Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Competent Man - - UK Version

Over on my sidebar, you'll see a description of the Competent Man, as described by Robert A. Heinlein:

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

Well, the UK magazine Country Life has developed its own version of the list:

1. Cook three different dinner party menus

2. Say 'Can you help me please' in Arabic, Cantonese, Urdu, Spanish and Russian

3. Play a musical instrument, even if it's just the tom-toms or a mouth organ

4. Ride a horse to jackaroo standard

5. Be a 'tech whisperer', able to fix and set up the latest technogadgets

6. Talk about five classics of English literature with authority and passion

7. Perform resuscitation on someone who has stopped breathing

8. Know how to grow carrots from seed, distinguish five native trees, identify 20 flowers and arrange a bunch

9. Handle a shotgun, skin a rabbit, gut a fish and pluck a pigeon

10. Repair a bicycle puncture and fix the chain

11. Dance the eightsome reel, waltz to Strauss and bop to Lady Gaga

12. Taste the difference between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay and know how to mix a mojito or margarita

13. Write a memorable thank you letter

14. Recognise music by Mozart, Elgar and Handel

15. Put up a shelf and change a plug

16. Tie a bow tie, bowline and Bloody Butcher

17. Sail a boat across the Solent

18. Carve a joint of meat

19. Tell the difference between Gothic, Baroque and Palladian architecture

20. Make a speech, entertain an audience with a joke or an anecdote, and sing at least two songs by heart

21. Drive a tractor, reverse a trailer, renew engine oil and change a wheel

22. Find their way round five capital cities

23. Host a party and put others at their ease

24. Sustain a 10-shot rally at tennis

25. Build a bonfire and lay a fire

26. Perform three good card tricks

27. Identify five constellations and find the North Star

28. Score a cricket match

29. Talk knowledgeably about five British landmarks

30. Uncork and pour a bottle of Champagne

31. Iron a shirt, sew on a button and sew up a hem

32. Amuse small children for at least an hour with magic tricks and storytelling

33. Read a map, pitch a tent and pack a rucksack

34. Be authoritatively acquainted with at least one work by da Vinci, Constable, Degas, Turner and Canaletto

35. Manage a bank account

36. Slip away from a football riot

37. Address a member of the Royal Family

38. Complain effectively but politely in a restaurant

39. Deliver a lamb

A larger list than Heinlein's, obviously. What would you include on your own list?

1 comment:

North said...

"32. Amuse small children for at least an hour with magic tricks and storytelling"

Apparently I can make balloon animals to entertain children. I didn't even know that.

<a href=">Pulled it out of my...</a>