WHAT is it with surveys? Ninety-nine per cent of them tell you something you already knew or something so obscure that you could care less. This week the ones that have been dropping into my inbox at work have been mind-blowingly inconsequential.

First, there was the astonishing news that rock stars, on average, die younger than, say, chartered surveyors.

You don't say.

Today I had one that told me that people tend to put on weight while on holiday. Really? And there was me under the impression that copious amounts of sangria or tequila slammers washing down five course dinners after a day spark out on the beach was slimming.

Then there was one that has discovered that if you feed kids crap, they'll feel like shit. Shovel vast quantities of additive-filled sugary or salty snacks into their ever-open little gobs, and they are going to behave badly.Well, I'll go the foot of our stairs. There's a surprise.

What I want to know is how much someone was paid to find out these blindingly obvious facts. They could have saved their money and come and asked me.

I'm going to write to Exeter University (my nearest) and suggest they set up a Stating The Bleeding Obvious research chair for me. I can envisage my day's work. Start at 9am with a brainstorming session with three comatose students.

"Well, guys and gals, what shall we research this week?"

"Duh, dunno."

"Thank you for that input, Wayne. Anyone else?"

"How 'bout finding out wevah if you drive blindfolded, right, you have, right, y'know, more accidents or sumfink?"

"Good idea, Chardonnay, but Oxford University has already done that one."

Alfaromeo wipes the sleep from his eyes and pipes up: "Hey, I have a wizard idea. Let's find out, OK?, if you lie in the sun in Barbados, OK?, you get a tan quicker than if you, like, lie in the sun in Alaska in the winter. Yah?"

"Brilliant, Alf. You and I can do our research in Barbados for three months and Wayne and Chardonnay can hop over to Alaska."

Now that's sorted, I must go out and buy a new swimming cozzie in "large". I've heard you can put on weight while you're on holiday.


  1. i read this with a great big grin on my face. you're right! (and you're funny.)

  2. So funny cause it's SO true!!

  3. It's not what you know but the money you spend finding it out. That's the motto of the University of Lower Bumstead, Republic of Congo.

  4. Put me straight onto your panel of people to survey - if there is one thing I've always been an expert in (as my kids will testify) it is in stating the obvious.

  5. You put a smile on my face this morning Maa'm

  6. I said exactly the same thing yesterday when the BBC led with news that additives can make your kids hyperactive. I could have told them that!

  7. Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant!

    Made me smile; common sense has been outlawed in pc-land.

    When, oh when, will the common sensical rise up and get things back to 'normal'?

  8. When you're hiring from your head chair position please keep me in mind.

    I can state the grotesquely obvious with the best of them!

  9. Me too, flowerpot. I was shouting at the radio. Again.

    I knew all this stuff 25 years ago. We all had a copy of "E for Additives" in my neck of the woods.

  10. The graveyards are full because of those damn additives. Bodies simply aren't biodegradable anymore.

  11. You are so right and I love the way you say it! :)

  12. I just found your blogg and enjoyed it. I'll put you on my blogg roll!!

  13. If you read my blog you lose yer smarts and get dumber, well duh!

  14. So I'm guessing that like me, you hear stuff like that and yell at the radio, or screen. I couldn't believe the additives, we heard all about that in the 80s - now it's presented as news again. Maybe it's these young media people who were born yesterday, it's all news to them!

  15. I was smiling when I read this. They should just put these questions to any woman over 50 and she will set you straight right away. No need to do a survey. Could we organize an ask-us-anything-survey-team? Yes, we will give you the instant answers to all your dumb questions immediately. And then whack you over the head for asking them!

  16. I know someone who, a few years ago, spent weeks at Uni researching the velocity of buttered toast (as opposed to unbuttered toast) when dropped from a 5 story building.

    Why...oh why?

  17. This one was just itching to be written. India Knight and Keir Royale were also on the same track this week. Perhaps we could set up a committee for engineering bonkers research and publish the papers in the Sun - Perhaps they'd sponsor us on assessing whether or not at least half the population are in thrall to the breast.

  18. Hello, you have a wonderful blog, but I can't find your email address, can you please contact me at I have something to discuss with you
    Regards, Chris
    (Please can you delete this comment after your decision?)

  19. Oi, I used to do research that proved what we all knew!

    My last job showed that elderly people need a good network of local support.

    Having said that - I totaly despair of the kind of survey you speak of which relies on dubious methods and even more dubious statistics. The surveys that get me are ones based on about 5 people and state that 90% of women said that this cream 'seemed' effective. The other type of survey I hate is one that claims to quantify happiness and rates different countries on that basis. WHAT on earth do they base their criteria on? I looked into one and in the end it showed that they interviewed only 5 people in each age category. mmmm

    Rant vent rant vent, boy have you pushed my buttons....

  20. Thought you might like the lyrics from a favorite song by folk singer Todd Snider from the song The Statittions Blues:

    They say 3 percent of the people use 5 to 6 percent of their brain
    97 percent use 3 percent and the rest goes down the drain
    I'll never know which one I am but I'll bet you my last dime
    99 percent think we're 3 percent 100 percent of the time

    64 percent of all the world's statistics are made up right there on the spot
    82.4 percent of people believe 'em whether they're accurate statistics or not
    I don't know what you believe but I do know there's no doubt
    I need another double shot of something 90 proof
    I got too much to think about

  21. Survey says---have fun in the sun!

  22. Come on over to pick up your award.....

  23. Hello everyone - I've had an incredibly busy couple of weeks so have been neglecting my blog friends. Sorry. I will this evening get around to replying to all these comments. XX

  24. This is soooo true. All those ridiculous surveys....such a waste of time ad energy. Think how much we could accomplish if we took all that man and woman power and diverted it to ending poverty.