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Are you a Damned Young Person?

I was recently asked how old someone needs to be in order to no longer qualify as a “damned young person.”

While I wasn’t able to come up with a specific number, I found the notion of “qualifying” interesting and would wholly support the idea of young people having to take some kind of a test in order to graduate formally into adulthood.

Should a test be developed, I’d recommend that it start off with some simple questions to determine aspects of character and maturity level. For example:

The test could then follow up with a series of multiple choice questions designed to examine moral fibre, gauge their knowledge of world events and test their gumption. Sample questions might include things like:

I’d also include basic logic questions in order to make sure individuals had some modicum of brain power and common sense:

And, finally, I’d include a simple art assignment in order to ensure basic motor skills, simple hand/eye coordination and just because I happen to be fond of damned ducks.

Now I’m no Alfred Binet but it seems to me a test like this would practical and easy to administer. The responses could be completed on-line and then reviewed by a quasi-judicial tribunal of respected community seniors who would be charged with the responsibility of assessing answers and assigning one of the following grades:

87 Comments leave one →
  1. 6:33 pm

    I was almost about to get cranky about my day then this showed up in my email and made me laugh. Thanks, Don.

    • 6:41 pm

      Thank you azahar.

      Always nice to hear from you. I trust you’d pass with no trouble whatsoever – and could sketch a damned decent likeness of a duck as well.

      All the best and thanks for stopping in.


  2. Lori Hoffman permalink
    6:50 pm

    You are pretty good on the pc for an old guy! As usual I love reading your blog. I am a middle aged person. Well Actually I plan to live to be 100 and I am only 46, so I guess that means I have yet to reach middle age. I do have kids though who are in their 20’s even who resemble a lot of your posts!

    • 7:01 pm

      Thank you Lori,

      Nice of you to visit. I like to think I can find my away around a keyboard (the magnifying glass helps and I’ve had some assistance from assorted family members too.)

      It’s good that you have goals and a 100 is a fine target. Personally, I’m aiming for 150 but that might just be because I’m nearing the finish line and wouldn’t mind pushing it back a tad.

      Be mindful of those kids!

      All the best,


  3. 6:52 pm

    Absolute peach of a post, Mr. Mills. Thank you for sharing your wit and wisdom.

  4. 6:52 pm

    i’d love to take the test, don, but i’ve misplaced my glasses, and i can’t make out the questions. hmmmm….i guess i don’t have to take the test to know the answer as to whether i’m a young person. 😦

    • 7:02 pm

      Thanks Nonnie,

      I was originally tempted to suggest that not being able to make out the questions was an automatic pass but then I got to thinking that there could be a whole host of unsavory reasons for not being able to read them. Still, provided the problem is spectacle related I think we’re safe to assume you’d pass with flying colors.

      Best regards,


  5. 7:27 pm

    I guess it is true that age is just a state of mind. Of course, the average young person wouldn’t have the attention span to complete the test, so that just shows how far they are from adulthood right there.

    • 8:55 pm

      Thank you bmj2k,

      A fine point. I expect that any “officially sanctioned” test would need to be modified for length in order to ensure that damned young people had a fighting shot at completing it.

      All the best and thanks for stopping in.


  6. Al M permalink
    7:33 pm

    I have to cry “fowl’ on this test Don. How am I supposed to draw some foolish-looking duck with my damned arthritis?

    • 8:57 pm

      Thank you Al,

      I think the fact that you identified it as a “foolish looking duck” and managed to work in a decent pun exempts you from any further testing.

      Consider yourself on the honor roll.

      Best regards,


  7. 8:02 pm

    Damn it, Don – I was doing really well verifying my status as an ‘oldster’ on those questions till you asked me to draw a friggin duck –

    • 9:00 pm

      A fine effort Duncan.

      Decent work on the bill and full marks for not including a pierced bill or a giving it a damned mohawk hair cut. Plus, the receding feathers was a very touch.

      Good to hear from you.

      All the best,


    • 11:47 pm

      Love your duck 🙂

  8. 8:30 pm

    An excellent test (which I got an A on, of course), but I’m afraid that even being properly curmudgeonly still has its flaws: a typo on Part 3, #2: “An old leave his home.” Should probably be “An old man leaves his home….”

