Frank Mulligan: Study finding findings

Frank Mulligan

A recently released study on studies has found they’re on the increase, they’re routinely negative, and they’re often just plain mean.

Studies with positive findings were occasionally issued in the past, according to respected study experts.

But not anymore, they say.

“Gee whiz, study after study say Americans are getting fatter, poorer and dumber,” according to one noted studiologist.

Another had this to say, “Today’s studies are worse nags than a cantankerous mother-in-law.”

Here is just a sampling of recent study findings:

- Every single man, woman and child in America is currently fat, will become fat, or is giving the idea some thought.

- Only one in 94 Americans is getting sufficient exercise and he’s obnoxious about it.

- More Ho Hos are being consumed per capita than in any previous juncture in our nation’s history.

- Pennies are so undervalued that finding one is now considered bad luck.

- Americans between the ages of 11 and 90 currently have more faith in professional wrestling than the finance industry.

- Scratch tickets have replaced mutual funds as the preferred investment of most Americans.

- Most elementary school students think the ABCs refer to a new battery of state-mandated tests.

- Most high school students believe the word “oui” refers to a Nintendo product.

- A majority of the country’s college students think Plato was a Disney character, but can’t identify which one.

What can be done? Experts say studies should be taken with a grain of salt, unless they’re the studies dealing with Americans’ unhealthy sodium intake.

Other measures include:

- Placing your hands over your ears and loudly intoning “la-la-la-la” while negative study results are being discussed.

- Develop a pugnacious attitude when studies are mentioned. Suggested retorts include, “Study schmuddy,” or “I got your study results, right here,” or “Back off, man, I’m like a time bomb ready to explode.”

- Consider the source. A study performed by the Aerospace/Defense industry decrying the lack of Americans who own an F-18 fighter jet might be looked at askance.

- Consider the sample. A study involving 1,000 subjects over the course of a decade might have more credence than one involving the study-taker’s cousin, Phil, that was performed over a few beers.

Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media Service’s Raynham, Mass., office and can be reached at