Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Most Average American

Generally, I listen to the commentators and guests on National Public Radio with some interest, then quickly turn off the radio before the call-in segments begin. It amazes me that anyone would care to hear the ill-educated stammering of some random individual whose only claim to punditry is having ready access to a telephone. However, I wasn't quite quick enough on the draw today, and therefore enjoyed the following exchange, during a piece on one statistician's search for the "most average American"* --

Caller (belligerently): Since the majority of people in America are women, I'd like to know why the most average person is a man.
[The guest gives a quite reasonable answer.]
Host: So, you see, perhaps there will be a most average woman, too - (joking) you're still in the running.
Caller: I'm not in the running, I am well above average!

This is a woman who just gave her name and city out on the public airwaves. It boggles the mind.

*I know, I know - the very idea of a show on the "most average American" is precisely the sort of middlebrow pandering for which NPR is justly criticized, but hey - I'm in the car a lot.