Little Tests of Quality

I like little tests you can do in a pinch to gauge the quality of a thing.

One that my dad is fond of saying is that you can gauge the quality of a neighborhood by the number of pickup trucks you see parked alongside the road. The fewer pickup trucks you see, the better the neighborhood.

A pretty good indicator of what the quality of a music album will be is the average length of the song titles. The shorter the song titles, the worse the album. I think this pretty much proves me right.

For books (fiction) you can simply judge them by their cover. The more the cover art resembles a scene that could actually take place, the less you can expect from that book. (You can also safely put back on the shelf any book whose jacket features art of a man running and be reasonably confident that you won’t be missing much)

There are tests for politics too. You can gauge the quality of a politician by the amount of time he spends during a speech or debate thanking people. The more time he spends, the less you can expect out of that politician. Another one is to count the number of times he uses the word “nonpartisan”. The fewer times the better. Don’t ever vote for somebody who is on record having publicly used the word “nonpartisan” more than at most two times during his entire life.

Got any others?

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6 responses to “Little Tests of Quality

  1. Complete the sentence.
    You can gauge the quality of a blog by…

    (man I’m really asking for it!)

  2. You can tell how much food you will get at a fancy restaurant based on the number of ingredients you might actually have in your own house. If you don’t recognize anything outside of the meat, expect a quarter-sized dollop of food.

  3. For the bachelor who eats out six days a week it almost defeats the point, yeah? (almost, but not quite)

  4. When dealing in “localized” food, outside a localized location.

    If it says “Authentic”
    or, “Philadelphia Cheese Steak”
    or “Maryland Crab Cakes”

    Its crap.

    Conversely, its a “Cheese Steak”
    or a “Crab Cake”.

  5. This isn’t a sliding scale like the rest of the tests, but any movie with the tagline “This is no game” is going to be a waste of everyone’s time. (See, for example, Super Mario Brothers, Wing Commander, etc.)

  6. I could use a test to tell me, before I commit the next half hour of my day to watching it, if a given rerun of Seinfield is going to be mostly funny or mostly not. Maybe something about Kramer’s door entrance gives the clue…

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