Those of you who thought that home testing had gone as far as it could go with the pregnancy test haven’t been watching enough TV. While eyeing the network premiere of Dark Skies (the usual alien invasion propaganda), a far more unnerving vision than little green men visited viewers in an advertisement. It’s called Confide: the first Home AIDS Test. And it comes complete with a number to call for caring counseling, if need be, after you get the results. Gee, I wonder if there’s a per minute charge for the counseling? If not, then it’s probably a taped message: “Don’t panic. Call a friend. The government is working on a cure. Stay calm....It’s only a test.”

Of course, if you think home testing is going to stop with AIDS, you’ve got another sitcom coming. With all the wars and rumors of wars, crime and rumors of crime, traffic jams and people trying to squeegee your windshield coupled with the approaching panic in the year zero, who in their right mind even wants to venture out these days? You go to the office, go home, maybe stop off at the store on the way home, and that’s about all most people can handle without taking hostages with an automatic weapon in a public building.

Safe at home, turn on the TV and fall asleep sucking on the cathode ray nipple. And if you should need to find out something about yourself, you take a home test. It’s simple. It’s easy. And, there's a number to call, included with the test, in case you need to talk to a caring counselor.

Let's see. How about the Home Frigidity Test for women? This test comes complete with a standard, battery-operated device and instructions for how to use it. After following the directions to take a warm bath first and to make sure you're not going to be interrupted, the woman administers the test with a reliable timepiece nearby. When the goal is achieved, the time is noted, measured and compared to the quick and easy reference table; which could read:

Under thirty seconds – Have you thought about entering the Sexual Olympics, or taking a stab at Adult Entertainment?

Under five minutes – Not half bad. Shouldn’t take you more than a half hour with a caring sexual partner.

Over thirty minutes – Have you had a spinal tap recently?

Of course, caring counselors are standing by (for only $4.99 per minute) to talk to you after you’ve taken the test. And they’ve been trained well to keep you on the phone for as long as possible.

"So, tell me when you first noticed that you had a little trouble getting there with a partner?”

“Well, actually, I’ve never gotten there... it’s more like a few years ago, I started to notice that I had no desire to get there with anyone or anything... Even the bathtub faucet doesn’t interest me anymore.”

But will it end there? Of course not. The list of human fears and insecurities is an inexhaustible market for the home testing companies. How about the Home Intelligence Test?

If Seinfeld was moved to the first day of the week, minus two days, adding the length of a football game, divided by Pi, minus one lunar cycle, in the year zero, in the first week after Leap Day, what time and day would you set your VCR for, assuming, of course, you could make it stop flashing 12:00 A.M.?

To avoid cheating, the completed test would be mailed in and the result would be sent back to you. A phone number to reach caring counselors would be included for no extra charge (save the $4.99 per minute, plus toll charges wherever applicable).

Scores might read as follows:

79 – You have a lot in common with celery. Stick to the vegetable kingdom; they won’t notice. Avoid driving and words bigger than five letters. You may not understand this. That’s OK. Go S-L-0-W-L-Y. Watch MTV. Get a job with the gov-er-meant.

101 – So what threw you first? Getting the VCR clock off 12:00 A.M or, what’s the first day of the week? No, Monday is not the first day of the week, you moron! You’re just smart enough to think that sitcoms aren’t funny because you’re not smart enough (to get the jokes). Wrong. Sitcoms aren’t funny because (revelation!) they’re just not that funny. Okay? Stick with cartoons. Fast food restaurant management would be ideal.

144 – Well, little Miss / Mr. Smartypants, aren’t we special? I’ll bet you probably think you know what I’m thinking about what you’re thinking? And the whole world revolves around your giant, ever-expanding brain, pulsating at the center of the ultra-world. Wake up! Things actually happen without any reason, knowledge or consent of your brain. A mind like yours– all-seeing, all-knowing surely belongs in advertising... the poet-warrior-godz of the new millennium, shaping every need, opinion and belief, for us, the poor, pathetic masses yearning to be you.

But do you think home testing can stop there? Never. It can’t stop until every private wish, fear and bodily function has been probed, examined, analyzed and tested– with caring counselors standing by to help you with the results.

The Home Virility Test: Why needlessly worry about wearing condoms if you’ve taken the Home AIDS Test and you’re shooting blanks? Just think of all the pleasure you could be missing out on.

“I’m STD-free and sterile and here’s my home test results to prove it. So, why don’t we just forego the rubber raincoat.. Of course, I’ll need you to round up your home test results for the usual suspects.... By the way, what were your Home IQ Test and Home Frigidity Test scores?”

“Only if you tell me your Home Hard-On score.”

“I got a 93. Not quite cutting glass or pounding nails. But I won’t be going soft any time soon after I come.”

“I love it when a man has a high residual hard-on factor.”

“Still holding steady at a solid 83, post orgasmic.”

“Wow. What’s your home test Parenting Quotient?”

“I got the highest rating... could even work in overcrowded daycare with kids who are mentally and emotionally abused at home."

“That’s incredible. You don’t perhaps work in advertising?”

“As a matter of fact... But before we actually do anything, I need to give you this number. It’s in case you need to talk to a caring counselor after getting involved with someone as incredible as me– an experience you may have trouble with at first.”

“Thank you. I hope you don’t think I’m being too forward if I ask if you took the Home Commitment Test?”

“I’m sorry. I’m just not ready to discuss that yet, anymore than you would be willing to reveal your results for the Home Fellatio Test.”

And that’s why I can’t wait for the future to get here. With everyone so well tested and rested and knowledgeable about themselves, what could there possibly be for me to panic about in the Year Zero? And even if there was; there’s always caring counselors standing by to help me with the results of the test. This is only a test. Had this been a real life I would not be hearing this high-pitched ringing in my head.

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