July 5, 2000

Survey Says...

By Roy Rivenburg

Weird Polls Roundup: As we enter the new millennium, pollsters are out in force checking the pulse of American public opinion. Unfortunately, that pulse has become extremely weak, to the point where not enough blood and oxygen are reaching the American brain.

Case in point: 27% of Americans aren't sure whether the Earth travels around the sun or vice versa, according to a survey by the National Science Foundation.

In other polling news:

  • The most important books of the 20th century, as enumerated in a survey of boat owners, are "Jaws," "The Old Man and the Sea" and "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss.
  • A Men's Health magazine survey found that people would pay an average of $68,000 to get Ricky Martin's home phone number, but only $65 to understand what dogs are saying when they bark, which could be a costly error in judgment if it turns out that the dogs are barking Ricky Martin's home number.
  • When asked to name the ideal captain for a boat, 38% picked Captain Stubing from "The Love Boat," 26% chose Captain Kirk from "Star Trek," 22% selected the Skipper from "Gilligan's Island" and 9% opted for Captain Kangaroo, according to a survey by Anheuser-Busch. Nobody picked Cap'n Crunch or the captain from Captain and Tennille, despite their obviously superior seamanship.
  • In an e-poll.com survey asking which monopolies besides Microsoft should be divided in two, 30% wanted the Justice Department to split up the Olsen twins.
  • The presidential candidate who would be "most painful" to listen to at a karaoke bar is Al Gore, according to a survey by Yrock.com. Another survey found that 41% of Americans believe Sonny Bono is communicating with Gore from beyond the grave, which might explain the vice president's poor karaoke rating.
  • In the next "Mission Impossible" movie, 27% of film-goers want Tom Cruise's mission to be the elimination of that annoying "swish" sound made by corduroy pants, according to an online survey conducted for Wireless Flash News Service.
  • Nine percent of Americans claim they've had sex while driving, which is fine by us, unless they also happen to be talking on a cell phone at the time, which could be a distraction.

  • In a survey of 1,000 Americans, 68% said they didn't think a survey of 1,000 people could accurately reflect the views of all Americans. However, this creates a Catch-22. As Chicago columnist Zay N. Smith points out, if the 68% are right, the survey is inaccurate. But if the survey is inaccurate, the 68% are right. Which means the survey IS accurate after all.
  • Finally, the Weekly World News reports that space aliens who tune in to Earth radio stations prefer the music of John Tesh two to one over rock, country, R&B or classical.
  • Theme Park Conundrum: Dolly Parton is holding a contest to name the new water slide park she's opening in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Reader Ann Harrison suggests "The Best Little Water Slide Park in Tennessee," with operating hours of "9 to 5" and optional Dolly Parton flotation devices sold at the gift shop.

    Religious Pilgrimage Bureau: An estimated 1,000 motorcyclists roared into St. Peter's Square on July 2 for a special jubilee year biker's day visit with the pope and a blessing of their helmets by a Vatican official, according to Ananova.com.

    Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: "New Dog Can Be Used As A Mop! They're Great on Tile and Linoleum Floors -- But Animal-Rights Groups Are Up In Arms!" (Weekly World News)

    Unpaid Informants: Chicago Sun-Times, Harper's Index, PR Newswire, Susanna Timmons, Arizona Daily Star, the Oregonian's Edge column, Response Insurance, Progressive Watercraft Insurance.

    Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
    Distributed by Creators Syndicate