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Multiple Choice

October 3, 2019

On Monday a student told me that her and her family went apple picking over the weekend. 

 

“That’s weird,” I said. “I didn’t know people went apple picking during the summer.”

 

“It’s October,” she replied. 

 

I stared at her for a moment. She was right. 

 

But I didn’t respond. 

_______

 

My buddy Dylan lives in Montana. He rides his bike to work and a few days ago he posted pictures of his morning route. Apparently it had snowed the night before and the picture was of pine trees covered with white.

 

“It’s 98 here,” I texted him. 

 

He didn’t responded. 

 

______

 

This morning I reminded my Furman students that they have a test next Thursday. After I made the announcement, one of them raised their hand and asked the question I get every semester. 

 

“What kind of questions will be on the test? Will it be like fill in the blank or multiple choice?” 

 

I know the answer she wanted to hear. I know the answer they all want to hear. 

 

Multiple choice. 

 

“It’s not going to be multiple choice,” I said and they all sighed with disappointment. 

 

“The problem with multiple choice,” I explained, “Is that it forces me to think up fake answers. And that is harder than it looks. They have to be wrong, but not too wrong. One of the them has to be funny, but not too funny. And I wind up spending hours coming up with all these bullshit responses and I don’t have that kind of time.” 

 

“You could make them all really obvious,” a different student said.” That way it would be easy for us and for you.” 

 

I looked at him. 

 

But didn’t respond. 

________

 

I accidentally got a flu shot yesterday. 

 

I know, I know- how does one “accidentally” get a flu shot? Did I fall onto a needle while walking down the street? Did I think I was shooting up something else and then an hour later sat there wondering why I felt sick instead of feeling high? 

 

The answer is C. None of the above. 

 

I got shamed into getting one. 

 

I was at the pulmonologist’s office, getting back results from my latest scan, and his nurse asked if I wanted a flu show. I made a noise that was supposed to indicate “Not really.” She pressed the matter. “We can have it done before he even gets in the room….” 

 

“Don’t they make you feel bad?” I asked.

 

“It’ll make your arm sore, but it's better to feel cruddy one day than be sick for a week.”

 

He logic was impeccable. Plus no one wants to be that guy with cancer AND the flu. So I relented. And the rest of the day I felt like shit. 

 

Later in the night Jaimie and I were watching TV and I told her I wasn’t feeling well. 


“What’s wrong?” 

 

“I got a flu shot.” 

 

“Oh, then I don’t feel sorry for you.” 

 

“How could you not feel sorry for me,” I asked with big pouty eyes. 

 

She took a bite of her Moe’s burrito. 

 

And didn’t responded. 

 

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