Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Dead Fingernail

My roommate in college was from South Dakota. One night, we were talking about Mt. Rushmore. I guess to kids from South Dakota, learning that Mt. Rushmore is in your state is like learning your ABCs. He figured everyone knew where it was, but I told him that there are probably a lot of people on the coasts who don't. He was shocked. I set out to prove it through a survey, using a technique I used a lot back then: Calling strangers on the phone.

I called six numbers at random in New York City, one in Hawaii, and 21 in Los Angeles. Here were their responses, transcribed exactly from my original scoresheet, which I obviously just found:

1. Don't know/Virginia
2. Never heard of it
3. One of the Dakotas (then said North)
4. Don't know
5. Georgia
6. Never heard of it

1. Dakota (guess North)

1. Never heard of it
2. "Your mama's ass"
3. South Dakota (took 5 minutes to get it out of him)
4. Doesn't know, never heard of it
5. Never heard of it
6. Ask someone else, she said
7. Doesn't know
8. Doesn't know, her brother said N. or S. Dakota, he guessed South
9. Didn't know, said New York
10. Doesn't speak English
11. Doesn't know
12. Montana
13. Arizona
14. Didn't know
15. "Don't understand nothing"
16. "It's a little late for a survey"
17. Montana, Nebraska
18. Washington
19. Been there, S. Dakota
20. Don't know, never heard of it
21. Don't know (little late for survey)

So three out of 27 people from NYC or LA (or Hawaii for some reason) who understood the question knew or could guess what state Mt. Rushmore was in. That's one in nine, or 11.1 repeating percent. But that was 1994. Try your own survey today! (I bet even less people know.)

Just now, before reading this list to someone I know, I asked them where they thought Mt. Rushmore was. "Virginia?" "No." "Did anyone else say Virginia?" "Let's see....yes, the first person."

Red Sox v. Yankees, 7:15. NESN.

Hilarious. I had no idea where it was but why would anyone think it would be VA?
I laughed, too, but then I remembered they do the Appalachians or the Blue Ridge mountains or whatever....so I'll give 'em that. I am proud to say I've always known! But I guess I can't prove that...
Too bad you didn't ask me... I swear I knew the right answer!
I have no doubt.
I don't know if you've figured this out yet, but many people do not know that Rhode Island is one of the fifty states.

One woman asked me if I was there when they built the Chunnel. (??!!)
Haha, that's incredible.

Post a Comment

If you're "anonymous," please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, for differentiation purposes.

If you're having trouble commenting, try signing in to whatever account you're using first, then come back here once you're signed in.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

My Photo
Location: Rhode Island, United States