Monday, December 04, 2017


I can't believe I never told this story before.

When I was in high school, we were given an aptitude test for possible future careers. I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career, but I was entirely sure that filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil wasn't going to tell me.

This test wasn't scored. It couldn't be failed.

Because of that, I decided to do everything I could humanly do to fail.

I made it my mission to answer every question as poorly as possible. I took the worst, least ambitious answer on every single question, laughing the entire time.

It was the best test I've ever taken. I had so much fun.

It took a few weeks to get the test scores back. My teacher called me in. This was about six months after I'd been named a National Merit Scholar.

"Did you do anything--unusual--when you took this test?" she carefully asked.

"What do you mean?" I asked. Heh.

"Well," she said, "It seems, umm--"

"I answered every question with the worst possible answer," I said.

"Oh, thank God," she said. "Your two best career choices were 'Tying pieces of leather into bundles' and 'Dressing small children for an orphanage'."

"I'll write those down," I said. "Plan B."

The nice twist to this story was that Mom, who was very strict as an English teacher in the high school, didn't get mad at me. She enjoyed the subversion and thought it was funny.

Fast forward to this week. Eli 16.3 took his career aptitude test. He was told about my greatest academic triumph in full detail, and was looking forward to following in my footsteps.

"I'm already regretting it," he said.

"Regretting what?" I asked.

"I gave legitimate answers on the career test," he said.

"Disinherited," I said. "Pack your bags and I'll take you to the orphanage, where I will also dress you."

"I know! I choked!" he said.

"What were the results?" I asked.

"Marine architect," he said.

"I can see you from the coastal leather bundle factory," I said. "I'll wave."

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