Put it down to a mixture of ego and curiosity if you want, but one slow day in Sydney, I took part in an on-street ‘personality-test’ by a flying column of Scientology evangelists.
It took the form of a series of rapid-fire multi-choice questions about decisions, choice and values, as an Aryan-looking chap wielded his clipboard, flashing his perfect dentures and conditioned side-parting with cheery disposition.
The inquisition completed, his demeanour changed. He tore through my answers. I had lived a life of mistakes. My personality was all wrong. I was only operating at about 30% of the person I could be.
But, there is a solution, he said. Come join the Church of Scientology. Be a better person. Have better teeth and hair. All it takes is a small donation and thereafter a standing order. I learned plenty about myself that day; never trust a survey.
Surveys are odd things in general. Sit anyone down to create one, and their own views will lead it to make the discoveries they desire. If a collective sets the questions, the line of questioning will likely match the beliefs of the most dominant group member.
The multiple-choice survey that Eugene McGee's Football Review Committee [www.frc.ie] has for anyone interested in giving their view on the present state of football, is a riot. Honestly, it's a hoot.
The first problem arrives on page one. Not good. It asks you to tick only one of five options of which describes your involvement in the GAA; Player, Coach/Manager, Referee, Administrator and Spectator.
For a fair majority of those who wish to fill out this survey, these roles overlap more often than not. Back in 2008, I was playing, helping out coaching the club under-21 team, was club secretary, refereed in a blitz, and I went along to watch games. Yet I could only tick one box before I moved on.
It then asks you for your views on the standard of Gaelic football at various levels, which is utterly subjective. For example, say you are from Crossmaglen, but are disgruntled with the fortunes of the Armagh team. How do you think your answers are going to sound like when you are asked separately if you think football at club and county level is; Very Good, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor?
It then lists 11 skills and asks you to put each in order to your preference. It's a roll-call of the usual; catching, kicking, blocking and so on. The next page really gets down and dirty and reels off the ills of the game; Cynical/Tactical fouling, Poor individual skill levels, Overuse of the handpass
All the unimaginative, tired clichéd criticism we have become numbed from repetition, coming from those who are jaded and have seen it all.
It gets worse. You are then invited to suggest means of improving the game, including the Sin Bin, the ‘Mark’ and Limiting Handpasses. These measures have all been trialled for National League campaigns over the past five years.
Dangerously, in these more enlightened days of player welfare and the dangers of burnout, it's posed if the National League should begin in October — the very subject that FRC leader Eugene McGee wrote a column suggesting should happen in October 2010.
The only sensible proposed rule change is taking the timing out of the referee's hands — Pat McEnaney has said in response to this idea that referees like having the time because of the ‘control’ involved. They have the whistle, that's control enough.
Let's be honest about the survey — nothing will come out of this, other than an approval to go back and try old things.
Once inter-county managers raise a fuss, their wishes are granted. Remember the sin-bin experiment in 2005? Managers were in uproar during pre-season tournaments such as the McGrath and O'Byrne Cups. It never survived as far as the National League.
There are hopes that this committee could produce benefits. There are, for example a number of searching questions about the club calendar, which has become a source of pain for the vast majority of playing members.
Some time ago, the Monaghan footballer Dick Clerkin (pictured) made a point in conversation that what people want to see in Gaelic football, the rules do not allow for. We need, he said, to decide what kind of game we want, and then structure the rules to allow it to flourish.
It was an exceptionally far-sighted opinion but the trouble is we don't have enough of these intelligent men, directly involved in playing and coaching the games, giving their views.
And even at that, the likelihood is that those views would be to some extent swallowed up in self-interest.