    It’s okay – happens to the best of us.

    • 9:01 pm

      Thank you Chris,

      I appreciate you pointing out the error. “More hurry, less speed” as my old mom used to say. I’ll try to get that fixed up as quickly as I can.

      All the best and congratulations on the “A.”


  9. 8:42 pm

    You may have surpassed yourself with this one. I don’t know how you’re going to top it, but I have faith you will find a way.

    Your devoted,
    Fantastic Forrest

    • 9:02 pm

      Thank you Fantastic Forrest,

      I truly appreciate the kind words. Hope you’re well.

      Best regards,


  10. 9:01 pm

    Absolutely loved it–especially the story problem about how long the useless “D” average kid. Priceless.

    • 12:38 am

      Many thanks Heidi.

      Glad you enjoyed it. Sadly, that George lad is a not too fictionalized representation of the damned kid next door. He drives me around the bend.

      All the best and thanks again for visiting.


  11. Dr Tim permalink
    11:10 pm

    Dear Don

    In answering Part Three, Question Two, I’m wondering whether to factor in some extra time to address prostate-related stops?

    Best Regards

    Dr Tim

    • 12:42 am

      Thank you Dr. Tim,

      I think it would be unwise not to. Well played – I imagine you’d pick up bonus marks for advanced reasoning and common sense.

      Best regards to you as well.


      • Dr Tim permalink
        7:53 am

        Thanks Don

        Take a couple of Flomax two hours before setting off and nine stops ought to do it.

        Best Regards

        Dr Tim

  12. 11:24 pm

    Another highly useful tool which I shall perhaps use when interviewing 25-year old straight-outta-Uni ‘candidates’ for a proper job.

    So far I have had to rely on “Do you ever eat cereals NOT at breakfast time?” to sort the mature wheat from the damned young person chaff.

    Many thanks and good wishes from London

    • 12:50 am

      Thank you pascalescheurer,

      A good additional question. And I quite enjoyed the phrase “sort the mature wheat from the damned young person chaff.” I’ll likely use that one down at the seniors centre.

      If you’re having problems with candidates, they may want to review this:

      It gives young people some tips on how to conduct themselves when looking for work. Little things like “commit your name to memory,” “know what job you’ve applied for” and “brush the McMuffin off your chin before walking through the door.”

      Thanks again and all the best,


    • Sedate Me permalink
      3:25 pm

      However, it’s vitally important to ask what kind of cereal you’re eating beyond breakfast time.

      For example, eating Bieber Fever Pops with 38 grams of sugar per serving and running around yelling “Wooooo!” all night is a lot different than putting your feet up, turning on a PBS nature special and drifting off to sleep while eating a bowl of porridge….or “Cream of Wheat”, as the case may be.

  13. 12:42 am

    Whew! Glad to know I’m an adult…..I would draw Psyduck.

    • 1:21 am

      Thank you trisho,

      Psyduck? Sounds like some kind of hallucinogenic take-out food. Very troubling.

      I appreciate your optimism but you might not want to count your chickens (or psyducks) before they’re hatched. Based on your comment, I think your test results may need further analysis by the senior review panel.

      All the best,


  14. 12:56 am

    Victory. I am a young person free of damnation. I admit I have never been to Peoria, so cannot locate a good tea biscuit there. However, I can make them from scratch, so I hope that counts.

  15. 1:10 am

    What if you are an adult who is exceptionally juvenile?

    • 4:07 pm

      Thank you Bearman,

      That would be the point of the test – to identify those people who assume they are an adult simply because they managed to turn the corner on 20, 30 or 40. In my view, people remain in the damned young person category until such time as they have demonstrated enough gumption, common sense and maturity to earn the label of adult.

      If Oscar is sitting still sitting in his parent’s basement while downloading pornography, playing video games and having his aged mother wash his unmentionables I don’t care if he’s 18 or 40 – he’s a damned young person.

      Trust you’re well, Bearman, and that I’ve clarified matters for you.

      All the best,


  16. 2:03 am

    I tried to draw Tippy once, but the Art Correspondence School told me to save my own money.

