There’s a new poll out in which those surveyed believe that there is more profanity being spoken than ever before. I’m not sure what the socially redeeming value of this conclusion is, but I would think the initial results go without saying.

In other words, I could have — and you could have — made a calculated guess that there has been an increase in profanity. And the reasoning is very simple. There are more people than there used to be, and they are living in closer proximity of each other than ever before. That means more hedge trimmers will be borrowed and not returned. Add to that increased gas prices and the chances for increased profanity grow exponentially. Also, there is a possibility that there are some new profanities on the market, and some people just feel compelled to use them, not unlike a compulsive shopper.

Then there are myriad little things that could induce a string of four letter words. Example: Just the other day President Bush requested a meeting with Jessica Simpson. Now there’s something that could produce an expletive from either political party. I’m just curious what they would talk about. Maybe they have both read “Curious George.”

Then again, it could be that because Jessica’s approval rating is greater than his, he’s just looking for some pointers — no pun intended.

Anyway, when Jay Leno broke this to the world Monday night, I let go a mild profanity before I could stop myself. I think it was more of a reflex utterance, like when you realize you are standing in a fire ant bed and the leader of their column doesn’t give the signal to bite until they are above the knee.

I’ve noticed something else. There are more polls than there used to be. Some of them are obviously subjective but some are conducted very scientifically.

But like I said, there are some things that simple reasoning and common sense would answer.

For instance, more women are getting pregnant than ever before. Why? Because there are more men and women.

I would venture to say that there are more ingrown toenails than ever before. Why? Because there are more feet. That’s not to suggest a great health issue but just to note that fewer people may be trying to kick extra points.

I read a lot of polls even when some of them seem so terribly lame. Occasionally, I will read details of one that truly interests me. I guess my approach to reading polls is kind of like shooting in the creek with the assumption that sooner or later I will hit a fish.

Speaking of fish, I would like to see a poll to show how many people have ever actually tried shooting fish in a barrel. I’ve heard that expression all my life relative to an expression of how easy some tasks are posed to be.

“Just like shooting fish in a barrel!” they say.

I’ve tried to picture someone actually doing this. You know fish dart around very quickly, so I’m not sure if this analogy even holds water. And after the first shot, I’m not sure the barrel would hold water either. Furthermore, if there were fish in a barrel and you wanted to retrieve some, it would make much more sense to use a dip net or simply turn the barrel over and let the water spill out, similar to how Bob Uecker explained his approach to catching a knuckle ball. “When it quits rolling around down there, you just pick it up.”

I think there are a lot more polls these days because we now have internet. And it seems we have more simple-minded people who require the results of even those lame polls. These are the people who actually wanted bigger holes in their beer cans. They might even argue that there are actually fewer polls these days because now most cable is laid underground.

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. E-mail: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)

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