Chart Toppers

Disappointing news this week. Word reaches us that Singapore ranked only second in a worldwide survey to find the countries that worry the most about survey results. The Association of Serious Surveys found that while Singaporeans like to know how they measure up on the global yardstick, they tend to work too hard to improve their results year-on-year. The ASS report pointed out that this was not the point of such surveys; whose principal goals were humiliation disguised as statistical analysis, and elevated levels of first world smugness. Countries that moved up the rankings were found to be acting contrary to the spirit of the exercise, with the outright winner of this particular survey—the Pacific island nation of Yugo’where—so paralyzed by shame that it has been preemptorily declared the winner from now till 2025.When it was revealed that Singapore also ranked second on CNNGo’s survey of the coolest cities on earth, hopes were momentarily raised that we might finally top the Countries Most Consistently Ranked Second in Surveys poll, but were then cruelly dashed by a fourth place finish in a new study assessing Asia-Pacific’s top green cities.Residents of Tiong Bahru (runner up in a survey to find SE Asia’s most relentlessly hyped old-world neighborhoods) have organized a community drive to raise awareness of slipping standards. Coordinator Madhuchhanda Ng (third place finalist in a 2009 survey of most racially harmonious names) was quoted as saying, “It’s just not on. Indonesia’s dirtier, Malaysia’s more corrupt, Brunei has more punitive laws. It’s hard for us to come out on top!” The interview was cut short as Ms Ng was called away to participate in what organizers hope will be a new world record in lo hei tossing.The issue has also been taken up by the youth. Students at Bukit Panjang Primary School (whose rear playground is currently being demolished, having come second in a schoolwide survey that asked “Which of our two playgrounds do you like the most?”) presented proposals for surveys they are sure can be won by the time they graduate. Contenders include “Which is the Best Country to Live in If You Frequently Fly to Both Australia and Europe?” (submitting the proposal, 8 year old Wan Win Soon said he figured Dubai would “have burned itself out by then”) and “Nation that Spends The Most Time Needlessly Obsessing About a Perfectly Charming Creole Language.” Promotional posters that read “First Place Also Can” are on sale now.