The Battle of the Alimentary Canal

Comprehension Questions




(Enter answers on the line to left of each question.)


            _______   1.  Jerry’s tone compares the bathroom to:

a.       Garden of Eden

b.      Roman Spa

c.       WWI and WWII

d.      hospital operating room


            _______   2.   Jerry infers that unwashed hands are_?

:                                   a.  unsuitable for writing themes

                        b.  the sign of a macho-man

c.  simply a nuisance

d.  carriers of polio germs                                                                  

            _______   3.   Jerry’s invention used  _____?           

                                    a.  Radio Shack electronic parts

                                    b.  A NASA gas detector

                                    c.  Army surplus gadgets

                                    d.  parts from a hardware store


            ________  4.  Jerry’s conducted a washroom test?   

                                    (T)rue or (F)alse.


            ________  5.  Jerry entered his invention in ___.

                                    a. Lincoln Grade School Science Fair

                                    b. the national patent registry

                                    c. Mr. Wizard’s science show

                                    d. a scientific study of  scatology

                                    e. none of the above

            ________   6. Scatology is the study of ___?

                                    a.  Biology      

                                    b.  particle physics

                                    c.  excrement

                                    d.  cats who scat


            ________  7.   What did Jerry not think about the boy he heard in the bathroom?

                                    a.  felt his pain”, sympathized with him

                                    b.   likened him to a brave soldier

                                    c.   he might have a medical flaw

                                    d.   it was actually the custodian


            ________  8.  What radio show did Jerry think of?

                                    a.  Rin Tin Tin

                                   b. Crime Does Not Pay

                                    c.  War Stories

                                    d.  The Shadow


            _________ 9. Which disease was not mentioned?

                                    a. typhoid

                                    b. hemorrhoids

                                    c. polio

                        d. diarrhea


            ________  10. How did Jerry time his alarm?

                                    a. interviewing friends

                                    b. using himself as a test case

                                    c. consulting a gastroenterologist       

                                    d. hiding in a stall with a stopwatch


            _________ 11. Jerry compared defecation to ____? 

                                    a. depth charges and torpedoes

                                    b. a Humpty Dumpty rhyme

                                    c. a teacher he despised

                                    d. a defector (a deserter, traitor)


            _________ 12. Why did Jerry want the device?

                                    a. it would make him famous

                                    b. to win a science fair award

                                    c. to prevent disease

                                    d. to embarrass classmates


            _________ 13. What did the stall sitter do?

                                    a. failed to flush the toilet

                                    b. collapsed on the floor

                                    c. failed to wash his hands

                                    d. studied for a spelling test


            _________ 14. What is meant by B.M. in the A.M.?

a.       Billy Morgan in his Auto-Mobile

b.      Beginning Math and Arith-Metic

c.       after breakfast scatology

d.      a belt-busting morning breakfast


            _________ 15. Jerry compared unwashed   hands to _?

                                    a  shaking hands with toilet paper

                                    b. shaking hands with fecal matter    

                                    c. shaking hands with polio germs

                                    d. all of the above


            _________ 16.What was not considered as an alarm?

                                    a. his Schwinn bike horn

                                    b. a flashing red light

                                    c. a scolding voice

                                    d. a sign posted on the door


            _________  17. What was Jerry’s handwashing enforcer?

                                    a. class bully standing by the sink

                                    b. the alarm mechanism

                                    c. a poster revealing abusers

                                   d. restroom agent spying on the unwashed


            _________  18.  How would Jerry’s alarm work?

                                    a. using flushing and washing signals

                                    b. an odor detector in the stalls                                              

                                    c. door-bell button on soap dispenser

                                    d. recoil of a spring-loaded toilet seat


            _________  19. Why did the stricken toilet sitter enrage Jerry ?      

                                    a. he knew his hands were  filthy yet he failed to wash them                       

                                    b. Jerry  was sorry for the sitter

                                    c. the sitter helped serve lunches

                                    d. he’d seen the sitter pick his nose


            _________ 20.  What resulted from Jerry’s idea?                                         

                                    a. he received the Jonas Salk award

                                    b. nothing

                                    c. this story will make others think about bathroom handwashing    

                                    d. the story sickens readers

                                    e.  c. and d.      


The Battle of the Alimentary Canal

Vocabulary List


            Word                    Synonym


1.  deft                      skillful                           

2.  commode             toilet

3.     discriminator        selection device

4.     myriad                  innumerable

5.     decibel                  measure of sound

6.     din                        loud discordant noise

7.  alimentary canal    entire body food tube

8.  defecation             waste elimination

9.     contrivance                     mechanical  device        

10.                        gadgetry               crude mechanisms                  

11.                        scatology              study of excrement

12.                        fecal                      pertaining to body waste        

13.                        carnage                 slain flesh  

14.                        pile                       single hemorrhoid         

15.                        hemorrhoids         sores

16.                        urethra                 bladder tube        

17.                        prostrate              gland                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

18.                        typhoid                communicable disease   

19.                        incognito              disguised

20.                        epiphany              divine revelation





Above: Never Patented Hand Washing Enforcer Invention Design (circa 1953)



Restroom Door Posting of Handwashing Abusers