Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | July 9, 2011

Laughing out Loud at “F In Exams”

The annual Latin Alternative Music Conference is in town
again this weekend, so as usual I’ve been juggling my duties as an ESL teacher and as a freelance writer (no, things haven’t exactly picked up on the writing front yet), so last Thursday I found myself with about an hour to kill between
an interview with local electronic band Zigmat and the acoustic showcase at

While many of the participants hung out and networked at the
conference’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan, I decided to head to a nearby bookstore
– one of my favorite pastimes – and take a look at the latest releases.  I was looking at the faux children’s book “Go
the F*** To Sleep” when I stumbled into “F in Exams,” this incredibly funny
collection of absurd answers given by students during tests.

The premise of this compilation by Richard Brason is simple:
students often draw a blank during exams, and instead of leaving the space
unanswered, they just use some sense of humor. As I went through the pages, I
found myself laughing out loud at some of the answers, and could not help but
buying it on the spot.

The book is divided into different sections: math, biology,
chemistry, physics, business and technology, history and finally English – my personal
turf, so to speak. While I read it on the subway going downtown, people stopped
me to ask what I was laughing so hard about, so I shared some of the entries –
the first time in my life that reading on the train generated conversation.

Here are some examples:

Explain the term “free press”

Answer: When your mom irons your pants for you

Describe the term “stakeholder”

Answer: a Vampire hunter. Buffy being the most famous

What happens during a census?

Answer: During a census a man goes from door to door and
increases the population

What is having only one spouse called

Answer: monotony

What did Mahatma Gandhi and Genghis Khan have in common

Answer: Unusual names

Use the words ‘doldrums’ in a sentence

Answer: I cannot play the doldrums


Sure, these might not be ‘real’ answers – the author himself
might have thought them up. However, they put a big smile on my face, since my
day had not begun well and I was not in the best of moods. So when they say
that laughter is the best medicine – it’s very correct.




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