Monday, February 15, 2010

On genuine scientific enquiry

Dear The British Medical Journal

Please find a copy of our research paper "Quantative measurement of madness in female subjects over the age of 35" for peer review and publication, the findings of which are summarized below.

My colleagues and I at the Scaryduck Institute realised there was a need for such a study whilst attending a conference several months ago. Our deliberations on the vexed subject of how many promotional ballpoint pens you could fit in one's mouth before choking were disturbed by the arrival of a female delegate of a certain age on the podium to deliver a presentation on a subject we have already forgotten.

"Stand up!" she ordered of we few delegates still awake from the post-lunch torpor, and forced us to go through what can only be described as a demented aerobics routine while something dreadfully akin to The Birdie Song thumped out of the PA system.

As we jerked around in our second-best suits like Thunderbirds puppets, my neighbour turned to me asked the question that is the nub of this very branch of scientific research: "How many cats do you reckon she's got?" and a research grant application was in the post before end of business that very day.

Further research at a number of hotel "Grab a Granny" nights – funded by a direct grant from HM Government, which allowed us direct and intimate access to a social group known as "Cougars" – proved a direct correlation between marital status, age, mental stability and the number of cats. Some of our research fellows, we would point out, are lucky to be alive.

To whit: Our fellow conference delegate was what we would call "a four-cat lunatic", and smelled of cat wee. My colleagues have postulated that she could be a six-catter and a danger to shipping.

[We are obliged to mention – at this point – similar, unfunded research by Crookstein et al at the University of Lady Stuff which shows that old, single gentlemen smell of their own wee.]

Our study has allowed us to design a scale which measures madness and unpredictable behaviour in the single MILF / GILF / Cougar social groups in relation to the number of feline pets in the household. We call it Boyle's Law:

0-2 cats: Normal
3-4 cats: Author of the best-selling non-fiction book "Domestic Rabbits – A Chef's Guide"
4-20 cats: Barking
20 or more cats: SuBo
We commend our study to the medical profession, and can heartily recommend a number of over-thirties discos for peer review, whilst warning fellow researchers of the need for a current tetanus inoculation.

Your pal

Dr Albert Judas O'Balsam, B.Sc (Hons), Dip Pol, Cert Soc Sci, SSC

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