Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's All In How You Ask It

My best friend Starr Ann got up this morning wearing that one look you never want to see, unless you're in the mood for a real unusual day.

Soon as breakfast was over, she started getting her survey tools together. And I don't mean levels and tripods and stuff. No, Starr Ann has a stack of clipboards and a box of short, eraserless pencils, the kind they use at those Goofy Golf courses. Anyway, when Starr Ann plays Survey, she dresses in a real plain business suit and takes her survey supplies downtown to ask people a bunch of off-the-wall questions. First, though, she makes me help her write the questionnaire. Actually, that part is kinda fun. Then when she comes home, we eat lunch while Starr Ann fills me in on the current opinions and attitudes of our fellow Kentuckians.

Today's survey results were revealing.

According to Starr Ann's research, when asked their most pressing concern, 63% of respondents chose holiday weight gain, 22% said lack of scientific respect for astrology, and 12% cited the potential threat if Rhode Island develops nuclear weaponry. Issues of low concern, including the war in Iraq, global warming, and religious outrage over Nicole Kidman's new children's film, were dismissed by an overwhelming majority of Kentuckians as "old news," "too complicated," and "harmless," respectively.

A whopping 74% of those polled favored the criminalization of celibacy.

Unredeemed coupons ranked highest with consumers among the economic dangers Americans face, distantly followed by subprime lending practices and a financial market system based largely on greed and fear.

There was an even split over whether people who drive hybrid cars are "selfishly trying to avoid high gasoline prices," or "just trying to make SUV drivers look bad." A statistically insignificant number of participants chose "truly concerned over greenhouse gas emissions."

Right now, Starr Ann is out doing what she usually does after taking our region's civic temperature. That's right, she's spiffing up her underground bunkers. After lunch, she saddled Oatmeal and headed for The Sulaco. Have I mentioned that Starr Ann's shelters have elaborate themes? The Sulaco, an exact replica of the drop ship in Aliens, is my personal favorite. Maybe I should describe all the themes sometime. Tomorrow, I think she intends to make some improvements over at Wonderland.