Terence Blacker: Meet Mr and Mrs Average

Share
Related Topics

The world may be awash with a daily torrent of surveys, graphs, league tables and flow-charts, but there are still those who believe we need more numbers to make sense of modern life. For them, the two little words "per cent" represent all that is real and true. To encourage even more mathematical analysis of all we do and think, the UN will next week launch World Statistics Day.

Our own Office for National Statistics is eagerly participating in this great orgy of nerdism. To alert the nation to World Statistics Day, it has just released the results of an important survey into what constitutes the life of an average Briton. Mr Average is, we are told, 38-years-old, 5ft 9ins tall and weighs in at a rather shocking 13.16 stone. Mrs Average is 40, 5ft 3in high and weighs 11 stone. He earns £28,270, which is over £6,000 more than she does. They have 1.96 children between them, and spend 23 and 26 minutes respectively reading a newspaper, magazine or book every day. TV occupies him daily for 2 hours 50 minutes, her for 2 hours 25 minutes. Their shopping basket will contain semi-skimmed milk, a packet of cereal, some bacon and a bar of milk chocolate.

All this is very exciting but surely, in an age when statistics are revered as never before, we need more of these insights. While pursuing its important work, the Office for National Statistics should release even more of what it has discovered about Mr and Mrs Average of Typical Avenue, Ordinaryville and their fascinating lives.

Cooking. Mrs Average spends 43.28 minutes cooking compared to Mr Average's 3.13 minutes (toast). She points out that there might just possibly be a connection between this domestic drudgery and the fact that, according to the ONS, Mr Average consumes double the alcoholic units she does and watches almost half an hour more TV. Not that she's bitter.

Eating meals. Mr and Mrs Average eat 81.62 per cent of all evening meals in front of the television. During this time, 0.49 seconds are devoted to conversation, during which the most used phrases are "Anything on the other side?", "Do we have to watch this rubbish?", "It's your turn to put the 1.96 children to bed", and "That Huw Edwards has put on a bit of weight".

Bedtime. Mrs Average goes to bed 42.33 minutes before Mr Average, who stays up late 86.54 per cent of evenings to do "research" online.

Sex. The Averages experience ("enjoy" would be too strong a word, says Mrs Average) conjugal relations 1.32 times a week. Asked about .32, Mrs Average invited the interviewer to ask Mr Average about that, the selfish pig.

Fidelity. Mr Average is 2.33 (recurring) more likely to have had an affair than Mrs Average. It wasn't an affair really, he says, just a physical thing, a bit of fun that got out of hand when he was at a sales conference, hardly worth mentioning really. Mrs Average is in touch with an ex-boyfriend through her Facebook site and has suggested they meet up for what she calls "a spot of auld lang syne".

Offence. The Averages agree that they are offended more than ever before. She is most offended by bankers, MPs, BBC fat cats, City bonuses, people who fail to answer the question on Newsnight and Jeremy Clarkson. He takes most offence at that prat Piers Morgan on Britain's Got Talent, some frankly disgraceful refereeing decisions on Match of the Day, and the Big Society (obesity's quite enough of a problem without giving them their own society).

Recycling. Mrs Average spends 7.51 more time recycling household waste than Mr Average, who can't stand all this Planet Earth, polar bear stuff, and thinks the Government is spying on him through his waste-bin.

Divorce. The Office for National Statistics has revealed that Mr Average's second marriage will be when he is 45.9 years old while Mrs Average's will be when she is 43.1. He expresses surprise that there will be second marriage. She starts packing her suitcase.

terblacker@aol.com

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Read Next
UK Border Control  

Do you think I'm feckless? I worked for two years in the Netherlands

David Ryan
Bob Geldof  

Ebola is a political AND a medical disease

Paul Vallely
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin