We here at DadWagon are not afraid to do a little polling from time to time. One thing we have in common with Fox News’s Greta van Susteren (besides a somewhat troubling love of Wasilla, Alaska): We both use PollDaddy for our polls.
PollDaddy now lets you search through all their user polls, and being an obsessive type, who had the privilege of helping steer polling at Time for a while, I took the challenge and looked for all the polls with the word “father” in them.
This I learned: people poll about some strange things. Someone woke up one morning and felt compelled to craft a poll about whether dads want a kitchenware gift for Father’s Day. Another amateur pollster wanted the Internet to guess his babies’ gender.
There were some alimony questions like: Should A Man Have to Pay Child Support If a Woman Tricks Him Into Fatherhood?
Plenty of niche polling, too. My favorite is this Scottish gem: Did your father play the pipe/drums? Turns out that Pipes/Drums Magazine has a lot of polling on the hottest topics in Highland music, like this one: “What’s your level of sympathy for the members of the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band?” That poll was a landslide—89 percent are very or somewhat sympathetic with the band, which apparently was the victim of budget cuts in West Scotland. How fired up are people about it? An accompanying article includes this quote:
“After 126 years of exemplary public service [the] Strathclyde Police Pipe Band has been thrown in a Cowcaddens litter bin with all the used fish supper pokes.”
I think that means he’s mad.
There were many TV polls, about Lost more than any other show (our own Matt weighed in on the Lost father phenom as well, but did not care to PollDaddy your opinion). A typical Lost poll: Except for Michael, who’s your favourite father of LOST’s main characters? Yes, Christian Shephard (Jack/Claire’s father) won that by a wide margin.
A U.K. pundit they call “The marmite of Conservative commentary” (is that a compliment?) wanted to know this: “Father of murdered girl calls for return of death penalty. Your preferred method?” Poll results: across the pond, they prefer hanging, apparently.
One poll that was either in response to the fleeting Hulk Hogan scandal or was just a father with his own boundary issues: At what age does it become inappropriate for a father to rub suntan lotion on his daughters ass? (the pervy dad contingent came out strong, with15 percent answering “never”)
Then, there’s the world’s Second Oldest Poll question: what should we name the kid? (presumably first invented about nine months after the world’s Oldest Poll Question: “will you have sex with me?”) One version wanted to know whether the kid’s first and middle names should be Ryan Alexander, Dylan Alexander, Ethan Alexander or Liam Alexander. Liam came out ahead on that one, but fans of Acting Without Acting, of course, know what the answer really should’ve been.
When it comes to parenting, of course, the focus group that counts is really quite small. What you really want to know as a father is how you will viewed by your partner, and later on, by your kids. So I took heart in this poll from last year: How Do You Feel About Dear Old Dad? Answers include “Meh” (24 percent) and “He’s actually my step-father and he’s a total dick” (1 percent).
But the winner, with 57 percent, was “Love Him!”