That sounds like quite a lot

In the good old days of SPY Magazine, its editors often checked the math underlying rather preposterous claims, such as Ollie North’s one-time boast that he had paid for a pick-up truck using mostly change accumulated over several years. (Or maybe that was just a dream?)

In any case, we were reminded of this dream today by the following from… Oliver North:

Traveling around America — as I have been these past two weeks on a national book tour for my new novel, “The Assassins” — has been great therapy. It got me away from Washington, D.C. I got to travel the length and breadth of the country in red states and blue states. I’ve met and talked and listened to tens of thousands of people from every walk of life.

Let’s say that by “two weeks” Ollie means 14 days. And that “tens of thousands of people” means 20,000. 14 days gives Ollie 336 hours to meet, talk and listen to 20,000 people: 59 per hour. Yet Ollie needs sleep and/or rest. Let us be generous and subtract 8 hours per day, leaving only 224 hours. This translates to 89 people per hour. Which means that in the last 2 weeks, Ollie North has spent 16 hours a day each and every of those 14 days meeting, talking and listening to 89 people per hour, giving him an average of 40.4 seconds per encounter.

Now that is impressive. Maybe he should try to get into the Guinness Book of Records. We just need to figure out the right category.


Comments: 14


Now I’ll be the first to acknowledge that sampling public opinion by listening to the comments of people standing in line to buy my latest book is no scientific survey. But the results are nonetheless refreshing.

Yes, among crazed right-wingers, Bush still has an 80% approval rating!!!


Crazed right-wingers who read books, even. Now, there’s no way that equals even 20,000 people. And if he even tries to pretend the majority of that select group had all their teeth I’m so calling bullshit on his ass.


Hilarity often ensues when the innocents go a-travelin’. I look forward to Ollie’s next book, a travelogue entitled: If It’s Tuesday, I Must Be Lying.


Good heavens. Are we implying that Ollie North would, ah, bend the truth a tad?

Say it isn’t so!


A moment of silence for the late, great SPY Magazine.


Thank you.


Hi might not be lying technically. For instance, if i go to a baseball game i can listen to, maybe, 40,000 people at once. I’d only have to talk/listen to a few to duplicate North’s claim.


And those people were from “every walk of life.” EVERY walk of life! It’s hard to make sure that you’ve talked to chimney sweeps, snake milkers, male prostitutes, etc. when you only get to spend 40 seconds with them, but I guess Ollie got special training in the Marines that makes this possible.


Tigrismus said: “Crazed right-wingers who read books, even.”

Nobody said they had to read the books, just buy ’em!


“We just need to figure out the right category. ”
World’s biggest pathological liar springs to mind.


Uncle Mike: Hear Hear! I miss SPY *sniff*…


“Tens of thousands” is not a tall order. Go to O’Hare airport, and in no time you will meet thousands of people; you may listen to them keenly, although most probably you will hear mostly the noise created by the chatter of the thousands, and if you are given to muttering, you may even talk TO ALL OF THEM!. Give me a day, and I will meet tens of thousands, and I will listen to them, and I will talk to them (unless airport security will spoil the plan).

Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel

Excellent use of mathematics so we can all have a laugh at Ollie’s expense!

I don’t know what possessed me to get rid of all of my SPY magazines during their Golden Era. I was much livelier then, and didn’t let clutter piles reach stalagmite level. However, I have since prowled eBay and bought most of the back issues, which are neatly stacked in my bedroom and basement. Mass read-in at Casa Biscuitbarrel!


Hmm… reminds me of Wilt Chamberlain..


“Most horrifyingly succesfull and admired war criminal”


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