Competition

Win vouchers to spend at any Tesco store

Competition No 3901

Set by Valerie Yule, 26 September

You were asked for an outline of a practical life skills course for the new school curriculum.

Report by Ms de Meaner

Hon mensh to David Silverman for the following: "In emergencies, students should be able to differentiate between their parents and other objects around the house (tables, chairs, etc) and be able to ask them for food and money." Wow. The rest get £20, the best of whom (Josh Ekroy) also gets the Tesco vouchers.

Interviews: Why not to sprawl or chew gum. Turning off your mobile. How to listen. Answering questions.

Work skills: Getting up every morning. Following instructions.

Manners: Why not to spit, or cough in people's faces.

Relationships: How to argue instead of hitting people.

Healthy eating: What to do with an apple.

The law: Your rights on arrest. Cautioning. Legal aid. Being bound over. Asbos. Getting sent down.

Money: What is "saving"? Credit refusal. Consulting the CAB. Filling in forms.

At home: Why not to dump old sofas/bangers in the street. Advantages of washing up. Types of vermin. When to call in the council.

Anne Du Croz

Social ethics: "Do it to them before they do it to you." Entrepreneurial culture on both sides of the law. Merchandising as a sacramental task. Case studies of successful

asset-strippers and Russian oligarchs.

Lifestyle: "Shop till you drop." Pleasure, display and style. The dos and don'ts of

clothes, music, bars, restaurants, postcodes,

holiday destinations. Overworked and overleisured? - a way forward. A calculus of celebrity.

Communication: "Go 4 it M8." Introductory and intermediate texting. The role of voice production in ordering drinks in clubs. Ringtones - why pay? Literacy - an exploded myth. Chat-up lines - do they work? The art of e-mailing.

Cultural studies: "Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." Why everything reminds you of something else. Fan bases, large and small. The gangsta rap issue, part one. Continuity errors in Star Wars. The gangsta rap issue, part two. Irony explained. Couches, off-licences and pizzas - the recommended brands.

Work: "Work makes you free." Discipline. Obedience. The importance of hierarchy.

G M Davis

Term one (A). Breathing skills: a) It's cool to inhale! b) Exhaling is fun, too! c) Inhaling and exhaling together.

Term one (B). Walking skills: a) Putting one foot in front of the other can be wicked! b) "Will it hurt if I swing my arms?" c) Coming to a halt - advanced students only.

Term two. Eating skills: a) Identifying spoon, knife, fork, etc; b) "What's that round plastic/china/tin thing?" - plates are seriously cool; c) "Hey! This is getting like really hot! How does it do that?" Plug in, switch on - then what?

Term three. Talking skills: a) Verbal greetings - "Dude", "Yo", etc; b) Partings: "Later", etc; c) Making verbal conversation - "We're cool, innit" and similar.

Term four. Sleeping skills: a) Locating that bed in your room; b) Moving the computer, television, etc, off the bed; c) "That's your duvet! That's your pillow!"

Term five. Sitting skills: a) Chuffed by chairs; b) Holding that upright position; c) They can break if you throw them!

Term six. Avoiding bullets skills: a) When to duck, when to fall flat; b)Taking cover - is that object bulletproof? c) "Get down and stay down, motherfucker!"

Term seven. Saying no to pretty well everything out there: a) "N. O. spells No"; b) "No thanks!" is sentence (see Term 29); c) "Deffo no" (no way I'm doing that).

Term eight. Knives and guns: a) Blades are sharp; b) Guns can shoot bullets; c) When you're dead you're dead.

Term nine. tba.

Josh Ekroy

No 3904 Set by George Cowley

The Bible is being rewritten in limerick form. We want samples, either a single limerick per item, or a maximum of four continuous verses for added detail.

Max 20 lines by 27 October.

E-mail: comp@newstatesman.co.uk

This article first appeared in the 17 October 2005 issue of the New Statesman, Barack Obama