hamlet and Macbeth are…Oh GOD! WHAT IS THE POINT? Why should I sit this exam when with a bare bodkin I could my quietus make. Who cares about qualifications and careers. Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Shakespeare's tragedies? Are there not enough tragedies in the real world. To write or not to write that is the question, when all our yesterdays have lit the way of fools to dusty death.

Only yesterday my beloved Labrador Bonzo shuffled off this mortal coil when a car, driven by my uncle Jim, mowed him down. Jim did try to avoid Bonzo but lost control of the car and perished himself when he hit a wall.

I felt guilty about having let Bonzo off the leash and rushed to cradle the poor dogs noble head as he breathed his last. When at last a friendly police officer noticed my distress and said gently that there was nothing I could do for that loyal dog I noticed my hands were covered in blood. "Will all Neptune's great ocean was clean the blood from this my hand, I cried out, pulling free of the cop and throwing myself on the ground next to Fido. This was a mistake, the paramedics, in their rush to get to another call, drove the ambulance over me, breaking both my legs.

Just then my mobile phone rang. It was my mother calling from the hospital to tell me she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and within six months would be heading for that unexplored country from in whose bourne no traveller returns.

In a perfect world I would be able to turn for comfort to my Dad, a virtuous man, but as it says in Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2 "Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes" and Dad has been paralyzed and unable to speak these three years.

I asked my sister, a Goth to let me have some of her downers. Each man is but a poor player who frets and struts his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more, I said.

"But in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
she quipped rather wittily in the circumstances just before she fell downstairs and broke her arm.

Then I heard a terrible sound coming from the kitchen and rushed in just in time to see poor Tiddles choke to death on a furball.

I tried without success to sleep last night, for after all, we are such stuff as dreams are made of, our little lives are rounded with a sleep.

But what will it avail me if I pass this examination. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy Mr. Examination Marker.

And if you add it all up that should be worth a pass.


Pardero Added Mar 22, 2018 - 5:28pm
Ian Thorpe,
That is about as clever and funny as it gets. I am glad that I had a moment to have a look. In a fair world, this would get 10 times the number of likes that my little efforts do.
James Travil Added Mar 22, 2018 - 6:20pm
It gets a like from me, very humorous piece :)
Autumn Cote Added Mar 22, 2018 - 7:33pm
Please note, this article would be a lot easier to read if you added some white space between paragraphs.  As always, many thanks for your participation with Writer Beat!
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 11:24am
Pardero, it was written as a filler piece really, so thanks for that. I'll do something even crazier next time I venture into humour.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 11:25am
Thanks for that James, glad you enjoyed it.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 11:27am
Autumn, I can fix that but it was perfectly formatted until your text editor got hold of it. As I said it's an old piece so was probably a minor incompatibility between html4 and 5
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 23, 2018 - 1:11pm
The Victim's Points Table, eh? :)
Dave Volek Added Mar 23, 2018 - 2:26pm
Nice piece
I hope the exam score upgrades for distress are not true. But who knows in this crazy world?
Even A Broken Clock Added Mar 23, 2018 - 2:41pm
Dino Manalis Added Mar 23, 2018 - 2:43pm
We must encourage studying and good grades!
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:02pm
Burghal, only the third division table, sexual and certain ethnic / religious groups outscore personal misfortune in the victimhood index.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:05pm
Dave, the content of the piece is conjured from my fervid (or perhaps red wine soaked at the time) imagination, but it was based on a genuine education dept. initiative to avoid exam candidates being disadvantaged by traumatic events such as a death or sickness in the family.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:06pm
EABC, thanks.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:07pm
Indeed, by rewarding talent and hard work, politically correct attitudes should not influence grades.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:08pm
Alright now, lets get serious about this whole business for a moment, shall we? How many points for being Irish?
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:08pm
Dino. Sorry, above comment was in response to yours.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:14pm
Being Irish? None, the Irish might have been dubbed 'white niggers' in the 18th and 19th century (as the excellent satirical song by Elvis Costello "Oliver's Army" reminds us,) but we're not allowed to mention that now.
Having ginger hair could be worth a few and that would be more inclusive as it takes in Scots and some Scandinavians.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:37pm
My havent we come a long way :) 
Pardero Added Mar 23, 2018 - 9:00pm
Ian Thorpe, 
I knew a single mother who got a D on a college exam. She raised hell with the instructor, using that defense, and got it raised to a B. Oliver's Army is a good song. I love the energetic cover of Brinsley Swartz's What's So Funny About Peace, Love, And Understanding?
Leroy Added Mar 23, 2018 - 10:49pm
Doug Plumb Added Mar 24, 2018 - 6:48am
Good article, makes me wish I remembered Shakespeare better. I didn't appreciate it at the time. I tried reading it again, and like Socrates, the dialog style turns me off. I suspect Bacon had as much intelligent to say as Socrates.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 24, 2018 - 1:07pm
Burghal, how far you've come depends on what kind of Irish you are? Silurian, Milesian, Goidel or Firbolg. The Goidels are northern or Gaelic Celts and probably also known as The Fenians, the Milesieans are the final Celtic race to settle in Ireland about 1500 BC, the Silurians are Iberean Celts and the Firbolgs live in the central bog and are best skipped over as their enemies wrote everything we know about them. My Anglo Irish other half's Irish side are fascinating family, grandad Dennis was a typical Firbolg, big, broad skulled with a powerful upper body but proportionately quite short in the leg. Granny Anastasia was slim and petite, well educated and from a wealthy landowning family. She was a typical Milesian, who according to legend are survivors of the destruction of Troy. How the two came to marry is something ....... the family do not like to talk about. Let's just say the wedding was a rush job, after which the couple were ushered onto the Liverpool ferry with indecent haste and never invited to visit Ireland again.
Interesting story, that's the short version.
So you see how hard it would be to work out affirmative action uplifts simply on the strength of someone saying their family is "Irish"
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 24, 2018 - 1:18pm
Pardero, grade inflation is becoming a serious problem for higher education now universities have become corporate businesses. When people can use identity politics to get a better qualification than their work merits it devalues everybody's qualifications.
A lot of the songs from the backlash against prog rock were wonderfully acerbic and cynical. And Nick Lowe, who formed Brinsley Schwartz was a prolific writer producer.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 24, 2018 - 1:18pm
Leroy, thanks.
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 24, 2018 - 1:24pm
Doug, I always think it's best to read Shakespeare after seeing it. Hearing trained actors deliver the lines familiarises us with the rhythms of the dialogue.
And lines like "Blow wind and crack your cheeks," from King Lear, need body language to get the best from the double entendre although it hlps to know in that era someone who was all talk and no substance was called a 'crackfart.'
Pardero Added Mar 24, 2018 - 4:10pm
Ian Thorpe,
You certainly raise the average of quality on these pages, regrettably, I do not claim the same for myself. ; )
Those were the days. I have been a Nick Lowe fan since my first Stiffs record.
Jeff Jackson Added Mar 24, 2018 - 4:32pm
Nice piece Ian. As if, once you have a job, your performance will not be influenced by an emotionally distressing incident? I experienced the death of my father while taking a full load of classes, my last classes for that degree. It was halfway through the semester, but my father would have told me to finish what I started. I had all As except for one "B." I told my professors, but never told any of my classmates.  Stay calm. Carry on.

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