    I’ll answer Part III here:
    1) A parent should have sent him to a military school in Siberia before the younggin’ got like that.
    2) It’s a trick question! It would take two days because an old person can’t be bothered being behind the wheel for that long.

    • 5:36 pm

      Thanks very much Ahmnodt,

      Well, as I’ve always said, if you can’t trust correspondence schools that advertise in the backs of comic books who can you trust.

      As for the Part III questions, I’d say you got the first one right – that boy should have been sent to military school the moment he was plucked from the teat. And for the drive, well 48 hours is close but not quite the answer I was looking for. Review your long division, Ahmnodt and don’t forget to carry the 3.

      Best regards,


  17. 3:31 am

    the answer to part 3… would be…. 8:55pm
    walk out the door at 8 am
    then needs a few minute to warm up the old engine
    starts out at 8:15am..

    9:30am – washroom break for 15 min. (needs some time to get back to his car)

    11:15am – drive into a dinner for lunch and another pit stop
    needs time to drink his coffee and do some crossword puzzle.

    1pm he starts off again

    2:45pm takes another pit stop for 15 minutes. And maybe to get a drink.

    4:30pm take another pit stop for 15 minutes. Need to have some water too.

    6:15pm Need some water and dinner. More coffee and crossword.

    7:15pm leave again for his trip.

    gets to his destination at 8:55pm.

    • 5:39 pm

      Excellent work arei87,

      Very well done. All you need to do is factor in the mid-day nap and a few wrong turns along the way and you’ll be bang on.

      All the best and thanks for visiting,


  18. 3:43 am

    I would only consider a read to be long with 140 characters if that was the actual number of well-developed fictional people detailed within the story.
    Les Mis could possibly qualify.

    Your blog makes me ashamed to take the title “teenager”. But I suppose it is well deserved, despite the fact I have never, nor intend to, “pimp” anything in the near future. And that is what most teenagers would call a “duck-drawing fail”. Including myself.

    • 11:12 pm

      Thank you Aloha,

      I’m no art critic but it looked like a reasonable effort to me. I didn’t care for the graffiti all around it but the duck itself was pretty damned decent. Frankly, given that your a teenager, I was just pleased to see that you hadn’t included some form of exaggerated genitilia. All if all, well done lad.

      Keep on reading lad. It will serve you well.

      All the best and many thanks for visiting.


      • 6:36 am

        Used the wrong “your”, Mr. Grammar Nazi.

        [Insert some sort of emoticon or text language here, such as “XD” or “:)” or “lolz”.]

        “Graffiti” comes from trying to write with a trackpad. You try it, and I promise your writing wouldn’t be neater.

        • 12:52 pm

          No offence meant, lad.

          As I said, a decent job.

          All the best.


          • 1:39 am

            Oh, trust me, if I easily took offense to sarcastically negative comments about my generation, I wouldn’t be subscribed to your blog. It’s your niche.

            All I’m saying is that just because it’s handwritten doesn’t mean it’s graffiti.

  19. 7:03 am

    A hilarious read as usual, Mr. Mills. I always look forward to your posts, as I share your feelings and appreciate the humorous delivery!

    • 11:29 pm

      Many thanks Sunny,

      Very nice of you to stop in and leave me a comment. Much appreciated.

      All the best,


  20. misswhiplash permalink
    7:44 am

    At 72 years of age I still consider myself to be a young person, the only difference between me and ‘them’ is that I can spell, write, speak properly and hold a conversation of more than two syllables.
    I am also polite and kind to other people.
    Imagine what it could be like in another few years!! diabolical!!

    Have a great day Don, and I hope that you are well

    • 11:44 pm

      Many thanks misswhiplash,

      I enjoyed reading your comment a great deal and respect the fact that you view yourself as a “young person.”

      It’s a personal choice but I prefer to think of myself as an older person. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be active, have ideas or be engaged – it just means I’m older. And in my view – being older has some considerable advantages over youth. Plus, I don’t care for the notion positioning “young” as somehow being the preferred state or something that people should strive for or aspire to. In any case…I suspect that at the end of the day our differences here have more to do with language than philosophy and, again, respect your position.

