They say travel broadens the mind. So it is in this spirit that I would like to share what I learnt during this week's excursion into the pages of one of British Airways erstwhile mags, business:life.
Firstly, did you know that 65% of British adults have no idea how to wire a plug? No? Well, I figure that as long as we have some competent electricians in the remaining 35%, I'm pretty comfortable with leaving this task out of my repertoire. Aren't you?
Then I turned the page to discover that 83% of smartphone owners regularly play games on them (I am not one of them - a game player I mean!) and that 26% of all mobile phone apps are only opened once after being downloaded (usually because they're free and pretty rubbish - you get what you pay for in this life). This all seemed little bit like stating the obvious but trotting out some 'proper' stats at the next do I attend should up my 'street cred' no end.
On the subject of travel, I found out that £860 is the average cost of a holiday per person and that one third return to the same spot for their annual break. Also, one third of Britons admit to imbibing five or more alcoholic drinks a day while on holiday - not an amazing statistic in and of itself as I think this is commonly known as chillin'. But 10% of the British population also show some signs of dyslexia. Probably because we like to behave like we are on permanent holiday when it comes to alcohol consumption. (By the way, does this mean that the remaining 90% just can't spell?)
Things then took a disturbing turn.
70 is the number of times the average Briton is caught on CCTV daily. All I can say is I hope they are getting my good side. And a small note to self here: pay a little more attention to the details on the back-side - I don't like my chances of a 'positive' response to 'does my bum look big in this?'.
But even worse: apparently 1 in 5 UK motorists surf the internet while driving. What the ****!? Is this somehow related to the 83% of gamers on smart-phones? Is this a rebellion against not talking on the phone whilst driving? Where's that CCTV when you need it!?
By the end of the magazine, Britain's good ol' bastion of air travel had resorted to calling us all liars. 1 in 6 restaurants lies about the 'fresh' or 'organic' origins of its produce (another 'no s**t Sherlock' moment). And apparently, 27% of Britons admit to lying about what they do on their weekend in order to impress others. Hey, you guys know what I am doing for at least a few hours each weekend as it appears right here - let me tell you it takes time to craft such thought-provoking and witty prose.
So I reached the end of the mag, and having enjoyed all of these titbits of knowledge, am smiling a little to myself as I close it, ready for its reinsertion into the seat-back pocket in front of me, when something else catches my eye and I just couldn't help feeling that the question that business:life posed on behalf of BA to all we readers on the last page was somewhat ironic...
May we offer you something to drink?
God I love travelling!