Rick Seley: The simple facts
We’ve all heard way too much about fake news lately … or maybe we haven’t, I honestly didn’t fact check that statement. I know that I’ve heard way more than I want to about fake news and I’ve read hundreds of those fake headlines on the Internet. I don’t know about you, but I could really stand a healthy dose of facts … no opinion … no alternative facts … just the basic facts, ma’am.
More than 70 percent of Americans have visited Disney World or Disneyland at some point in their life. That’s not an agenda driven left wing commie inspired statement about Americans having too much disposable income or a right wing rant about people on welfare living the good life; it’s just a fact.
President James Buchanan is the only U.S. President to be a bachelor from the day he was elected until the day he left office. He is also the only president to come from Pennsylvania and the last president to have been born in the 1700s. It’s said that he was a lousy president, his policies led directly to the Civil War … maybe because he was single and had too much time on his hands or maybe it was because he didn’t have a wife to tell him what to do, we’ll never know. The facts are that he was born in Pennsylvania in the 18th century and he never got married, the rest is just speculation.
When asked 80 percent of American men say they that, given the chance, they would marry the same woman again. Interestingly when asked the same question, only 50 percent of American women say they would marry the same man again. This could mean that 30 percent more men answered the survey while standing next to their wives or it could mean that women are that much better spouses than their husbands. The facts could mean anything, but they’re still the facts.
Strangely enough, 58 percent of American men said they were happier than after their divorce while 85 percent of the women claimed to be happier after ending their relationship. I’m no statistician, but the pattern here seems to indicate that women consider men way more disposable … but I’m just here to report the facts.
In a recent report, all 50 states report that test scores in their schools were above the national average. Again, I’m no statistician and I’m certainly not claiming that’s a fact, but it’s a fact that the education departments in all 50 states made that claim … they must be using that new math.
Scientist who care about such things claim that 90 percent of all bird species are monogamous. Since I’m just talking about the facts, I won’t make the obvious joke about monogamy and bird brains, but I can’t help but wonder who hired all of those private detectives to follow birds around to see if they were cheating.
Leonardo da Vinci invented the parachute in 1515; the Wright Brothers didn’t invent the airplane until 1903. Sometimes facts just don’t make any sense.
It’s a fact that if a Barbie doll was as tall as the average women, her measurements would be 39-23-33. It’s also a fact that the math major who figured that out is most likely a pretty lonely guy.
The fact is that more people call their mom on Mother’s Day than call their dads on Father’s Day. Not surprisingly, it’s also a fact that before the invention of cell phones, more collect calls were made on Father’s Day than any other day of the year. Sometimes facts make perfect sense.
Eleanor Roosevelt carried a loaded pistol, JFK won a Pulitzer Prize, Jimmy Carter discovered a new proof for the Pythagorean Theorem and Abe Lincoln was awarded a patent. These are random facts about people in political life that mean absolutely nothing.
Imagine how funny it would be if the 24-hour news networks filled their time just listing facts without opinion or analysis. You might have already have known that math majors are lonely and that birds rarely cheat on their mates. Just think how much smarter we’d all be if they just gave us facts instead of numbing our minds with endless talking heads droning on with meaning gibberish.
I’m proud to have provided this list of facts as a reminder that facts are simple truths not open to interpretation or “alternative meaning.” My dictionary says a fact is “a thing that is indisputably the case.” Eleanor Roosevelt packed heat … just the facts, ma’am!
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.