A guide for dealing with those doing the dreaded Leaving Certificate…

As you know from my previous post,we have a Hannah  monster person thing doing the Leaving Cert. She shall henceforth be known as ‘The Leaving Cert’ in order to generalise to the population as a whole.

Well it’s been a trying time to date, and I’m fairly sure that she has officially lost the plot as of yesterday. Why? Well the giveaway was probably to do with her wandering around the house, giggling, shouting words and making screeching noises randomly (more than usual), whilst the rest of us huddled in the kitchen, afraid to leave in case we’d bump into this creature. So in order for all of you who haven’t yet been in contact with one of these monstrosities, I am sharing what I’ve learned in dealing with it.

  • Avoid at all costs. Naturally this isn’t always possible, but to the best of your ability, the most effective method of survival is to avoid.
  • When unavoidable, and one is in presence of ‘The Leaving Cert’
    1.  Do not ask questions. In particular, how study/the exam/life in general is going/went. I cannot stress this enough.
    2. In fact, do not speak in or around the Leaving Cert. Failure to comply with this rule may result in:
      1. Clipped and curt answers laced with pessimism (the best outcome really).
      2. A screech of ‘ShutUP’ and a low threatening growl from the study room. (When it growls, activate plan ‘freak out and run’)
      3. A hastily delivered tirade with some kind of threat thrown if future conversations are initialised.
      4. A look that could turn flesh to stone, followed by a warning delivered through clenched teeth about not asking how the exam went..
      5. Favours will have to wait. If you are a person that asks The Leaving Cert for a favour, you never stood a chance.
    3. Do not look it in the eye. Never, ever look it in the eye. I learned this the hard way.
    4. Do not make any sudden movements if you value your life.
    5. Bathroom is sole property of The Leaving Cert. Personal hygiene is 2nd to survival. (Maybe don’t visit our house during this time…)
    6. Food. If one is prepared, a pre cut cat flap is the safest way to feed it. Just lure it away from the door when you put the food through, or your hand may be taken. Consider yourself lucky if that’s all that happens.
    7. Sometimes, it emerges smiling. This is a trap. DO NOT trust it. I repeat, this is a trap. Remember that cow in Jurassic Park? That will be you.
    8. Don’t try and cheer it up. In fact, humour will only be met in one of two ways- a mirthless stare as you slowly back away, or a pen thrown javelin style straight through the heart of the would be comedian.
    9. When it asks you a question, do not answer. The answer is the wrong one. Mumble incoherently whilst staring at your feet. It’s the only way to get out in one piece. (Also, how did you get to that position?! Have you not read my very first piece of advice?)
    10. Sleeping. When it sleeps, you sleep. To wake it, should it instruct you to wake it, you will need the following: One helmet. One pair of safety goggles. One gumshield. One suit of padding, to be worn inside one suit of noiseless armour. One ambulance waiting. One cup of tea, to be set down just far enough that you have time to run away before it can be thrown. Two people to shut the door after you run out and before it gets to it. Keep it closed until it has calmed down. Then leave and huddle in the kitchen.

That should be enough to keep you alive, though I promise nothing.

Oh holy heart attack. The Leaving Cert just came in and began reading this over my shoulder. I waited breathlessly. She was silent. I assumed foetal position. She laughed. I uncurled and waited on tenderhooks. She continued to laugh and walked out muttering to herself whilst giggling. We sighed in relief. I’ve rarely, if ever, been so scared.

The main thing to bear in mind is that when the exam is over, The Leaving Cert will normally make a full recovery. In approximately 1% of Leaving Certs, the condition never fully resolves. I recommend moving far far away.

To end with, I wish you good luck. If I don’t make it out the other side, at least I’ve shared what I’ve learned with you… Here’s hoping!


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