The Dirty, Disgusting, Diseased

Comprehension Questions



The Slough of Despond, A.K.A. The Pond


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


            _______   1.  Jerry’s skin cancers were caused by

                                    the pond water.   

                                    (T)rue or (F)alse         


            _______   2.   Jerry did not compare himself to:                                           

                                    a.  Neil Armstrong

                        b.  A pirate

c. A fisherman

d. Elvis Presley                                                                      

            _______   3.   The vehicle Jerry encountered was:    

                                    a.  farmer Vandermollen’s  tractor

                                    b.  a Wicker Park police patrol car

                                    c.  The greens-keeper’s tractor

                                    d.  Teenager’s  OTV


            ________  4.  Jean Shepherd and Jerry  Woodfill attended high school together.

                                    (T)rue or (F)alse.


            ________  5.   The third hole pond was:

                                    a. ideal for swimming.

                                    b. a winter ice hockey rink.

                                    c. used to water the green grass.

                                    d. a children’s wading pool.


            ________   6. What was good about retrieving balls?

                                    a. The sweet smell of pond water.     

                                    b. The interesting aquatic life.

                                    c.  The diseases one might catch.

                                    d.  The valuable golf balls recovered.


            ________  7.   What was the ball bag not like?

                                    a. a hangman’s noose

                                    b. a laundry sack

                                    c. Neil Armstrong’s space suit pocket

                                    d. Superman’s red cape


            ________  8. Creek water did not include:

                                    a. detergent

                                   b. urine

                                    c. feces

                                    d. napalm


            _________ 9. The balls found were classed as:

                                    a. gimmes

                                    b. muddies

                                    c. practice range dregs

                        d. all of the above


            ________  10. What diseases were a threat?

                                    a. Malaria

                                    b. Encephalitis

                                    c. Dengue Fever

                                    d. the golf bug


            _________ 11.What increased the risk/reward ratio?           

                                    a. a sickle-swinging-greens-keeper

                                    b. mosquitoes

                                    c. microscopic pond contagion

                                    d. all of the above


            _________ 12. What lowered the risk/reward ratio?

                                    a. lack of watch dogs

                                    b. no night watchmen

                                    c. no get-away car needed

                                    d. blood-sucking-leaches


            _________ 13. What movie is like the account?

                                    a. Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm

                                    b. Lassie

                                    c. Creature From the Black Lagoon

                                    d. It’s a Wonderful Life


            _________ 14. Jerry is an amateur expert on skin cancer.     

                                    (T)rue or (F)alse



            _________ 15. Jerry risked the pond because?

                                    a  it was too dark to see him

                                    b. he knew exactly where it was        

                                    c. the pond was near his home

                                    d. all of the above


            _________ 16. Why did balls end up in the pond?

                                    a. squirrels put them there.

                                    b. the greens-keeper planted them

                                                to catch golf ball-thieves

                                    c. duffers (lousy golfers) hit bad shots

                                    d. none of the above


            _________  17. How did Jerry seine for balls?

                                    a. with a cat-fish net

                                    b. using an underwater  rake

                                    c. scuba diving

                                   d. using his hand like a rake


            _________  18. How did Jerry deal with the odor?

                                    a.  wore an Army-surplus gas mask

                                    b.  by breathing through his mouth

                                    c.  vomiting to empty his stomach

                                    d.  wearing a perfumed painter’s mask


            _________  19. Jerry escaped by:                              

                                    a. going unseen under water              

                                    b. hiding in his ball-bag

                                    c. crawling behind the green

                                    d. asking the greens-keeper if he’d

                                                seen Jerry’s lost dog


            _________ 20.  The bad morning  odor was?                                                           

                                    a. the Gary steel mill smog

                                    b. marauding nocturnal skunks

                                    c. the golf course “out-house”

                                    d. the nocturnal green watering         



The Dirty, Disgusting, and Diseased Vocabulary List

            Word                           Synonym

1.   dermatologist              skin doctor                             

2.   encapsulating              enclosing

  1.  proactive                    planning ahead
  2. devotee                       follower
  3. illicit                            wrongful
  4. reclamation                  recovery, restoration

7.   dearth                          shortage

8.   affluent                       wealthy

  1. proletarian                   working-class 
  2. pristine                                    new, unblemished                  
  3. dregs                           residue, sludge
  4. pedigree                      origin, heritage
  5. matriculated                enrolled                      
  6. providence                  divine guidance
  7. host                             multitude, large group
  8. spoils                           loot
  9. marauders                    pirates, looters
  10. vagrant                                    hobo, tramp, street person
  11. host                             multitude, large number
  12. interloper                     invader, intruder trespasser
  13. predisposed                 prepared, ready
  14. excrement                    waste, fasces  
  15. fetid                            fowl smelling
  16. tepid                            lukewarm
  17. covertly                                   secretly
  18. quagmire                     swamp, bog, slough
  19. regolith                        covering substance
  20. myriad                         immense number
  21. excommunicated         cast out of, removed, purged
  22. incorrigible                  rebellious
  23. expletives                    curse words
  24. miscreants                   villains, wrongdoers 
  25. seining                         netlike catching
  26. clandestine                  secretive
  27. coffers                         treasure chest, strong box