Review Feature

What it takes to join the Babysitters' Club


There are two ways to hire a teen-age babysitter. You can blindly enlist the first applicant who comes along and pray for the best. Or you can ask all comers to complete the following, scientifically-prepared multiple-choice quiz, glom onto the first prospect who circles answers (a) or (b) more than once ...and pray for the best.

To date, the personal achievement of which I am proudest is ...

a) my scholastic record.

b) being elected class president.

c) the scorpion tattoo on my thigh.

I choose to work as a babysitter because I love ...

a) children.

b) responsibility.

c) making free, two-hour phone calls to my boyfriend who recently moved to Guam.

Once the parents have left for the evening, my first duty is to ...

a) make sure the children are happy and comfortable in my care.

b) discuss the sort of behavior I expect from them.

c) load them into my car, drive to another state, change their identities, and force them to call me "Mommy."

While babysitting, I'd never invite large groups of friends into the home unless ...

a) I'd been given permission.

b) they were homeless.

c) the wet bar was very well stocked.

Nor would I allow complete strangers into the house unless they were ...

a) police officers.

b) FBI agents.

c) real cute with tight buns.

The best way to deal with a crying child is to ...

a) hug him until he stops.

b) buy him an ice cream cone.

c) lock the monster in a closet and crank up the stereo until his parents pull into the driveway.

If a child in my care were missing, I would ...

a) search the house.

b) go to the grocery store and draw his picture on milk cartons.

c) keep my eye peeled during the next keg run.

In case of an emergency, I would ...

a) call 9-1-1.

b) call the parents.

c) call my best friend Heather to find out if she and Jason, like, really and truly broke up or WHAT.

In the event of fire, I would ...

a) contact the fire department.

b) locate the fire extinguisher.

c) vow never again to free base during paint-sniffing parties unless absolutely necessary.

If a child in my care were to choke on a small object, I would ...

a) try to perform "the Heimlich maneuver."

b) try to say "the Heimlich maneuver."

c) call Heather to see if SHE can say "the Heimlich maneuver."

The best way to handle outbreaks of physical violence between children is ...

a) to mediate without taking sides.

b) to scream, "Hit the little creep for me!"

c) to state firmly and sincerely, "If you smash his head into the TV screen before the end of "The Real World," I'm gonna show you what a punch in the face REALLY feels like!"

My favorite game to play with toddlers is ...

a) peek-a-boo.

b) hide-and-seek.

c) bite-the-tequila-worm.

When the parents return home and ask how their children behaved, I will ...

a) think of something complimentary to say, no matter how difficult they might have been.

b) wildly distort the truth in hopes of getting a few extra bucks.

c) stare blankly and say in your snottiest tone, "How the heck should I know? Maybe you failed to notice, bu I've got a life to live, too!"

I'm setting aside the money I earn by babysitting for ...

a) my college education.

b) antibiotics.

c) my previous employers, who accused me of making $7,426 worth of long-distance phone calls to Guam.

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