Late For ExamsBen Dover was in his third year of a science degree at Sydney University. He was a bright young sod and only had to study the bare minimum to exceed academically. He ran with a pack of two other larrikins who were also quite apt at their studies. But unfortunately they pushed the envelope a little too far this time.
The three jokers were confident of passing their biology class so they decided a night out on the tiles the evening before the final exam was a brilliant idea. A few beers led to a few more as they played up like secondhand lawnmowers, throwing caution to the wind. Tomorrow’s exam was the furthest thing from their minds. The beers continued to flow endlessly and the dance floor had not been so hot since Rod Kerr tore up Archie’s nightclub circa 1987.
As the three surfaced the next morning in Ben’s lounge room, they felt like someone had run over their heads with a bus. Their combined hangovers would’ve been enough to bring down the Roman army. But even worse, when they fathomed the time of day, they realised their biology final exam had finished over an hour ago. Panic set in.
“We’re gonna bloody fail biology!” they chorused.
“Don’t worry,” Ben offered as the haze began to clear. “All we need is a good story to run by the professor. He is a reasonable man.”
The boys slowly shrugged off their excruciating hangovers as they manufactured a plausible tale.
An hour later they tracked down the biology professor, who was seated in his office collating the finished exams. He was deep in thought when the boys sheepishly knocked on his door.
When the three boys were seated the explanation of their tardiness began.
“Sir, yesterday we went to visit Ben’s cousin down near Goulburn,” one of the boys explained. “On the way home to Sydney at night we got a flat tyre on a back road. Since we had no spare and no phone reception to call for NRMA road service we had to walk for an hour to get any help.”
“There was no service station open at that time of night so we had to spend the night in a motel,” Ben continued. “The motel owner assured us he could drop us to a repairer first thing in the morning, so we settled in for a good night’s sleep.”
“Unfortunately the motel owner had given us a bum steer as the next morning he was nowhere to be seen. We managed to hitch a ride and had the tyre repaired. Unfortunately time got away from us and we were thrown right off schedule,” Ben added.
The professor rubbed his goateed chin as he listened to this reasonable tale of excuse. Professor Don McCallum had seen worse things happen in his time and had sat through much farther fetched stories, so he offered the boys a make-up exam. They were all good students and he owed them some form of leniency.
“All right young men, here’s the deal,” the professor smiled as he spoke in his calm, educated voice. “I will give you lads the benefit of the doubt and allow you to sit the exam at 9am tomorrow. But you must understand the exam will have to be different from the one that was contested today.”
The boys were ecstatic. The professor had fallen for the story and a quiet night would leave them fit for the make-up exam in the morning.
The next morning the three arrived at the professor’s office as instructed, full of beans with pens poised. They were each given an exam booklet and directed into separate lecture rooms. They were allowed one hour to complete the exam.
The first question, worth 10 marks was on the structural components of the atom. Easy. The second question, worth 90 marks read: “Which tyre on the car went flat?”