Here at college (motto: "Free Visiting Assistant Professor with Every Matriculation!")*, there comes for every one of us an epiphany, a profound rite of passage wherein we realize that somewhere, someone named Darlene is after our ova.
Not that you need to take my word for it. Why do that, when you can have it straight from the source? I refer, of course, to our redoubtable** student newspaper, the Aarkvard Suppository. I like the Suppository, because if not for its incisive and nuanced editorial output, I might never have assimilated such as the following structure:
MILKSHAKES = GOOD
GENOCIDE = BAD
You can't put a price on knowledge like that.*** But back to Darlene. For the past week or so, she has appeared on the classified page of the Suppository, in the following ad, which I reprint verbatim, except for the parts I have changed:
"EGG DONORS NEEDED. We are seeking women under the age of 29, SAT 1300, physically fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are interested in helping an infertile family and would like more information, contact Darlene at 1-800, et cetera."
Let's go back and examine this again, shall we? "We are seeking women under the age of 29." So far, so good, right? I know I thought so, on seeing it the first time. "Hey!" I said to myself, depsite the fact that myself was in the bathroom and none too keen to be disturbed. "I'm women under the age of 29!"**** Now let's read on: "SAT 1300".
This simply will not do. As a former SAT-taker, I cannot let this sort of idiotic triviality be deemed by The Man relevant enough to dictate whether a life is created, and while it happens I refuse to sit idly by. On the contrary, I am going to twitch around a LOT in my chair before I resume my current milkshake.***** Okay, done. Now: WHY THE HELL SATs???!!! Does The Man honestly expect us to believe he would cast aside a prospective mother with looks, talent, thighs of steel in favor of the love child of Alfred E. Neuman, a three-eyed beagle, and Your Wal-Mart Team, who HAPPENED TO GET A 1600 BY REMEMBERING THAT WESTERLY, RHODE ISLAND IS TO GASTROENTERITIS AS CHESTER A. ARTHUR IS TO _____________? (Answers, please, to email@example.com. Do not discuss them with anyone else.)
But what really gets my goat - or would, if Darlene hadn't already taken it - is that this causes me to experience an Extended Flashback. I do not like flashbacks, on account of they tend - lest I generalize - to make me remember things. In this case, I remember my SATs, taken nigh two years ago at Sarcoptic (Maine) High School. Sarcoptic (motto: "Maine's Personal Region") is a scuzzy little burg with, at last count, one (1) library and 3 (3) Dunkin' Donuts, which equals, at last count, more Dunkin' Donuts than libraries. (The Sarcoptic school system disagrees with me on this point. It is an ongoing conversation.)
The SAT (acronym for "SAT: A Test") is mandatory for all high-schoolers in Maine, whether collegiate pursuits are in the cards or not. This may well explain why the window was left entirely open during my particular test, treating us all to whatever conversations, casual nooky, bloodcurdling screams, etc. happened to be taking place outside. As a result, I transposed EVERY LAST ONE of my answers for that section down one circle from where they belonged. Chronic readers of this column will perhaps recall my propensity for getting distracted******, but I will have you know that I will remember to this day exactly what two roving Sarcopticans were planning to have for lunch (food), as well as the precise nature of a scream ("AAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH").
So when it came time for me to check my results online, I had two perfect scores and: one not-perfect score. As in, so not-perfect, writhing maggots were actually feasting on it within the computer screen. By this point, I had already lodged a complaint with the school; the town of Sarcoptic, to its credit, had attempted to appease by giving me an apple fritter. Unfortunately, I had consumed it before I had a chance to express my outrage. Hence my antipathy for the SAT, which rages to this day, rivaled only by my antipathy toward Trillian from the TV Hitchhiker's Guide RRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH GNARRRRRRRR DIE DIE DIE unfortunate casting choice.
Looking back over what I've written here, I've just had a crazy thought. Maybe the 1300 refers to the new SAT scale, not the old. 1300 out of 2400 would imply much less discrimination on the part of The Man (or, as he is sometimes known, "Darlene"). Nonetheless I am loath to go back on my words, seeing as a) I don't feel like deleting them and b) I have to catch a bus. I'd stay here and edit, if I had my druthers. But Darlene took those too.
*I still have my coupon. What can I say, I'm picky.
**Meaning you can go back and doubt it again, though there is a $1.75 fee and that sophomore girl will look you up and down.
***Actually, you can: $1.75.
****They get along surprisingly well, if you were wondering (and I know you were). This one time they formed a book club. The low point was when I got asked to leave.
*****MILKSHAKES = GOOD. (Source: The Suppository)
******Ooh! A penny!
©2007, Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending