April 14, 2008

The Prole-Q Test

Some people are asking, in the wake of Obama’s “elitist” comments, whether they are elites themselves. There must be some kind of a test. Outside The Beltway offers some criteria, and they’re right as far as they go. Let me propose my take on it, at least as a rough guideline. Bear in mind that this determines whether you could fit in with that crowd that Obama was speaking to about why small-town Pennsylvanians like their guns and churches, not necessary any value judgments on my part.

You start with 300 points. Now go bowl ten frames. For real, not on your Wii. (If a Wii was really an option, add fifteen points.) If you can’t do that right away, use your score from the last time you went bowling. If you’ve never been bowling, your score would be a zero. Subtract your bowling score from your point total. Did you smoke while you were bowling? Subtract fifty points if you did.

What did you drink while you were bowling?
a) Nothing – subtract 5 points
b) Soda – no change (but subtract 5 points if you call it "pop")
c) Domestic beer (major brand) – subtract 20 points
d) Domestic beer (microbrew) or import – add 30 points
e) Any drink that includes espresso – add 50 points
f) Mixed drink/cocktail – add 15 points unless it was a “wine margarita,” in which case subtract 15 points.
g) Bottled water – add 5 points for flat water, add 25 points for sparkling water.
h) Wine – add 50 points, because this is a bowling alley for crying out loud, who drinks wine in a bowling alley?

What statement most accurately describes the car or other vehicle that you used to get to the bowling alley (more than one answer may apply)?
a) Public transportation– subtract 25 points if you live outside the city limits of of New York City, Boston, or Washington D.C.
b) Vehicle suffers from deferred maintenance – subtract 10 points
c) Its chassis is less than six inches from the ground or more than three feet above the ground – subtract 50 points
d) It bears a decal of Calvin pissing on something – subtract 50 points
e) Less than 5 years since it rolled off the factory floor – add 10 points
f) Manufactured in Germany or Sweden and still under warranty– add 25 points (same if it’s a Lexus but not any other Japanese make)
g) Runs, in whole or in part, on something other than gasoline – add 50 points
h) Taxi – add 25 points
i) Walked there – subtract 10 points for living so close to a bowling alley.
j) Speakers to stereo emitted sound at levels louder than a jet engine – subtract 50 points.

For every window that is missing (not just cracked) from your vehicle right now, subtract 100 points.

Did you get drive-through on the way to or home from the bowling alley? If so, subtract 15 points. Subtract 50 more points if your drive-through included the purchase of any alcoholic beverage.

Do you own a firearm? If so, subtract 25 points for each firearm you own. Subtract an additional 25 points for each firearm that is not licensed.

Do you attend church regularly? If so, subtract 50 points, adding an additional point for every week that you skipped services for any reason whatsoever in the last calendar year. (Note that you may believe in God without deducting points; apparently, going to church is what makes you proletarian rather than merely having belief.)

Count the number of working televisions in your house. Multiply that number by 35 and subtract the total from your score.

Add one point for every thousand dollars of income you received last year, whether you reported it or not, whether you paid taxes on it or not. In addition, if you hired a tax professional to prepare your taxes for you, or you are a tax professional yourself, consult the following schedule and add all applicable points:
a) Schedule K-1 or Schedule C – add 50 points
b) Payment of Alternative Minimum tax – add 25 points
c) Capital gains – add 50 points
d) Tax return filed in more than one state – add 75 points
e) Tax return filed in more than one country – add 100 points

Add points based on your highest level of educational achievement according to the following schedule:
a) High school diploma – no change
b) G.E.D. – subtract 25 points (no, they are not the same)
c) Associate’s degree – no change
d) Vocational certificate – no change
e) Bachelor’s degree – add 5 points
f) Master’s degree – add 50 points
g) Professional or terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., J.D., M.D.) – add 100 points

If you’ve served in the military, subtract 10 points if you were (or are) enlisted personnel, add 10 points if you were (or are) a warrant officer, and add 25 points if you are an officer. Add an additional 25 points if you received your officer’s commission upon graduating from a military academy.

Is your emotional response to the symbol to the right a positive one? If so, subtract 50 points.

Does anyone in your family, to two degrees of separation, hold elective office? If so, add 50 points. Add an additional 50 points if you are the officeholder.

Are any windows in your home covered with aluminum foil, towels, cloth, or other window coverings other than blinds, curtains, or shades? If so, subtract 4 points for every square foot of window space so covered.

Do you have a valid passport? If so, add 10 points. Have you actually used it to travel abroad in the past five years? If so, add 50 points.

Do you punch a time clock or wear a name badge for your job? If so, subtract 10 points. If you are salaried and the amount of time or when you work does not affect your pay, add 10 points.

