FUNNY WOMEN #38: Actual Invented “Findings” from Harper’s Magazine


Scientists have identified the gene that inclines individuals toward excessive Post-It use. Three out of five British women misread the word “aviator” as “vibrator” after prolonged exposure to violent news broadcasts. Non-mammalian school mascots were associated with lower student body morale. North Korean scientists have identified at least 13 “dangerous subversive elements” in peanut and peanut butter M&M’s. Gubernatorial candidates tend to have wider nail beds. The less sleep an individual gets each night, the more hours she is awake. Sensory analysts have created the ideal chocolate sauce.

Mentally picturing a mirror when one sees a long series of parentheses is not indication enough of narcissistic personality disorder. Brazilian game show hosts have adopted fail-proof strategies for remembering contestants’ names. Astronauts who consumed freeze-dried tomato soup more than five times a week showed evidence of decreased tear production. Venus’ liquid core will boil by 5097.  Two-toed albino sloths cannot shiver to keep warm. Drowsy couples fall asleep together.

Adolescents who hitch-hike heal more slowly from paper cuts. The fall army worm has developed a taste for Pottery Barn patio furniture. Sumatran orangutan hair grows until it splits, while Andean flamingos are experiencing a feather version of male pattern baldness. Replacing sliced bread with dinner rolls stabilizes toddlers’ moods. Sale signage created in Serif fonts encourages holiday spending.  Atlantic walruses have trouble remembering their offsprings’ birthdays. Women who wear ¾ sleeves and cropped pants leave more food on their plates.

North American adults continue to dream about forgetting their junior high locker code. The splake trout has better memory than the Southern leopard frog. Ground beef tasted worse to participants who had their tongues covered with a thin film of organic rubber adhesive. Hungarian men over the age of 48 report poorer libido function in buildings with vaulted tile ceilings. No one reads a personal blog more frequently than its blogger. Reindeer born on the Norwegian island group Svalbard suffer from the stress of perfectionism.  French clams treated with a combination of Gatorade and liquid cocaine burrowed both deeper and faster. Oboe music makes dolphins sad. Computers are now better than humans at mah-jong.


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Debora Kuan is a poet, writer, and art critic. Her work has appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Paper Monument, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere. In 2010, she won The L Magazine's Literary Upstart Final for her short story, "Penny." Her first poetry collection, Xing, is forthcoming from Saturnalia Books in October 2011. More from this author →