Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 21, 2006
Buddy Boze Hatkiller didn't come home last night. We heard him out beyond the side yard, barking and jumping around at something that sounded thick-headed and was growling back (Minnesota Mike?). I called and called and even drove down there but he wouldn't come. Visions of finding his half-eaten NYC carcass filled my dreams.

Staring Straight at Statistical Oblivion
I got a call from the Neilsen Ratings people yesterday. The young woman talked very fast (I got the impression she was paid by the number of calls she could complete) and she wanted to know my sex, my level of education, my marriage status and number of children and lastly, how old I was. She asked me to rate everything on a scale (definitely, probably, might or might not, probably not and definitely not). Was I going to go see "Mission: Impossible III"? Definitely not. Was I going to see "The Da Vinci Code"? Probably not. Was I looking forward to seeing "Prairie Home Companion"? Definitely. Was I going to go see "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"? Might or might not. Was I going to go see "X-Men: The Last Stand"? Probably not. Was I going to go see the new Disney-Pixar flick "Cars"? Probably (It's about Route 66, otherwise no way). Was I going to go see "Over the Hedge"? Probably not. Was I going to see the new "Miami Vice"? Definitely not (I hated the old Miami Vice. Ditto for "The Poseidon"). Was I going to see "The Break-up" with Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn? Probably not. Was I going to see "Nacho Libre" with Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler? DEFINITELY!!!! I can't for this movie. It's from the guys who did "Napoleon Dynamite." Are you nuts?! It looks hilarious. Do you have anything higher than "Definitely"

She didn't.

She also asked me how much it cost to fill up with gas recently, and I said, "$45 for a Ford Ranger! I can't imagine what the Hummer crowd is paying, maybe $200? Incredible!" Then she asked me to rank on a scale of one to ten, with ten being, totally agree, the following questions: Would the high gas prices limit my shopping trips? (five) Would I consider not going to a movie because of the high gas prices? (0) Would I consider riding a bike or taking public transportation to a movie? (0) How far is it to the nearest movie theater? (12 miles)

At the end of the call (twenty minutes) she asked me when I would turn 60 and I replied "December," and she said, and I quote, "Well, maybe we'll get to talk one more time between now and then." As I hung up, I realized I am approaching a statistical cliff. After Christmas, nobody will care what movie I go to see. Nobody will care if I have an opinion. I will be residing in Statistical Oblivion full time.

"When a man is humiliated, he suddenly shrinks to his normal proportions."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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