Can you touch type? Kudos. Big merit to you. Well it would be a big merit if you were completing the 100 Point Behaviour Test for Teenagers formulated in 1953 by Dr George Crane.
I’ve always thought touch-typing to be a necessary skill. Not sure that it contributes to the worth of a 2011 teenager though. Actually I wish I had the skill of fast texting that all teenagers inherit at birth. The skill that lays dormant and festering through childhood and then manifests itself in a frenzy of thumb tapping to sent out at lightning speed searching messages like “wazzup” on their thirteenth birthday. Me, I use the keyboard on my phone to send the equally searching but beautifully punctuated “How are you?” Fortunately (for my street cred) I have abandoned the emicon. That was a very lame period of my life.
Anyway back to the meritorious behaviour of the 1953 teen. Regular church attendance will score you ten merits, but showing racist behaviour—well that gets you a big demerit of five points. But being a racist is nowhere as bad as “illicit sexual relations” which earns the horny teen a whopping twenty demerit points. Let this be a lesson in moderation to you young people.
OK, I know you’re just dying to know other ways that the 1953 teen could redeem themselves. So here’s an incomplete list: play a musical instrument, sing in a choir (I’m sensing a theme), has operated a newspaper route , teach a Sunday school class, asks to be excused when leaving the table early, depends on the alarm clock to get up instead of mamma, knows how to swim and wipes toothpaste specks from the mirror. That’s a diverse list of requirements.
The list of demerits is equally varied. The errant teen: flirts while on a date or is a “two timer”, cheats at school, fails to clean the comb after using it, is grumpy or caustic in the morning and accepts foolish dares to please others (planking on railings anyone?).
Anyway in the interests of recapturing my lost youth, and the absence of any willing teenagers prepared to tell me the truth, I conducted the test on myself. I’ll tell you now I fell down on all the church and prayer stuff and the profanity bit and that whole thing about drinking alcoholic beverages and gambling. I also failed on all the musical merits. I did try singing in a choir, once, and I was so bad that they asked me to do the big smile and mouth the words. This suggestion has been repeated when I sing karaoke.
I did excel at the household chores though. I regularly take the garbage out without nagging, I can prepare an entire meal on my own and I know how to swim. I never stick gum under the table and have stayed away from home for a week. Whew—at least I got some in the positive column.
Anyway I’ve totted up my score and let’s just say I failed. Apparently I have the emotional intelligence of a kindergartner. The children of 1953 must have been very virtuous, or maybe this test is a crock.
Does Guitar Hero count as playing a musical instrument? Image