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The Oily Rag Test

The Oily Rag Test – by Frank and Muriel Newman

It’s quiz time. How do your oily rag skills rate? Here’s your chance to find out, by taking the oily rag test. Answer these simple questions, then see how you rate.

1. You just haven't got enough time to clean up around the house. What do you do?
a) Hire someone to give you a hand.
b) Do nothing - put up with the mess.
c) Remind the family of the age-old oily rag saying: "Those who maketh the mess, cleaneth it up!"
[Score 0 if you answered A, and 5 points if you answered B or C]

2. The latest movie has just been released and the kids are pestering you to go. What do you do?
a) Give in and pay whatever it takes to stop them from nagging.
b) Wait for the movie to come out on video, or on the TV.
c) Suggest the kids read a good book instead.
d) Suggest they earn their own money.
[Score 0 if you answered A, 5 points if you answered B or C, and 10 if you answered D]

3. Your partner suggests starting a garden. What's do you say in response?
a) "We do have a garden, dear. Where do you think our vegetables come from?"
b) "Great! When do we start?"
c) "Are you kidding? Where am I going to find the time to watch TV and do gardening?"
[Score 5 if you answered A or B, and 0 if you answered C]

4. Your nephew comes up and says, "Hey, 'ow about $100 so I kin get some Reeboks?" How do you reply?
a) "Shouldn't you be at school?"
b) "Oh, you poor little boy. Here's $100 and another $100 for being such a nice lad."
c) "Here's 50 cents. Now go down to the op-shop and buy yourself a pair of sandshoes."
[Score 5 if you answered A or C, and 0 if you answered B]

5. When did you last go to KFC?
a) KF what?
b) Ages ago.
c) I'm reading this in a KFC restaurant!
[Score 5 if you answered A or B, and 0 if you answered C]

6. What did you order the last time you did go to a KFC restaurant?
a) The works - BIG bucket, fries, drink, sundae!
b) Nothing. I only went in to use the toilet.
c) Whatever was on special.
[Score 5 if you answered B or C, and 0 if you answered A]

7. You are doing your weekly shopping. You inadvertently walk down the chocolate biscuits aisle. And there they are right in front of your nose, almost touching your lips - you can almost taste them - your favourite, chocolate-coated biscuits. And if that's not tempting enough, they're on special! Your mouth starts watering, your fingers tingle, your hand almost involuntarily reaches forward… what do you do?
a) Grab chocolate bickies by the armful.
b) Resist the temptation and repeat three times "No, I'm living off the smell of an oily rag."
c) Resist the temptation and repeat three times, "No, I'm living off the smell of an oily rag" - then grab them by the handful!
[Score 0 if you answered A, 5 for B, and 2 for C]

8. You are thinking about buying a new car. What do you do next?
a) Forget about it. Use your pushbike instead.
b) Decide how much you can afford to spend then look at the "cheapies" in the Cars for Sale section of your local newspaper. Keep looking until you find a bargain.
c) See how much a finance company will advance to you.
[Score 5 if you answered A or B, and 0 if you answered C]

And now for your score.

Less than 20: Oh boy. Visit three times a day after food, until the symptoms disappear.

20-30: Could be better, but give yourself a small pat on the back.

More than 30: Congratulations. Give yourself a BIG pat on the back, and join the Oily Rag Club by going to

The book Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag by Frank & Muriel Newman is available from all good bookstores or online at If you have a favourite living off the smell of an oily rag tip, share it with others by visiting the oily rag website or write to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.

* Frank and Muriel Newman are the authors of Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag in NZ . Readers can submit their oily rag tips on-line at The book is available from bookstores and online at

© Scoop Media

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