Did you know that 88 percent of Canadian babies are conceived during Michael Buble’s Christmas special?
That’s just one of the fascinating – and completely untrue – statistics you’ll find if you follow a hilarious Twitter feed whose content is co-created by a University of Windsor engineering grad Andrew Bondy and some of the friends he’s made from around Canada through social media.
In fact, @stats_canada has become so popular – with more than 228,000 followers, comedian Rick Mercer among them – that its creators were approached by a literary agent who landed them a publishing deal with Penguin Canada to create book based on many of the same themes they explore in their Twitter feed.
“It’s a lot more than just a collection of tweets,” Bondy said of Stats Canada: Satire on a National Scale, which was published in October. “In fact, there’s very little recycled content from our Twitter feed. About 80 to 90 percent of it is original material. They really let us write the book we wanted to write.”
The book is a collection of fun and false facts covering everything from history, geography and weather to sports, entertainment, sex and dating. It contains maps on where brunch is located in Canada, reasons why the rest of the country hates Ontario and even has a guide on cold poles and your tongue.
“It’s got a lot of good information for Canadians,” says Bondy, who was born and raised in Windsor and graduated from mechanical engineering in 2007. “There’s a flow chart with questions to determine how Canadian you are with questions like ‘Can you name more than two Mulroneys?’ and ‘Do you currently have a soaker?’”
Bondy, who works at a minerals and metals consulting and engineering firm in Mississauga, said the Twitter feed was actually launched by his friend Eric Taylor and that as it gained momentum, several more writers hopped on board to help manage the content. Those writers – from Calgary, London, Toronto and Brampton – pitch jokes to one another before they tweet them, he said.
Having the opportunity to write humour is a nice reprieve from his everyday work, Bondy said.
“I’m not going to say engineering isn’t creative, but it can be very black and white, and very regimented,” he said. “So I’m really blessed to be able to make something out of my hobby.”
And with Christmas right around the corner, Bondy said the book makes a great gift.
“It’s a formidable stocking stuffer,” he said.