All smokers smell. All buses are late. All politicians are mendacious narcissists.
Some things in life are so truly self-evident that they require no discussion. Which is why I was thrust into prehistoric hysteria by a piece of research that declared only 20 percent of the world's population believes that green people are already in our midst and enjoying our Corn Flakes.
According to Ipsos, the fine researchers of markets terrestrial and celestial, the majority of the world is still unwilling to accept that aliens are already here and disguised as us.
And by "disguised as us", I am not specifically referring to Lindsay Lohan, Ray Kurzweil, Dennis Kucinich, Newt (even though that name might, to some, be such a giveaway) Gingrich, Jack White, the members of Devo, or the man who lives on my street with the curiously pointy-eared chihuahua.
Ipsos performed this research on behalf of Reuters, and the results are, to my small and oozing mind, startling. It's not as if there were merely a couple of respondents. 24,077 people were questioned as to their feelings about their fellow alien. And, thankfully, though it's clear that too many of the world's citizens are blind to the realities of their existence, at least there are pockets of intelligence that offer us all hope.
In India, for example, 45 percent of those surveyed declared that, yes, of course, some of their fellow men are really green, have three heads, and pretend to love cricket. 42 percent in China also said they believed aliens were among them, but it is not recorded whether they said that some of these space people worked for Google.
While the US polled at a hopeful 24 percent seeing the light, countries like Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and France are full of self-regarding dullards who seem incapable of seeing beyond the ends of their nasal hairs. In each of these alien-forsaken places, less than 10 percent of respondents claimed to believe in the inevitable truth.
John Wright, senior vice president at Ipsos, offered Reuters a difficult defense of these intellectually incurious countries: "Maybe it's a simple case that in a less populated country you are more likely to know your next door neighbor better." Or, perhaps, you are more likely to believe that you see famous faces in the random shapes of potatoes.
One can only hope that the people of India and China will continue to educate the rest of the world in the realities of the universe. That way, when the aliens finally cast off their human masks and prepare us for a singularly hopeful future, it will be the open-minded believers who will be left in charge of our troubled planet.