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.