Random AsidesSkepticism

Bad Chart Thursday: The Danger of Chairs

Chairs. They’re ubiquitous, such an accepted part of everyday life that no one even thinks twice about them.

For as long as we’ve had television and film, falling out of chairs has been a common trope to express shock, clumsiness, or uncontrollable laughter.

These days, even genuine accidents are giffed about the Internet without so much as a single person wondering why so many of our chairs seem out to get us. Chair-related “accidents” are almost universally seen as humorous, a view that is the result of the masterful PR work of a powerful lobby of chairs.


When will we wake up to the dangers of this deadly furniture? After they’ve killed us all and taken over the planet?

Decades ago, a small intelligence unit noticed the alarming problem and set out to stop it by forming the Worldwide Wrestling Federation as a front for destroying chairs one by one.

But recently, the chairs started to catch on, resulting in the biggest chair massacre the world has ever seen.

Yet somehow, even now, we all go about our daily lives, sitting in numerous different chairs, blissfully unaware that we may never get up again. I had no idea myself until I saw the data in the CDC Wonder database. Deaths from falling out of chairs are on the rise:

Chair fatalities

What could possibly explain this alarming increase in fatalities? Maybe chairs are just more cheaply made, or maybe we have a larger population of older people then ever before who are more likely to suffer serious injury from falling off a chair.

Or maybe, just maybe, sentient chairs are bent on our destruction. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

Paid for by the Beanbag Alliance of America.

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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  1. This post speaks to me on so many terrifying levels, but mostly on the level of the floor as the arch nemesis I just fell out of—again—gazes down upon me with evil satisfaction.

  2. I hate to evoke Godwin but Hitler started it all when he wrote Mein Kampfy Chair.

    Of course Montey Python inadvertently added to the problem by paraphrasing. Comedy is not to be messed with.

  3. Seriously, (am I allowed to do that on Bad Chart Thursdays?) I suspect cherry picking the start and and dates* and the y-axis range** to exaggerate (or maybe minimize) the problem. Was 2000 a particularly benign year for chairs? Maybe they were all distracted by Y2K worries? Why is there no data for 2011 through 2013? Maybe chair-committed homicides correlate with the economy? Was the dip in 2000 due to the .com bust, and the plateau followed by

    Yikes! ..
    (whoops, my chair just tried to murder me…. gets up…)
    the dip in 2008-9 due to the recession?

    [*] Method of choice of global warming deniers
    [**] &169; Fox News graphics department

    1. Rats. “&169;” was supposed to be the copyright symbol.. Maybe it needs a “#”…

      [**] © Fox News graphics department

      Or symbolic form: ampersand-copy-semicolon:

      [**] © Fox News graphics department

      (Can we have preview, please?)

      1. I’m pretty sure the Fox News graphics department had something to do with these coding errors. Maybe it even goes all the way to the top . . . the Fox CHAIRman of the board! Coincidence?

    2. I will cop to not starting at zero because then the line is relatively flat, although that is still disturbing, indicating that chair killings are become a routine part of the status quo. The date range simply reflects the range available in the CDC Wonder database. These are actual stats. There is an entire cause of death category for falling off a chair.

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