The Worst Test of All Time

High School, 2003
Reed City, Michigan
 The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
How will I score on a reading comprehension test for The Canterbury Tales considering:

A - I have not read The Canterbury Tales. 

B - I have just ingested 6 mysterious pills. 
The Worst Test Of All Time.

The year was 2003. I was a junior in high school. My last period was AP British Literature.

My strategy of failing to read my assignments was working beautifully. Rather then ponder through A Tale of Two Cities, I instead drew all of the characters from the story as cyborgs.

My teacher applauded my creativity and awarded me hundred of extra credit points.

Learning = Dodged!

However, my usual teacher was out for a few weeks, leaving behind a substitute that was young, beautiful, and ambitious. She was going to learn these damn kids some British Lit.

Her challenge to the students? Plow through all of The Canturbury Tales and pass a reading comprehension test.

My solution was to read the damn things take 6 mysterious pills on test day!

I was instructed to only take 2 or 3 pills “for the love of God.”

3 pills later. Feeling fine. 3 more down the hatch, feeling great!

5 hours later….

I’m floating down the hallway. Where am I? Who am I? What’s that big blob of color?

Sitting at my desk in AP British Lit. Test in front of me. Alright! I’ve got this!

Where are my hands? Which one do I usually write with?

I awake an hour later. The test is stuck to my face. My classmate, Ryan Minier, has been chucking highlighters at my supposed corpse to test for signs of life.

My test is blank. I have fifteen minutes left.

Choosing between one of the three tests dancing in front of my face, I “complete” my test and turn it in to my beautiful substitute teacher.

I giggle, and possibly drool.

Monday morning, I get the test back. These were my results:

I would soon see, reading through the test, that those 18.5 points were gifted to me.

Here’s page 1, fill-in-the-blank –

My answer for Question 11 is –

“relativly, arsp KO at sothey expensphere.”

You’ll notice that I became confused and began using words in the question as my answer. I added a nice “sphere” onto the end of expense.

Mercifully, the next section of the test was multiple choice. And then this page happened….

Question 12 – I circled the “D” in “death” meaning to choose option D as my answer. Then things got worse.

Question 14 – I wrote “I maks sinish.” next to the question. Yes, yes I do maks sinsih.

Question 16 – Above Chaucer’s name, the author of the tales I am being tested on, I wrote “WHO?”

Question 17 – I decided to slash at answers with my pencil instead of circle them.

And the crowning achievement of this page, the illustration in the bottom right.

Here’s a closer look.

I provided the caption “he he me draw” and what appears to be a set of balls.

This was not the end of my academic failure.

The crowning achievement was on its way – the essay answer.

The essay question? “Why was Chaucer uniquely qualified to write about these subjects?”

Here’s what I wrote –

The year is 2023.

Essay is spelled wrong.

I ripped the page almost entirely in half while writing.

And my answer to “Why was Chaucer uniquely qualified to write about these subjects?”

“Chancer’s liked in the hardet circumstances and his posotion with the old languardd put him in a good position to write about middled aged life.”


This was my teacher’s response –

The stain marks are from bitter tears of shame.

My parents were never shown “The Worst Test of All Time.” If they are reading this blog now, it is with the assurance that I am making much better life decisions now in my late 20’s.

Even 10 years later, the lesson from “The Worst Test of All Time” is still pretty clear-

Don’t take six mysterious pills, kids. Just don’t do it.