In teaching my kids how to write persuasive essays I emphasized the importance of statistics. “Make them up,” I exorted, “As long as they look vaguely realistic, the graders will be impressed!” When pressed for examples, I rattled off a number of spurious suggestions, and then asked them to write a paragraph about any one cause that was dear to their hearts, and persuade me to agree with them. “And use two statistics,” I demanded imperiously from my throne, “Or suffer the consequences!”

The following is my favorite submission. It is brazenly entitled, ‘MONKEYS!!’.

Spider Monkeys make great pets but when their old they can turn vicious. In a public survey 9 out of 10 monkey go wild when they are older. All spider monkeys should be given pet spiders to show their ancestors. In a world wide rain forest survey 6 out of 10 monkeys with pet spiders live longer. Just imagine all the spider monkeys dying out because they don’t have a pet monkey. Call now at 1800-xxx-xxxx. Remember by calling you are helping to save them.