Surveys say the darndest things.
Seems like not a week goes by that some organization or publication somewhere isn't declaring this place the most energy-efficient locale in the country, or that place the best spot for raising happy, healthy alpacas.
But the latest survey to make headlines beats them all. It's a comprehensive list of the most zombie-friendly states in the nation.
And believe it or not, Utah ranks No. 8.
That's right, people. Of all the places most likely to be overrun by the undead when the impending zombie apocalypse finally hits, the Beehive State makes the Top 10.
OK, so the survey in question doesn't actually mention zombies per se. But a walking-dead infestation is certainly the take-home lesson here, once word gets out about our state's placement in these latest rankings.
What rankings? According to the National Center for Creative Aging, in conjunction with some nutritional product company called life'sDHA, as a people we here in Utah have some of the healthiest brains in the country.
Look, if zombies were smart -- and thankfully they're not because, well, they're zombies -- they'd subscribe to the Standard-Examiner. Because, clearly, we here at the newspaper are committed to courting the coveted 18-to-34-year-old decomposing flesh demographic by providing the undead with information in a handy news-you-can-use format. Indeed, the results of the healthy brain survey were reported on the cover of Tuesday's Health & Home section in the Standard-Examiner.
Under the headline "Utah among states with healthiest brains," S-E correspondent Jamie Lampros wrote about the 2011 America's Brain Health Index, wherein Utah makes such a respectable showing among brain-healthiest states in the nation.
Well, thank you very much, zombie collaborators. You just rang the dinner bell for these creatures. I mean, why don't you go ahead and list our gray matter on Craigslist?
Hey! You with the pronounced limp and the entrails hanging out! You want big, juicy brains? Head for Utah!
Or Colorado. Or Washington or Oregon. Or back east, try Maryland or Vermont or New Hampshire or Maine or New Jersey. Or even -- and this one's a complete surprise given the concentration of Congresspersonages there -- Washington, D.C.
All of those places found themselves in the Top 10 for developing healthy brains.
Incidentally, what's with this zombie fixation all of a sudden? Zombie movies have been all the rage for quite some time now. On television, they have the popular AMC series "The Walking Dead."
And locally, folks are holding all sorts of "zombie crawls." And "zombie proms." So you know it's only a matter of time before somebody decides to organize an "Occupy Zombieland" protest. (Slogan: "We are the 99-percent dead.")
Of course, as one snarky reader on the Standard-Examiner's online comment boards posted, "Do not confuse healthy brains with intelligence."
Oh really? Well, begging your pardon, but a closer examination of the data seems to show something of a correlation.
Think about it: Where will you find the relatively safe zombie-free zones at the end-of-days? Looks like the Midwest and the South are going to be your best bets in any zombie attack, with the states of North Dakota, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana finding their way into the Bottom 10 of the Brain Health Index.
I tell you, a zombie could positively starve to death in those states.
And the No. 1 safest place from zombies? Why, it's Mississippi, of course, which finished last in the brain health survey. Dead last.
Still think healthy brains and intelligence don't go hand-in-hand?
Tuesday's Standard-Examiner story explained that the results of the 2011 America's Brain Health Index were based on 21 factors in four dimensions of brain health -- diet and nutrition, physical health, mental health and social well-being. Areas, apparently, in which we Utahns receive better-than-average marks.
The story continued: "Dr. Chris Hammond, a neurologist at the Ogden Clinic, said Utah is a state that promotes physical activity, with more groomed trails for hikers, more lanes designated for bicyclists and more sponsored activities involving competitions for walking, running, swimming and cycling."
Yeah? Well, good thing, too. Because that physical conditioning is going to come in handy once the zombies get wind of our highly rated brain food.
Here's some food for thought: Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272 or email@example.com.