      Many thanks for visiting misswhiplash. I hope to hear from you again.

      Best regards,


  21. lookingforsomethingtofind permalink
    8:28 am

    I have never even heard “smuttenchops” before, that has to be an extra few points there. You have described though a few people I know. Several people in believe it or not, my college debate club( of all places) would qualify as F, or somehow below. Yes even a good old fashioned, hobby like debate has been ruined by roughians (next it will be shuffle board). Excellent post once again.

    • 11:47 pm

      Thank you lookingforsomethingtofind,

      I think we can likely allow a bonus mark for never having head the word “smuttonchops” before. In fact, I should likely dock myself a mark or two for being the one to introduce it to your vocabulary. (Amazing the words you pick up when you occasionally take public transit).

      Sorry to hear abou t the lads on the debate team (and ladies too I suppose). That is disappointing. Hopefully you can set a few of them straight – or at least steer them clear of shuffleboard.

      Always good to hear from you,


  22. Powerful Entity permalink
    9:32 am


    I think you missed the most important question of all that separates an adult from a damned young person:
    Q)How do you address your friends?

    2)By their name.

    I’m only 24, but your blog makes me feel old. But I’d rather be old than a damned young person.

    Powerful Entity

    • Sedate Me permalink
      3:30 pm

      What if you can’t remember their name?

      I use age-appropriate substitutes like “dude” quite often in order to hide the fact I have absolutely no idea who they are.

      • Powerful Entity permalink
        3:34 pm

        If you can’t remember your friends’ names, then you aren’t much of a friend, and you are a damned person, young or old.

    • 11:51 pm

      Thank you powerful entity,

      Funny you should mention that but in an earlier draft I had included a variation on that theme. A multiple choice question on how to greet a senior when you first meet. A) Yo yo yo pappy wazzup b) Hello, Sir, nice to meet you c) Hand over your wallet etc…..

      I’ll have to remember yours for the next version of the test. I tend to agree that if you great a friend or acquaintance with a hearty “Yo Nigga” you’re pretty much guaranteed to be a young person.

      All the best,


  23. amela permalink
    11:24 am

    fantastic post as usual. love your wit. hopefully one day ill be able to pass the test 😉

    • 11:52 pm

      Thank you amela,

      I’m sure, in time, you’ll pass with flying colors. Keep studying (and continue to draw waterfowl).



  24. 1:35 pm

    What on earth does smuttonchops mean? And as for George? well considering his parents have aready failed they should stop wasting time and just pack his bags immediately.

    • 12:08 am

      Thank you egills,

      At first I wondered if it was some rude comment about Shari Lewis but after some research have discovered it is a term for a girl of loose morals. Personally, I think it tries a little too hard.

      Nice to hear from you and thanks for visiting.


  25. 3:19 pm

    Well, this was damned funny but I was damn frustrated trying to read it on my email. The text was just too damned small and my monitor was too heavy to hold out at arm’s length. So I had to open my web browser to see what the words were. And now you’re getting this damned note because I’m tired of YOU damned young people … you’all think it’s funny to write in teeny coded text.

    • 12:13 am

      Thank you sue.

      I have to say I admire your ire – unfortunately I just don’t understand the comment. Reading it on your email? Small text?

      I typed this article in a decent sized font (a 14 Times Roman to be exact) and can read it just fine on my computer. I have no idea what the trouble might be but can assure you that I haven’t written anything in teeny tiny code since I worked for the Nixon administration.

      Sorry I can’t be of any more help.

      Best regards,


  26. Sedate Me permalink
    3:38 pm

    Mr Mills,

    I suspect I’d be in the B category, C at the worst. (Mostly because of my love of profanity and “super-fine bitches”.)

    Too bad this isn’t an interactive test…Or maybe you could set up a PO Box and we could use “snail mail” to send you the tests to grade. The act of sending a real piece of mail would also double as a great test question.

    • 12:21 am

      I have to say I’m surprised, Sedate Me, and a tad disappointed. I had you pegged for class valedictorian.

