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The lore of averages

You. Yes, you there! Your average lifespan is 79 years, and in that time it is estimated that you will eat an average of 479 fish fingers, take 7,163 baths, shed 121 pints of tears, dream 104,390 dreams, go through 1,033 chickens, buy 733 balloons and spend €748 on Christmas crackers.

Crazy, isn't it, when you see a life broken down into the average behaviour of an average human being. Of course, we all have our special idiosyncratic behaviour, yet what writer Tadg Farrington discovered is that we also all have more in common than we might think, following his collecting of statistics and figures regarding consumerism, lifestyle choices and births, health and deaths.

Farrington presents a fascinating statistical viewpoint of a life lived by an average person in his recently published book The Average Life Of The Average Person. He outlines 100 facts, figures and actions, both material and intangible, which make up the lifespan of an average Joe or Joanna.


You will spend 273 days of your life drinking round the clock in bars, clubs and pubs. You will spend an estimated €29,014 on alcohol in your lifetime.


The banana is the most popular fruit in the world. In a lifetime, you will eat 13,674 of them.


The invention of liquid latex in the 20s meant that condoms could be made by dipping glass penis moulds into liquid rubber and this is the way condoms are still made today. In a lifetime, you will get through 932 condoms.


Crisps were invented by chef George Crum on Wednesday, August 24, 1853 at around 9pm. A customer complained his chips were soggy and, in a fit of pique, he shaved potatoes thinly and fried them until they were ultra crisp. And the crisp was born. You will eat 175 packets every year of your life.


You blink every five seconds or so -- 348,428,776 times in your life. When you are not sleeping or blinking and are being alert, your eyes will be open and receiving images for the equivalent of 19,760 days.


Psychologists estimate that 12 is the number of people that a person can care deeply about at any one time. In a lifetime, though, 1,964 people will pass through your life, and at any one time you will know 290 of them.


A toddler will typically laugh between 300 and 400 times a day. As an adult this will go down to about 15 times a day.


You will spend 32 days of your life as a vomiting sack of pain, and hundreds more wearing the bilious stain of the night before across your eyeballs and tongue.


The average person spends 54 days of his or her life kissing. It works out as two minutes 42 seconds kissing every single day of your life.


We start to lie as soon as we start talking. As an adult around one-third of all the conversations you have will involve some kind of deception and you will tell two important lies a day. So that's a minimum of 57,782 lies in a lifetime.


Most of the make-up used today -- foundation, mascara, eyeliner, nail varnish, lipstick, blusher, powder -- has been available in some form or other for thousands of years. The average woman spends €279 a year or €22,127 in a lifetime, about 76 cent a day, on make-up.


On total, you are going to get through 2,291 packs of medicines. Of these, 1,214 packs will be heavily advertised over-the-counter medicines. The remaining 1,077 will be relatively anonymous medicines prescribed by a doctor.


The average male orgasm is four seconds long. The average female orgasm is 20 seconds long. A man's 4,785 orgasms in a lifetime will last 5.3 hours. A woman's 3,475 orgasms in a lifetime will last 19.3 hours.


In a lifetime, you will dispose of 12,000 sanitary towels or tampons. Allowing for an average of 1.9 pregnancies, you will ovulate 446 times, produce 15.6 litres of blood and spend 1,784 days having your period. By 51, the reproductive part of your life is over.


In spite of magazine surveys which state that the average woman owns between 40 and 50 pairs of shoes at any one time, and spends over €565 on 10 new pairs of shoes a year, the reality is less. In a lifetime, you will own and throw away 136 pairs of shoes. These will have cost you an estimated €8,371.


Men will produce 10 litres of semen in a lifetime. In terms of wallpaper paste, that is enough to hang 16 rolls of lining paper. In terms of sperm, that's 1.2 trillion spermatozoa more than enough to father a child for every star in the Milky Way.


There is no evidence that women talk more than men. In fact, most studies show that women actually talk less, but the difference is very small. The average for both sexes is 80 minutes a day. In a lifetime, it's four years, two months and 12 days talking non-stop.


An average working week of 44 hours mean that in a lifetime you will spend 10 years and eight months working around the clock.

The Average Life Of The Average Person, How It All Adds Up, by Tadg Farrington, published by Square Peg, available in Easons, price €15.99