What, you don't know any rubber-fetishists?

'I scored a respectable 28, but I know a cross-dressing, celibate MP whose hobby is bribing policemen'
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The Independent Online

Forgive me for prying, but I just have to ask. How do your friends measure up? Individually, they are lovely people, of course, but imagine them all together in one place. How do they look? Are they a stimulating and richly varied group reflecting a true cross-section of age, culture, intellect and background? Or are they chillingly homogeneous, minor variations on a theme that is you?

Forgive me for prying, but I just have to ask. How do your friends measure up? Individually, they are lovely people, of course, but imagine them all together in one place. How do they look? Are they a stimulating and richly varied group reflecting a true cross-section of age, culture, intellect and background? Or are they chillingly homogeneous, minor variations on a theme that is you?

Now you can test the true variety of your circle of acquaintances in this exclusive Independent friendship test, in which you gain a mark if you know someone who:

1. Knows how to bribe a policeman.

2. Can navigate by the stars.

3. Has slept with a member of the royal family.

4. Can take out a contract on someone.

5. Can get you on to the Parkinson show as a guest.

6. Is a rubber fetishist.

7. Knows how to put a new engine in your car.

8. Has ridden in the Badminton Three-Day Event.

9. Is able to explain the ontological argument.

10. Would father a child for you.

11. Would be a surrogate mother for you.

12. Has had either breast or penile implants.

13. Knows whether it is true that the most efficient way to solve AX=B is to

invert A.

14. Can get your child into Eton next term.

15. Can stipple-glaze.

16. Can hack into your enemy's computer and wipe the hard drive.

17. Can get you a mention in the next Brett Easton Ellis novel.

18. Can't swim.

19. Can explain Superstring Theory to you.

20. Can get you into a crackhouse.

21. Can get you a dinner party invitation to Buckingham Palace.

22. Is celibate by choice.

23. Can play both the parts of "Duelling Banjos".

24. Has "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed on his or her knuckles.

25. Owns a ferret.

26. Owns a racehorse.

27. Can get you an "access all areas" pass to a Rolling Stones concert.

28. Has met Thomas Pynchon.

29. Can provide freshly killed piglets for your pet python.

30. Can darn a pair of socks.

31. Has been visited in prison by Lord Longford.

32. Can identify a Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

33. Can get you an allotment in Chelsea.

34. Is called Kylie.

35. Will remove the dags from your pet rabbit's rear end.

36. Drives a white Ford Transit.

37. Has work hung in Tate Modern.

38. Cross-dresses.

39 Can bake a rum soufflé.

40 Would be prepared to donate a kidney for you.

41 Can dope a greyhound.

42 Can tell you the names of all the characters in the Australian soap opera Home and Away.

43 Has sold film rights to Steven Spielberg.

44 Is a Freemason.

45 Can sleep standing up.

46 Can get you a gun.

47 Tucks his shirt into his pants.

48 Is a serving member of Parliament.

49 Has played football for a Premiership club.

50 Is in a persistent vegetative state.

How did you do? A quick estimate brings me in at a very respectable 28, but then I'm fortunate enough to know a cross-dressing, celibate MP whose favourite hobby is bribing policemen. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make some calls.

terblacker@aol.com

Miles Kington is on holiday

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