America Speaks

January 12, 1994|By Art Buchwald

EVERYONE is conducting surveys to find out how Americans feel about their lives. I figured that it wasn't too early or too late in 1994 to do my own.

Sixty percent of the people I talked to felt better about themselves than they did about Northern Ireland.

Seventy-four percent said that if they had to do it all over again they would sleep on the top floor and put their children in the basement with the doors locked and the windows barred.

A majority of Americans reported that what they feared the most was having cold popcorn in the movie theater.

Children said that they feared getting chewing gum on their new sneakers and having to sit next to smelly Josh Workman on the school bus.

There was no agreement on whom people admired the most in sports, although 54 percent of those polled said, "Anyone whose name starts with Bubba."

When the question of guns came up, 87 percent said they would rather have a toy than a gun, but if anyone tried to take the toy away from them they would all want a gun.

When asked "Do you believe that there is only one calorie in Diet Coke?" 90 percent of those interviewed said that they did. Only 23 percent claimed to have actually seen one.

One of the questions asked was, "Do you believe God should be in the classroom?" The majority agreed that He should as long as He didn't raise real estate taxes.

The next question was, "Do you believe in dinosaurs?" To which 67 percent responded, "Only if they don't create traffic gridlock in the streets."

The survey asked people, "What do you like the most about America?" The overwhelming response by 80 percent was the Post Office.

I also posed the question, "Do you think that life is unfair?" Most of the participants said no. One typical respondent said, "Life is fair, cable television rates are unfair."

The question then came up, "Would you want your daughter to marry Howard Stern, the radio commentator?" The majority said no, but one man said, "I thought she had."

My survey also tried to find out if people were fearful of NAFTA. Sixty-nine percent responded that they could live with it as long as its warheads were not planted in the neighborhood.

Television violence was also on the list of things that people were concerned about. One of the main worries was that Oprah Winfrey was going to hit someone over the head when she took her microphone into the audience.

Did people believe that everybody should be politically correct? Most replied no, if it meant paying more for health insurance. One of those questioned said, "The only person I want to see politically correct is Sen. Packwood."

When asked what they would do in the future that they hadn't done in the past, the majority said that they would pick different numbers for their lottery tickets.

Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.

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