Classic Snarky: Quick! What Did Gina Find in the Closet?
A. A dead body
B. Two dead bodies
C. Two hobos arguing over a dead body
I hate standardized testing. I didn’t even take the GREs until I’d already been in Grad school for two semesters. When I finally took them I was disappointed to find that Gina’s car washing antics were not featured!
Gina and her rags were an important part of my childhood standardize testing memories. Much more so than the infamous “We were running we fell down.” (That’s an example of cause/effect, right?) Gina wanted to wash the car. She went to the closet (apparently in her hall way) and retrieved the rags. I wanted to say, “You know Gina, if you’re washing your car with rags, my reading comprehension capacity is probably the least important thing going on right now.”
Like Charlie Brown, Gina appeared to have no parents or at least no one to tell her clean rags were to be used for dusting and tying off wounded limbs, not for washing cars.
But every year with the Gina and the rags. I’d sit down to my bubble answer sheet and my booklet and right there in the reading comprehension section would be Gina about to wash her car again with those damn rags.
Sometimes I wanted to pick the wrong answer. Maybe she found a lamp? Or a box of unmarked 100s. Maybe she found two kids playing with Cabbage Patch Kids. Maybe she found a coupon for professional washing and detailing services.
Sometimes I expect to find rags in my own hallway closet next to the puffer coats, rainboots and boxes of CDs too embarrassing to donate. Songs in the key of X, anyone?
Even at age nine, I felt the antics of Gina were beneath me. I felt insulted that she was put forth as an example of behavior worth comprehending. Yet I was obsessed. Did she wash the car often? Did she wait each year for standardize tests? What had the rags been in their former life? A keep truckin’ tee? Didn’t she remember the last time she washed the car that all she had outside was the bucket of soapy water, the car and a dream? Or did she have SMS (sitcom memory syndrome) regularly experiencing and forgetting things in 22 minute intervals?
And what of “We were running we fell down.”? It so richly deserved to be the most popular example, yet could never surpass Gina and the rags! It should’ve been picked for homecoming queen and asked to the prom by a cute dangling participle. It should’ve settled down with an independent clause and had a couple of dependent clauses.
WWRWFD has much more application in my life. I have written more run on sentences than the legal limit allows, but nobody’s ever asked me to recall the details of a passage I’ve read two seconds after reading it.