TWO-FACED? Moi? ... HOW TO TELL IF YOU'RE A HYPOCRITE

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Indy Lifestyle Online
1. You move to an inner London borough with a comprehensive school 10 minutes from your house. It has a new young head and an active parents' association who are trying to improve things. But its examination results are still mediocre and it has a reputation for roughess. Do you:

a) Get your children's names down for next term, then join the PTA and offer to serve as a governor to sort out this image problem once and for all?

b) Teach the kids a few self-defence moves, tell them to wear their cycling helmets to school and invest the money you save on fees in an Emerging Markets PEP?

c) Book yourself in for open days at Westminster, St Paul's and boarding schools in the South-east, explaining to friends that while you're desperate to support the state system, your children's asthma problems make inner- city education in a "sick" building so close to a main road an impossibility?

2. Awarded promotion, you are offered a 5-series BMW and parking place at the office, though you currently get the train to work (which takes half the time of driving, anyway). Do you:

a) Protest that you don't need such a gas guzzler, insist that you get a "perfectly sensible" Rover Metro instead and organise a lift-sharing rota for colleagues in your area?

b) Get seriously pissed off that Keith in accounts has the faster 3-litre version, therefore take yours in to a garage to be retuned, have the suspension lowered and alloy wheels fitted?

c) Claim to be aghast at environmental pollution, but drive to work in your shiny new car because you have to do the school run in the morning (your child's private school is miles from your home)?

3. Cable television may be coming to your area. You know that 90 per cent of its channels are rubbish and laying the cable may involve cutting through roots of precious local trees. Do you:

a) Throw away the brochure, continue to limit family TV viewing to 2 hours a day and keep the Roberts wireless you inherited from an aunt tuned to the Home Service?

b) Trade up to a 48-inch screen Nicam digital stereo TV for the bedroom so that you can really get the benefit of the German porn channel?

c) Order cable because they're going to dig up the road anyway and tell friends you watch it only because it provides such a telling sociological insight into mass-market tastes?

4. Your daughter comes home from school in tears, having just been shown a film of lambs and calves being transported to slaughter. Do you:

a) Sit her down with a herbal tea and explain that that's why you eat only pulses and Quorn in your house?

b) Fry her some beefburgers, tell her she'll die within three weeks if she doesn't eat meat, and teach her how to kill a chicken cleanly?

c) Gently steer her away from the tins of foie gras you've bought for Saturday's dinner party, and tell her she must go veggie if she wants to, only Mummy can't because of a digestive problem?

5. A helpful neighbour spots you putting out your rubbish, brimming with wine bottles. She points out that there is a bottle bank only 100 yards down the road. Do you:

a) Thank her warmly, ask where the nearest paper recycling bank is and engage her in a long discussion about your plans for solar heating?

b) Tell her to mind her own business and that you'd no more use recycled lavatory roll than you would extra-coarse sandpaper?

c) Explain that that's where you usually go (when you're not feeling ill), while making a note to yourself to close the rubbish bags properly in future?

6. A private health firm bombards you with introductory offers to take out insurance with them. You believe passionately in the NHS but recognise the impossible strains it is under. Do you:

a) Threaten the insurance firm with legal action unless they kindly remove your name from their mailing list?

b) Sign up with six firms, then cancel five of your subscriptions once all your free carriage clocks have arrived?

c) Hum and hah, say it's outrageous to be blackmailed in this fashion, then make sure that your wife's company health plan is extended to cover you, too, because it's only right that people with your income should not take up resources needed by others?

7. Friends tell you that a Filipino cleaner they employ is quite simply the best thing on two legs and a Hoover - and ridiculously cheap. Their only caveat is that she's an illegal immigrant. Do you:

a) Decline the invitation on the grounds that you cannot condone what amounts to slave labour, and strike them off your invitation list for the annual Nicaraguan charity picnic?

b) Offer her half her current hourly rate and if she says no, threaten to report her to the Home Office?

c) Employ her on the grounds that she must be sending her wages home and that you will be assisting Third World development by paying her?

8. Visiting hip Fulham Road furniture makers "Chip 'n' Dale's Designs for Living" you see the dining table of your dreams: vast, quirky, a one- off, but made of mahogany. Do you:

a) Protest loudly about the need to save precious hardwood forests and call Talking Pages for the nearest branches of MFI?

b) Buy it and place an order for eight matching chairs?

c) Tell them to deliver it after dark, having removed all labels from the packing; meanwhile, start telling your friends you've had it in the family for years and they'll see it as soon as you've had it restored to look like new?

9. For men. Your secretary goes sick and is replaced by a 19-year-old who is taking a break from modelling. She wears the shortest skirts since Twiggy and at the end of the first day perches herself on the edge of your desk. Do you:

a) Tell her if she behaves like that you'll have to report her to personnel before telephoning her mother?

b) Immediately call your wife to warn her of the prestigious project which will keep you at work all week?

c) Smile like a rabbit stuck in the headlights of an oncoming car as you struggle to remove your wedding ring and discreetly sweep your children's photographs into the bin before suggesting dinner?

10. For women. You have a date to cook dinner for your reliable but dull boyfriend to whom you've always pledged your loyalty. But at the last moment that bloke from design you have always fancied - you are sure he is Ralph Fiennes's brother - asks you to dinner at a swanky restaurant. Do you:

a) Threaten to hit him with your carrots unless he stops harassing you?

b) Call your boyfriend's sister to explain woman-to-woman why you are giving her little brother the heave-ho?

c) Tell your boyfriend you've got a work dinner and decide its best to leave it to the chardonnay to determine whether to spend the night with Ralph?

How did you answer?

If mostly a), you are a saint - expect your canonisation papers in the post any day.

If mostly b), you are a hopelessly unreconstructed Eighties boor and defiler of the planet - but at least you're consistent.

If mostly c), you are that Nineties archetype, a 24-carat hypocrite.

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