All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Workaholic, New Study Finds

In other research, a stitch in time saves only six or seven.

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photo credit: Patrick Gensel

ESEARCHERS AT THE National Institutes of Health have just completed a five-year study to test the long-held hypothesis that "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."

Lead scientist for the study, Dr. Janet Cullen, said her team discovered that "if Jack participated in exclusively work activities for the entire day," the likelihood of his choosing work the next day increased at a predictable rate.

"It didn't seem to matter what day of the week we had our Jacks start their 'all work no play' routine," explained Dr. Cullen. "The next day, they were predictably going to resume the all-work behavior at the same rate. This may help to explain some people's tendency to work weekends."

Conversely, all play and no work did not turn out to make Jack an exciting boy, but instead a rather lazy and hedonistic one.

And finally, "just for fun," Dr. Cullen's research team placed the all-work and all-play Jacks in a room together, which resulted in the "play" Jacks blowing up some of the "work" Jacks with homemade explosives, leading to an all-together new grouping of "domestic terrorist" Jacks.

"We used to call them 'pranksters,' but times have changed," lamented Dr. Cullen. "My brother was a real prankster in his youth, but all of his explosions were just in good fun. Except that one with the crow."

With grant money left over from Dr. Cullen's five-year study, a few of her graduate students conducted their own pilot study to test the hypothesis that "a stitch in time saves nine."

Said graduate student Jack Parsons, "Our preliminary results find that only about six or seven stitches are saved with one stitch in time, but we have hundreds of stitches yet to complete."

"Now there's a dull boy for you," said Dr. Cullen.