Should you ever get tired of law practice, you can always get a job as an internet survey interviewer.
My email is replete with press releases commemorating the various holidays that invariably crop up, and just an invariably, there is a survey of some kind attached to the holiday at hand.
Take this last month, for example.
It started May 4. May the Fourth, and may the Fourth be with you. 5/4 has become “Star Wars Day,” an unofficial holiday to celebrate Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca (but not any Ewoks).
One burbling release about Star Wars Day included this helpful statistic: “Did you know? Star Wars fans spend an average of $4,300 annually on Star Wars merchandise.”
Clearly a case of more money than sense. Or, on the other hand, perhaps “Star Wars” fans are more successful than the general population.
The very next day in May 5 or Cinco de Mayo, sometimes used as an opportunity to overindulge (May the Fifth be with you?).
The release I received for 5/5 gave a little history lesson: “Not to be confused with Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla.”
Context, we need context. When? Which war? Where is Puebla?
Then I wasn’t sure what to make of this line: “Though a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has been embraced by Americans as an occasion to celebrate Mexican food and culture.”
So people in this country are merely looking for an excuse to chow down on tacos and enchiladas and drink cerveza…
The Cinco de Mayo release actually didn’t include a survey, but it did have a list of discounts and specials at local restaurants. Salud.
Mother’s Day, an annual celebration in May, prompted an odd survey from Offers.com: Some 29 percent of moms feel “unappreciated,” they advised.
And don’t get Mom jewelry for the holiday – that’s the thing she wants least, the survey said. The leading gift of what she really wants? A massage or day at a spa (22 percent).
The number of moms actually getting a massage or day at the spa? Umm, 8 percent.
Here’s a telling stat, too. Where does most of the shopping for Mother’s Day happen? Online — Nearly half of it (41 percent). In other words, where it’s easy to shop for Mom when you have forgotten to pick out a nice present or go to a spa to get a gift certificate.
That cranky 29 percent may be on to something.
Memorial Day, held May 29 this year, always brings its own rack of releases and surveys.
There are the rundowns of where people are going to go last-minute (Florida leads the list).
And hamburgers are the number one favorite barbecue food over the holiday weekend, per Hotwire.com.
More years than not, I’ll get a release of where auto travelers (car travel is the most popular form) will be most likely to get a traffic ticket if they speed.
After all that May activity, a little respite would have been nice.
But no, last Friday, June 2 was National Donut Day!
And did you know? 96% OF AMERICANS ARE NUTS FOR DONUTS (their emphasis, not mine). “Fifty-six percent of Americans absolutely love donuts, and 40 percent like them. Only 3 percent of Americans claim to dislike donuts, while 1 percent hate them,” according to NationalToday.com.
As with most of these surveys, just don’t look too closely at the methodology.
– Paul Fletcher