      Still, full marks for self-awareness and I’m sure, in time, you’ll manage to lick both cuss words and super-fine bitches. You’ve always struck me as a lad with a level head on his shoulders.

      Keep in mind that the test questions I propose are just examples and suggestions. Ideally, I would agree that this has to be an interactive test. And I support the idea of using the postal service to submit the results – partially as a nod to tradition and partially because it should also include mandatory drug testing and urine isn’t going to mail itself.

      All the best, Sedate me.


      • 2:41 pm

        I can’t wait to see Sedate Me start licking some “super-fine bitches.” It would go a long way towards altering my perception of his sexuality. I would also like to see him lick a few cuss words. It sounds like the kind of misdemeanor you’re unaware of until you’re arrested for it.

        • Sedate Me permalink
          2:40 pm

          I can’t wait to see Sedate Me start licking some “super-fine bitches.”

          I’ll bet you would. Clearly, you are a voyeur.

          Altering your perception of my sexuality? From a man-god who spends his days letting “super-fine bitches” kneel before him in worship as servants feed him grapes to a mere superhuman who can give a stamp machine a run for its money? (Postage paid: $0.69)

          While the majority of the licking is in my direction, I am not so self centred as to think myself above the occasional giving, especially to the bitches of the “super-fine” variety.

  27. 7:03 pm

    Dear Don,

    I suggest you require the test be completed on paper with a #2 Ticonderoga. The typical “damned young person” is unable to communicate without texting, tweeting or some other form of tapping.

    For extra credit, perhaps the astute test-taker could answer the question that leaped out at me, and no doubt many others: Why does the fictional fogey even WANT to go to Peoria? There are no fine tea biscuits there (although they do quite a nice meatball sandwich at Avantis.)



    • 12:28 am

      Thank you very much Peg,

      The #2 Ticonderoga is an outstanding recommendation and one I fully intend to incorporate into the next draft. My sincere thanks.

      I think there are many opportunities for extra credit on the Peoria question.

      Why indeed does he want to go there?
      Who was he planning to visit?
      How long might it take him to realize he was supposed to be going to “see Gloria” not “Peoria”?

      Really, there are marks for the taking if you just apply yourself.

      All the best,

  28. 8:17 pm

    Well that was just profound Mr Don. Top notch to you sir!
    I would certainly love to pass these around at my current job.

    • 7:06 pm

      Many thanks marinasleeps.

      Feel free to administer the test widely. As I’ve always said, the more people we can categorize and label the better.

      All the best,


  29. Wayne permalink
    11:36 pm

    This test is totlly fake and your knob is shrivelled and so our you. First of what does a duck have to do with it anyways its all just more of your usuall lameness. Som pepole just don’t know how to draw there called diplexicks. Ever heard of it??? Show some respect asshat unless your prejadiced aganst them two.. You make me laugh but not because you think you doo. My buddy James Gorman once took a test and they said he was a scientalogast when he is in factd a Catholick so that just proofs what i”m saying about fakeness and tests. I bet your ass stinks. Oh and anothar thing dipwade I notice how you didnt say anything about what I said last time about carton charakturs and rastas so that just proofs you no I’m right and your scared to answer. Haha. I win.

    • 7:06 pm

      Many thanks, Wayne, for your continuing commentary.

      First off, I apologize for not responding to your comment last week regarding cartoon characters and Rastafarians. While you made wrote many interesting words, regrettably I was never able to reach a level of intoxication that rendered your comment intelligible.

      To be honest, Wayne, I also continue to struggle with the legitimacy of your comments. While you demonstrate the appalling spelling, lack of insight and rude behavior I normally associate with damned young people, I can’t help but feel that the test may not be the only thing here that is “tottly fake.” Sure, “diplexicks” and “scientalogasts” I can buy, but this ongoing insistence that you have friends strikes me as a desperate and pathetic untruth.

      And in addition, you’re starting to get on my damned nerves.

      If you’re really interested in legitimate testing, I’d suggest that a better fit for you might be a psychosocial assessment or any one of the neurological tests outlined on websites like I suspect that the results might quite dramatic and may even land you on the cover of some scientific magazine dedicated to researching the dissected lobes of abnormal, deviant or criminal brains.

