How to Lie With Statistics

Last week Milo said this, or something almost exactly like it, (you need to hear it in your head as spoken quickly, almost in a single breath, with random emphasis on random syllables, meant to both impress and confuse):

“What I don’t get mommy is why people say girls aren’t treated as well as boys, I mean I know feminism is important because women don’t always have the same rights and the same opportunities as men, but at school the girls get more attention from teachers and on our field trip their cabin was cleaner and nicer and if you didn’t know 78% of girls are happier than 52% of boys which is a big discrepancy even though it might not sound like one to you but I think that 9 out of 10 boys would agree and only 2 out of 10 girls and that’s because it’s harder to be a boy than a girl even if it’s harder to be a woman than a man.”

My first thought was, he’s right, sort of. And my second thought was, what the fuck with those made up numbers? And my third thought was, oh no, he’s gonna be a men’s rights activist.

Then, a few days later, after one of his endless, obsessive radio and youtube listening sessions, he held forth on current popular music:

“I don’t understand Pitbull’s popularity, he says the same thing in every song . . .Mr. Worldwide. . what does that even mean and who even cares. . .. And why does everyone have to make their music with machines, what happened to instruments? I think that’s why everyone is losing their originality and just ripping off old songs and getting sued because they don’t even play instruments anymore, I read that 99% of musicians can’t even tell a guitar from a ukelele and that 90 % of drummers under the age of 50 don’t use sticks but 100% of drummers over the age of 50 do use sticks. And lyrics. . .they are all so. . .inappropriate, B-word better have my money and This summer is gonna hurt like a mother f-word, I mean come on, there isn’t a single kid in the world who wants to hear that and their parents, 75 out of 100 moms surveyed said they won’t even let their kids listen to the radio anymore because of the swearing. I guess Pitbull doesn’t swear, there’s that.”

My first thought was, he’s right, sort of. And my second thought was, what the fuck with those made up numbers? And my third thought was, oh no, he’s gonna be a critic.

Last night, after stalling the nighttime ritual and finally being forced to brush his teeth, he gave me another earful:

“You know it’s not illegal not to brush your teeth, you can’t be arrested, even though, in the past 50 years in America, 25 parents have tried to have their kids arrested for not brushing their teeth, they never succeeded because the police don’t care. And anyway, only one person has ever gone to jail for not brushing his teeth and he had also murdered someone. It’s not good parenting to force your kids to do anything even if you think that it is something that matters to their health because 100% of kids hate to be forced and 50% of them that are forced, grow up to hate their parents, and maybe even commit crimes, so it’s 100% in your best interest mommy to never, ever force me to do anything, it just makes the most sense, given the statistics.”

Right then, my only thought was, Oh crap, he’s a BLOW HARD.





6 thoughts on “How to Lie With Statistics

  1. Ha Ha! I loved reading this and must confess that I’ve listened to a similar diatribe about girls and boys from my own blowhard son. I was missing your presence here just the other day and am so glad that you’ve written!

  2. I loved reading this! I could relate completely as my daughter is very similar. I loved your line “meant to both impress and confuse” – So true! Thank you for your hilarious take!

  3. Milo is such an intelligent kid:) i assume he’s younger than 13? I smiled reading his comments on pitbull’s songs. He sounds wiser than his age

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