Like many Americans, I received my 2010 Census in the mail over the weekend. It seemed quite simple until I began to read each question and then I became extremely confused.
What was the government really asking me? Were there hidden meanings in those 10 questions? Would government agents in dark glasses and a bulge in their overcoats be banging on my door if I answered the questions incorrectly?
I decided to sit down at my desk and attempt to analyze each question, not only from my own perspective, but from the government’s point of view. Just to see if there was some hidden agenda there.
The first question wanted to know how many people were living or staying in my house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010.
Right off the bat I knew something was up. Today is March 23rd so how could I possibly know how many people would be living or staying in my house by April first. I figured this out and determined that it was a trick question by those sneaky government snoops. If I said “2″ which is correct, if you don’t count the five cats, and they in turn, “do” count the five cats, then I’m screwed for lying. So I simply wrote in that I wasn’t sure and to check back with me after April first when I should receive a reply from my attorney as to whether cats count. Hey, this count could determine the price of cat food locally ya know.
The second question was kinda stupid in my opinion. “Were there any additional people staying here in April 1, 2010 that I did not include in question one.” This is apparently “double speak” government style. I guess they figured if I didn’t answer question 1, they might confuse the hell out of me and get me to answer question 1 in question 2. I outsmarted them by not answering either question.
Question three wants to know if the place I live in is owned with a mortgage, owned without a mortgage, rented, or occupied without rent.
Now this is kinda confusing too. I split the monthly expenses with my other half so we’re not renting exactly and we don’t have a mortgage, (strange word mortgage….like why is there a “T” in there) so I guess we are occupying without rent too. But again, this is definitely a trick question so that they know if you have enough cash every month to contribute to various causes in which case telemarketers will get this info and zoom in on you.
Question four asks for your telephone number. Oh yeah, right…so that when you sell the information in question 3 those %$#@! telemarketers will call me. Nope, I told them I have a two way radio as well as raising my own carrier pigeons. Heh Heh. I’m not stupid.
Question five is again, confusing and long. It’s almost the same as question 1 but asks if the owner or renter lives somewhere else. This, is, assuming if the person owning or renting the home is a gazillionaire and is in Florida somewhere collecting rent. I could very well state that we own our home, which is again, true…but….suppose I was renting and didn’t want to reveal the owner’s information because he might be in the Federal Witness Protection Program. See, it’s tricky here for those of you who are renting from someone who might be on the lam. Be careful.
Question six was rather easy for a change. “What is Person 1′s sex?
I thought they were asking if I engaged in sex,….I answered, “yes” and then saw what they really were asking, but it was too late to change my answer. I write with a magic marker.
Question seven asks person 1′s age and date of birth. If I could have remembered that stuff without having to rummage through my important papers folder way up in the attic, I would have answered it. I’m actually in denial when it comes to my age and date of birth and I like it that way. I’m not going up to the attic so that I really know. Besides, it’s kinda creepy and cob webby up there…ya know…spiders and things. Yuk!
Question 8 asks if you are Hispanic, Latino or Spanish in origin. Hmmm, I thought Hispanic and Spanish were the same, but I’m probably wrong. I wrote in that I wasn’t but I like Spanish and Latino food if that counts.
Question 9 asks what persons 1′s race is. I told them I usually play the number 9 horse at Racebook at the local casino in race number 5.
Finally, question 10 asks if the person, namely “1′ lives or sometimes stays somewhere else. This question is obviously another trick one geared for the hospitality industry. If you answer you sometimes live or stay somewhere else…..”SHAZAM”…..all kinds of hotel offers come in from various resorts. The way to get around this is to say that sometimes you and your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/mistress/or very close pet, depending how strange your relationship might be, sometimes get into heated arguments, therefore forcing you to seek out temporary living arrangements, such as your car or truck.
So, I hope I’ve given all of you some valuable insight as to how to handle those tricky census questions.
Don’t be afraid if you answered them incorrectly. The census people will come knocking on your door a few weeks from now to correct any information that they think is incorrect.
In the meantime, do not answer the phone, (telemarketers) do not open any mail with a hotel logo on it, and when the census people come knocking on your door, tell them you just moved in but are in the process of moving out of your house which used to be a mobile home but now is not, because the tires are flat, and that you did have a phone but it’s disconnected and you’re living alone but actually have a split personality so you’ve decided both of you should go to Florida if they accept dual personalities who may or may not be senior citizens.
NOW can you make sense out of the census? Makes census to me.