WASHINGTON, DC - April 6, 2018 - In the age of digital dating, America's couples are running out of ways to break up with each other. Researchers with one government agency think they have pinpointed the reason for surprisingly little evolution in how couples end their relationships.
Representatives of the Library of Congress' Division for Lyrical Accuracy recently reviewed singer-songwriter Paul Simon's 1975 release "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and were shocked by their findings.
"After careful revisiting of Mr. Simon's lyrics," announced the Division's Dr. Jason Goulding, "our team of researchers were quite surprised to learn the song only identifies five ways to leave your lover, rather than the advertised 50 ways."
Dr. Goulding admitted the scientists on the team were initially convinced there was an error in the data. But, after multiple dissections, the results remained consistent.
"It's amazing we didn't catch this much earlier," said Goulding. "Once, we thought we had discovered a total of 15 ways in the lyrics, but it turns out Simon just repeats the same five ways three different times. It's shocking, because even 15 is far less than the advertised 50."
With the recent findings from the formerly obscure Division of Lyrical Accuracy, relationship specialists seem to have found the key to why the number of acceptable ways of breaking off a relationship seem considerably limited.
"For a little more than 40 years, American breakup techniques have been limited primarily to slipping out the back door, dropping off apartment keys, and hopping buses," said Goulding. "Frankly, we may have been a bit generous in defining 'Don't be coy, Roy' as a valid way to leave your lover, but a majority of our research team chose to interpret this as Simon's advocacy for simple, straightforward conversation between both people about the obstacles to the relationship's ongoing success. Several of us simply thought it was a weak attempt to maintain a rhyme scheme."
When questioned, Paul Simon-- who is preparing for his final world tour next month-- denied any mathematical deceit in his lyrics.
"At worst, you could say that 'Make a new plan, Stan' is just a way of addressing the missing 45 other ways," said Simon. "I'm leaving it up to the listener to concoct their own means of leaving that best reflects the situation they're in."
But, the government researchers are not feeling as generous toward Simon's interpretation.
"Quite simply, Paul Simon owes America at least nine new verses to complete the promise he made in 1975 with the release of Still Crazy After All These Years," said Goulding. "At this point, 95% of the promised content of the song has yet to be delivered to the American consumer. We have prepared a variety of ideas for Mr. Simon's consideration that reflect our changing culture and could be helpful in guiding today's couples on how to leave their lovers."
Samples provided to the media included: "Send her a text, Rex," "Just swipe left, Jeff," and "Change your Netflix password, Reginald."
"That last one needs a lot of work to make it fit the song's meter," said Goulding, "but our team leader, Reggie, was adamant it be included. He said his longtime girlfriend Gloria would know what it was about, whatever that means."
Simon would not respond to questions about the government's demand for nine new verses. As of press time it was unclear what criminal or civil charges, if any, could be applied to the songwriter.