      Depending on the results, there may even be a small stipend in it for you which you could use to assist in achieving your ultimate goal of becoming an air conditioner. Consult your physician, Wayne. There may not be a great deal in that damned head of yours but what little there is could be your ticket to fame.

      All the best,


  30. 2:53 pm

    I had a great comment all lined up, Don and then Wayne went and said what we all were thinking, especially me.

    1. I believe this test is, if not fake, then at least heavily slanted towards achieving certain responses.

    2. Some people can’t draw. This is just a fact of life and you can see their efforts all over the web, especially in fanfic forums.

    3. I have (n)ever heard of it.

    4. James Gorman has never been a Scientologist nor has he ever associated with members of this extremely rich cult. He is a big fan of Tom Cruise, especially his film work done for the Scientology community, but this does not necessarily mean he’s a Scientologist. After all, Rosie O’Donnell loves Tom Cruise and she has never been linked with this cult. Correlation does not equal causation. Hence: James Gorman is most likely a lesbian.

    5. Wayne wins.

    6. Obvious troll is obvious.

    7. Well done on the test, Don. It did what it was supposed to do: make me feel trapped somewhere between being a useful citizen and being a damned young person. I have no idea where to get tea biscuits regardless of locality.

    Have you considered farming out this duck drawing thing to Mechanical Turk? You could have thousands of duck drawings for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day. (Actual cost: +/- feeding one (1) starving child.) Here’s some evidence:

    All real people at an average wage of $0.69/hr. That kind of paycheck should start triggering some nostalgia.

    Full disclosure: “Smuttonchops” has been added to my vocabulary. I will be using it frequently, especially when perusing the asshats at LATFH:

    • 7:35 pm

      Many thanks CLT,

      I’m sure you’re not alone on the comment front. I think Wayne has stated what many of us are feeling – just in a less coherent way and with a great emphasis on dipwades and fragrant bottoms.

      Always a pleasure to hear from you, lad. And thanks for the clarification on James Gorman. I’ll sleep better tonight.

      Best regards,


  31. 6:04 pm

    OH THE HILARITY! hahahahahahaha! This test is too good….too good…

  32. 3:46 am

    I got a 6%.


    • 7:37 pm

      Many thanks Danny,

      You may be looking at summer school, lad, but as long as you’re motivated there’s always hope.

      Best regards,


  33. 5:22 am

    I am so not a damned young person–in fact, at age 40, I’m probably considered ancient!

    I always enjoy your posts, wish I had the time or the memory to stop by more often.

    • 6:10 pm

      Thank you Girl from the Ghetto,

      From where I’m sitting, 40 doesn’t seem anywhere near ancient. In fact, it sounds positively youthful.

      Always a pleasure to here from.


  34. 7:52 am

    Kickass DM! I just got to u off a blogroll and you’re hilarious!

  35. Friar permalink
    12:54 am

    Great quiz, Don.

    But you’re assuming the damned young people will be able to read it.

    That’s not always a given, these days.

    • 6:11 pm

      Very true Friar,

      Still, I threw them a bit of a bone with with damned duck.

      All the best,


  36. 10:53 am

    I just discovered you from a WP forum recommendation – so glad I stopped by! Loved the bit about tagged genitalia on Facebook!

    • 6:12 pm

      Thank you Team Oyeniyi,

      I appreciate your stopping in. Hope to hear from you again.

      All the best,


  37. 3:17 am

    It looks as if I’m an adult. 😦

  38. Scott permalink
    1:49 pm

    One of the funniest tests I’ve ever seen! I did notice a few typos though–ned to profred mor befor posing!

  39. 4:56 pm

    I saw no typos and even if I did, I wouldn’t bring it up. Strangely, I got a B cause my duck skills are lacking.
    I loved this post by the way.

  40. Rage of Those Interrupted permalink
    6:21 pm

    Awesome. I’m an adult! Too bad I’m not officially legal yet. The government should totally ask us to fill this out to decide when people are considered legal. Most of the population would fail…
    Unfortanutly, I was unable to answer the questions that required a subject answer. I was too busy laughing.

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