Polls indicate we hate polls

Kevin Cowherd

April 30, 1993|By Kevin Cowherd

Americans are sick to death of polls and would hack the next pollster who approaches them with a machete if they could get away with it, according to a new poll just out.

An overwhelming 82 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: "I've had it up to here -- I'm holding my hand at my chin, OK? -- with these stupid polls!"

Another 13 percent reported feelings of violent nausea and an urge to hide under the bed when contacted in person or over the telephone by a polling service.

The remaining 5 percent said they "didn't give a rat's behind one way or another."

Of those expressing an opinion, 52 percent threatened to kill the pollster, and 33 percent screamed "Dammit, leave me alone!" before hanging up the phone.

The rest responded: "Look, do I call you at home and bother you? Huh? Do I?"

The national telephone poll of 3,211 adults was taken April 19-23 by Close Enough Research of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Of the respondents, 81 percent were at least semi-coherent and able to understand the purpose of the poll. Another 11 percent were obviously drunk. Eight percent were thought to be on medication, possibly mild tranquilizers of the benzodiazapene family.

The poll has a 4 percent plus or minus margin of sampling error.

In other findings, 68 percent of the respondents said if they read one more word about the Waco cult, they would "probably flip out and hurt someone."

A full 60 percent approved of the FBI's handling of the celebrated stand-off with David Koresh and his followers, and agreed with the statement "I would like to get behind the wheel of one of those M-1 tanks -- that would be so cool!"

Another 27 percent favored dropping a small thermonuclear device on the Branch Davidian compound, then paving it over after radiation levels had subsided and turning it into a trailer park.

Twelve percent felt authorities could have avoided the conflagration by threatening to send in annoying talk show host Maury Povitch.

Of these, 7 percent agreed with the statement: "45 minutes with Maury, Koresh would be begging to surrender."

President Clinton received mixed reviews for his first 100 days in office.

While 48 percent approved of his handling of the economy, Boris Yeltsin and the Lincoln Room lamps thrown his way by wife Hilary Rodham Clinton, 40 percent said he was a "hen-pecked little wuss who lets everyone from Hilary to Bob Dole bulldoze him."

Another 8 percent responded: "Can you hang on a sec? I have a call on the other line."

The rest thought Clinton had very flabby legs for a man who jogs three or four times a week.

* 66 percent said they didn't like meatloaf, but 34 percent said they would eat it if someone were holding a broken beer bottle to their throat.

* 72 percent feel the notorious "Home Alone" couple who abandoned their children and flew off to a vacation in Acapulco should be be brought in shackles to a quarry and stoned by 500 citizens picked at random, with the proceedings shown live on "Geraldo!"

* 92 percent said they had "no desire" or "very little desire" to spend a humid summer's day in a tool shed inhaling paint thinner.

* 66 percent said if they were allowed to punch just one person, it would be pain-in-the-neck comedian Sandra Bernhart.

* 76 percent said the opening segment of "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee," in which the co-hosts pretend to sip from coffee mugs while prattling on and on about their careers, their children, their celebrity friends, etc., was "very irritating."

* 66 percent have entertained fantasies of creeping up behind toddler icon Barney and strangling the gooey purple dinosaur in full view of his horrified morning show audience.

* 72 percent agreed with the statement: "If I placed my fingers in a desk drawer and slammed the drawer shut, my fingers would hurt."

* 63 percent reported being concerned about the situation in Bosnia because "we often drive through there on our way to New Jersey."

* 72 percent said Pepsi Clear tastes like dishwater, with 34 percent adding that their taste buds had been irreversibly harmed by the new beverage.

* 81 percent said that "based on what we know now," some innocent people were probably put to death at the Salem witch trials in 17th century Massachusetts.

Another 12 percent added, however, that "hindsight is 20-20."

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