Add five points for each of the following magazines to which you subscribe: American Prospect, American Spectator, Architectural Digest, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, Mother Jones, The Nation, National Geographic, National Review, New Republic, The New Yorker (add twenty additional points if you subscribe to this magazine but do not live in the greater New York City metropolitan area), Reason, The Smithsonian, Town and Country, Utne Reader, Weekly Standard, any “lifestyle” magazine (defined as one which reviews restaurants) named for the city of its publication (Orange County magazine counts because if you read it you’re either in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, or aspire to be in one of those two places).

Subtract one point for every square inch of your body which has a tattoo. Double that score for tattoos or portions thereof which are visible while you are wearing pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Men other than Black men, subtract 10 points for each piercing in your ears. Black men and women of all racial groups, subtract 10 points for each piercing other than one per lobe that you have in your ears. Everyone, subtract 25 points for each piercing in a place other than your ears.

Add fifty points for each of the following people that you employ: gardener, maid, butler, cook, personal trainer, life coach.

When was the last time you were driven from any place to any other place in a limousine (does not include airport or car rental shuttles laughably called “limousines”)?
a) within the last week – add 50 points
b) within the last year – add 25 points
c) at my prom – no change
d) never – subtract 10 points

Are you gay? If so, add 25 points, whether you think you’re an “elite” kind of gay person or not. (A single experimentation in high school or college doesn’t count. The question asks about your full-time sexual preference. You know if you’re gay or not.)

Do you consume any kind of illegal drug or narcotic for recreational purposes? If so,
a) A joint every now and then – no change
b) Marijuana, more days than not – subtract 10 points
c) LSD (and you are currently in college) – subtract 10 points
d) LSD (and you are currently not in college) – subtract 25 points
e) Methamphetamine – subtract 50 points
f) Heroin – subtract 50 points
g) PCP – subtract 75 points
h) Crack cocaine – subtract 75 points
i) Powder cocaine – add 50 points
j) OxyContin, Demerol, Valium, or other narcotics obtained by prescription (other than medical marijuana) – add 75 points

Add one point for every book in your house. Do not count the first five cookbooks. You may include up to two Bibles and up to two devotional books. After that, subtract two points for every book that is explicitly devotional to a religion.

Add five points for every bottle of wine in your house.

Subtract 15 points for every motorsports event (i.e., NASCAR, drag racing, demolition derby) you have attended live. Subtract 5 points for every such event you have watched on television. Subtract 20 points for every rodeo you have attended live.

Turn on the radio in your vehicle. What kind of station is it tuned to?
a) NPR or Air America – add 40 points
b) News – add 5 points
c) Talk radio – subtract 10 points
d) Sports radio – subtract 20 points
e) Classical music – add 75 points
f) Christian preaching – subtract 20 points
g) Jazz – add 40 points
h) Classic rock – subtract 15 points
i) Easy listening – add 20 points
j) Pop or alternative rock – subtract 10 points if you’re under 25 years old, or 25 points if you’re older than that
k) Rap or hip-hop – subtract 25 points
l) Mexican/Latino music – subtract 25 points
m) Radio does not work / do not own vehicle – subtract 50 points
n) If station is on Sirius or XM radio – add 20 points to the above

Do you own a pet? If not, add 20 points, If so, for each add or subtract as follows:
a) Dog (other than below), subtract 10 points
b) Pit bull or other similar “attack” breed, subtract 25 points
c) Chihuahua, toy poodle, or other miniature breed, add 5 points
d) Domestic house cat, any breed, add 5 points
e) Bird, subtract 5 points, except chickens kept for food production, in which case subtract 15 points for each animal
f) Any reptile or amphibian, subtract 15 points
g) Horse, add 25 points
h) Other livestock animal (goat, cow, sheep), subtract 25 points
i) Ferret, baby pot-bellied pig, or other "exotic" mammal, subtract 20 points

A higher score is more social elite, a lower score is more proletarian. An “average” score – neither elite nor proletarian – will be in the 400-500 range. The further from that number you get, the more likely it is that you are an “elite” or a “prole.” There is no reason you cannot “go negative.” But if you have trouble working with negative numbers, subtract another 10 points.

Oh, me? I got about 750 (estimating my books), which is more or less where I thought I’d wind up – my professional job, preference for microbrews, and wine cabinet were the big factors.


bobvis said...

670. I went ahead and gave myself my degree. For me, the books were a killer. I estimated around 200 there.

You let me off the hook for biking to the bowling alley. I think I should have taken a hit for that. (Well, a positive one numerically.)

zzi said...

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