May 2008

Pop Quiz! What is Your TQ?

Author: Paul deVere

Face the facts. They’re coming. Some of you will run away to Nantucket or Highlands before they get here. You’ll say it’s because of the heat. Yeah. Sure. We’ve got your number. (Incidently, having your number is very fortunate for us because, if it gets REALLY bad, we may need a place to crash.)

For those of us who actually have to stay here, there is an obvious need to be prepared for the onslaught of close to two million people who will soon come rushing to our beaches, golf courses, tennis courts and jet skis. That ballooning of bodies on our shores can be a cause of stress for us local citizens, to say nothing of our pets.

The key to survival, we have learned, can be summed up in one word: “tolerance”—the ability to tolerate certain behaviors. As a public service, we have devised a test for your “TQ” (Tolerance Quotient). The higher your TQ, the better your chances of surviving the season. If your TQ is low (or actually goes into negative territory), we advise that, for the next three months, you stay indoors, watch old movies, and order out. (Note: the pizza delivery will take twice as long during this period. Plan accordingly.)

Get paper and pencil. There is no time limit.

Situation: A GPS-guided SUV drives up into your front yard (which does not have a driveway). The driver hops out with a short-term rental company’s map in hand and asks why you haven’t checked out yet. His children (three) begin unloading the SUV under the supervision of his wife who has directed the coolers be set down on your bed of Ostrich Plume ferns which the deer have ignored for five years now.

Do you:
A. Ask them in for a drink? (+25TQ)
B. Kindly explain that not all GPS systems are totally reliable and the house they are seeking is five roads down? (+10TQ)
C. Unleash the Rottweiler? (-15TQ)

Situation: It is a beautiful, early summer morning and you’re taking your run with your dog. You’re “in the zone,” feeling good about life. Suddenly you hear shouting behind you. You turn and see 43 bicycles bearing down on you at full tilt. They are on the path, off the path, running through shrubbery. The lead rider is about five feet behind you.

Do you:
A. Quickly move aside, wave and smile? (+25TQ)
B. Decide NOT TO shove a stick into the spokes of the lead bicycle? (+5TQ)
C. Unleash the Rottweiler? (-15TQ)

Situation: You rush to the grocery store for a bottle of basil for your Eggplant Parmigiana. It is Saturday afternoon, check-in time. The closest parking space is somewhere in Hardeeville. Somehow, you grab the bottle of basil and head for the “10 items or less” line. A person who has several hundred items in TWO CARTS cuts in front of you.

Do you:
A. Decide you’ll have waffles instead of the Eggplant Parmigiana (+25TQ)
B. Flip open your cell phone and yell, “You’re having the baby NOW?” and jump ahead of the two-cart person? (+10TQ)
C. With kind of a crazy smile, tell the two-cart person how great a day it is because your lawyer was able to deal it down to “simple assault and time served.” (-15TQ)

Situation: Your “neighbors” partied last night until 4 a.m. Now they are down at the beach, catching a few rays before they have to leave. Their suitcases and gear are in the driveway, next to the SUV. It was quite a party, what with the fireworks, (the one that landed on your roof was a dud), the beer, the really loud music and best of all, the fresh shrimp, the remains of which are ripening in the warm morning sun next to your bedroom window. You want to help make their week at the beach memorable.

Do you:
A. Leave a cute little card on the front porch wishing them a safe journey home? (+25TQ)
B. Walk the Rottweiler past the luggage and allow him to “leave his mark?” (-15TQ)
C. Put the shrimp shells into a paper bag and place it under the SUV’s driver seat. Way under. (-25TQ)

Okay. Total up. If your score is below a 50TQ, make sure your subscription to Netflix is paid. And remember to feed the dog.

Glad we could help.

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