On a more serious note, I have wondered if there is anything special about English that makes it so universal. A quick Google resulted in an interesting piece by Wendy Wang from China:
Because countries like US, British, Canada, Australia, etc are of powerful economy. Some of them even are of strong military power. Any a country wants to develop their economy or cooperate with these countries in military has to know English, or how could they communicate with these countries?[EnlishBaby.com]
Besides, History proves that the country of strong economy is sure to have a great cultural influence. Due to the overwhelming economic power of US, American music, movies, TV programmes, even Mc Donald's, KFC are spread all over the world and attract youth throughout the world Which motivate many people especially youth to study English.
PPL say we are living in a global village nowadays. On one hand English is accelerating the process of global village, because ppl can communicate with each other in English. On the other hand, Global Village is making english an obligation to the ppl who want to integrate into the present global village. For example, open the website you will find the vast majority of websites are written in English, so how could it possible if you don't know English?