Loser's Guide to Life
Yesterday (as almost every day) someone phoned me at home wanting to know my opinion on something.
“Oh, I'm kind of busy right now, but okay.”
“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. Which group do you prefer?”
“Oh—the police, I guess.”
“Now sir in the following statement, do you: strongly agree; somewhat agree; agree; agree but with misgivings; somewhat disagree; disagree...”
Oh, agree, disagree, whatever. I hope nobody thinks these polls mean anything. I'm sure they don't. They just want other people to think they do. In fact, polls are a way for the poll-takers to examine their own feelings, much as people do when they ask your advice on a matter which they have already decided. They're really looking for reassurance rather than information.
And then, of course, I am a complete stranger to these pollers. Anyone who knew me would hardly want to know my opinion about anything, surely. And people who know me very well indeed are strangely reluctant to hear what I have to say on anything, and moreso on any very important thing, even to the point of cupping their hands over their ears and singing loudly while I am talking. So that's also an element that pollers have neglected.