I got a survey to do in the mail. Not one of those silly lifestyle surveys, preparing you to be bombarded with advertising, but an anonymous university-based one: the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes.
It was interesting stuff. It asked about my views on such issues as immigration, education, government spending, the war in Iraq.
And thrown in the middle were two questions that really threw me. See if you can answer them, without cheating, without reaching for a reference book or Google or Wikipedia:
Bushrangers roamed the countryside during the early period of European settlement in Australia. Please write the names of four bushrangers below.
Outlaws were also common in the United States of America in earlier times. Please write the names of four outlaws below.
I found this very tricky, could only think of three bushrangers and two outlaws. And when I checked after writing in the answers, found two of these to be wrong (one bushranger misspelt, one outlaw was a good guy, not an outlaw).
What will come of the survey results, I don’t know, but I won’t be totally shocked if in a couple of months, I open the newspaper to find a headline reading something like “Most Australians can’t name four bushrangers”.