Shhhh! Quiet please. Tina’s studying to get her real estate license. Her nose has been in the books for over four and a half weeks. This week has been crunch week, and she has been studiously attacking the classwork in preparation for the final tomorrow (Saturday).
As part of the process, she takes these mock tests. From my office, I hear her reading the questions out loud. To keep on task, we play games with the mind, right? So she reads out loud and squeals with glee while wiggling her fingers in the air when she gets something right.
A wrong answer usually produces a “What?” or if it’s really bad, “What the Fuck.”
Earlier, I made popcorn for our afternoon snack (Air popped for my blood pressure, no more ACT II bags of salty goodness). I bottomed my bowl in 3 minutes flat. Tina took her time. I asked her if she had finished her bowl as I put my empty in the sink. “No, not yet,” She said. “I’ve been doing questions, and when I get one right, I reward myself with a hand full.” Seemed reasonable.
I did a requisite “Hmm” as to let my partner know I listened. You know how sometimes you’re doing couple things, and you forget to respond … at all … to something your lover says, and then five minutes later you find yourself in the bloodiest battle a couple can have. I mean screaming and yelling and pulling out eyeballs. Then you pause and ask, “Is this because I forgot to give you a simple ‘hmm’ after you told me you went number two in the potty?”
I left Tina after my “hmm” and returned to my office, which is right off the kitchen where she’s studying. For a long time, I heard nothing, but the occasional train passing (we live right beside an EL train track). Finally about ten minutes passed and I heard a pencil hit the table, a hand jostle through popcorn and a good hearty crunching through corn.
“Did you get a question right, T?” I asked.
Tina laughed. I couldn’t see her, but I bet some kernels fell out of her mouth.
If Tina passes this test tomorrow, we’re celebrating like it’s 1999 (wasn’t that a great year?). If she doesn’t, I’m going to drink like a depressed sailor all night. I’ll go get a bottle of “Early Times” whiskey, a shot glass, and sit slumped in a wooden chair, at a wooden table, slumped down singing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” in my best monotone drunken spitty voice.
The course is not easy, either. If you’ve been in the market for real estate, agents aren’t always the sharpest tools in the shed. Our guy — named Steve, Idiot for short — had the IQ of an inbred Kazakhstany and the personality of catatonic Terry Schivo. The only reason we used him was because he called on us.
But the questions and math they have on these tests are brutal. It’s amazing that Steve Idiot could have passed this test. For example, Tina just came in my office and asked me the following questions: Illinois Human Rights Act defines an elderly person as what age: (A) 40, (B) 55, (C) 62 or (D) 65.
Go ahead. I’ll give you time to think about it. Google it. I don’t care.
Are you ready?
The answer is …
So if the questions aren’t the most difficult math she’s ever done, they are the most deflating farts for questions you’ve ever answered. I’ll be “elderly” in 6 years. I guess it’s time to get me a Jimmy Scooter and a walker.
In the meantime, I’m pulling for Tina. You should too. I really want her to pass this.
I want to see some big fat commission checks too. You should too.