“Practical Math,” by Chris Eversman

Dec 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Final Exam
PMAT 101                                                                                                              Name:   _______________________

Questions 1-4: Misery. Answer the following story problems using any method you like – provided it’s the method that I want you to use. Each problem is worth enough points to convince you that answering any incorrectly will earn you a grade that sabotages all of your future hopes. Calculators are not permitted.

1. Robert voluntarily quit his job six months ago. He was earning $4,000 per month and now earns $0. According to his friends and family, how likely is it that he’ll be moving back in with his parents before the end of the year? Express your answer as a percentage hidden behind your back.

2. Fernando recently purchased a new phone and downloaded several entertaining games to play on it. Since his purchase, he spends twice as long on the toilet playing with his phone as he did before. Given that he is a 14-year-old boy, how much time can he spend locked in the bathroom before his mother starts to get nervous about what he’s doing in there?

3. A local donut shop sells boxes of donuts by the dozen. Arianna buys a box of three chocolate donuts, five jelly, and the rest with sprinkles. If she brings them to work in the morning and discovers by her mid-morning break that they’ve already all been eaten, how many donuts did that prick from accounting eat who never brings food in for anyone and who probably ate her goddamn sandwich out of the break room fridge last week even though her name was clearly written on the fucking bag?

4. Rosalina believes that the contrails formed by aircraft passing overhead are actually mind-control chemicals released by the overarching technocrats in a nefarious, covert plot to strengthen their power over the oblivious masses. How many people do more than just stare at her blankly when she explains this?

Questions 5-11: Bafflement. In the following problems, indicate whether the first value is greater than (>) or lesser than (<) the second value. Guessing should succeed half of the time, but that never really works. Calculators are not permitted.

5. How normal it is to carry around a wallet, phone, and keys [ ] How weird it is to put all those things in a gallon Ziploc bag and then carry them around

6. Risk of being poisoned [ ] Risk of looking insane when accusing someone of trying to poison you

7. Chances your bumper car is actually broken [ ] Chances you’re just another sad dweeb

8. How embarrassing it is to pee your pants on a commercial airliner [ ] How embarrassing it is to shit your pants on a commercial airliner

9. Time spent studying for this exam [ ] Time spent looking at online photos of that chimp and dog that are friends.

10. Number of keggers you hosted this semester [ ] Your current grade point average

11. Amount of dignity you would sacrifice to pass this exam [ ] Amount you have left anyways if you’re really being honest with yourself

Questions 12-18: Panic. You just realized that you have no hope of answering the remaining questions before time runs out. You’ll waffle between which strategy to choose: sloppily rushing through the end of the test; or meticulously answering a few at the sacrifice of the rest. While you decide, half of your remaining time will be wasted, turning this portion of the exam into an ironic failure. Calculators are not permitted.

12. How many cats is too many cats?

13. How old is a kid when it stops being cute?

14. How many times can a person talk about their dog before they become insufferable?

15. How many dates must we go on before I can see this person naked?

16. How funky is your chicken?

17. How many books can a person mention having read before they’re just bragging?

18. How many times will your future boss actually ask you to solve for y?

Please attach your workings on the piece of scratch paper you were issued that you instead used to draft an apologetic letter to your parents that’s starting to sound just a little too close to a suicide note. Grades will be available next week. Calculators are permitted for the rest of your adult life in every conceivable situation.
Defenestration-Chris EversmanChris Eversman lives in Alaska. He looks like the cover of a novel about a woman who falls in love with a lumberjack. He runs sled dog teams, chops wood, starts campfires, shoots a bow, and does everything else your grandfather regrets not teaching you to do. He whittled a computer from a spruce tree that was struck by lightning, and used it to start stupidgamesdaily.wordpress.com.

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