October 21, 2014

Hoping to be a winner on this year’s Census

Posted 3/26/10

The other day, my wife, Kay, and I finally received our Census in the mail.

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Census for a few weeks now, in part due to the fact that we don’t lead very exciting lives. Plus, this will be our first time participating in the Census.

And as we opened the mailbox to find our big, official Census packet awaiting us, we started to get butterflies in our stomachs. These weren’t butterflies of excitement, but the sudden realization that we didn’t study at all. We weren’t even prepared! What if we failed? We could be deported to some dangerous, frightening place, such as Iraq, or Texas.

I say we weren’t prepared, but that is a bit of a lie. We were, very much, expecting to receive the Census in the mail. This is due in large part to the official letter that our United States government sent us just a week prior to us receiving the actual Census, which stated that we should be expecting to receive the Census in the very near future.

I suppose someone in our U.S. government must have thought this was a necessary step in the Census process. It quite possibly would have been more logical to, rather than send us a warning, send us the actual Census in that first envelope, instead of wasting taxpayer money. But the words “logical” and “government” are rarely used in the same sentence, unless also accompanied by the word “not.”

So thankfully, Kay and I were aware of the fact that, in some capacity, the Census would be arriving very soon. This was useful information, just in case we were possibly planning a vacation or something, we could then cancel it to make sure that we would be home for the Census. Had they given us an actual anticipated arrival date, we might have even taken the day off of work.

So we opened our Census envelope and began to fill it out. It was nice to see that our government believes that we, the American people, who vote to put them into office, are idiots. This is evident because after every single question, they felt it was necessary to demonstrate the correct way to put an “X” in the box for our selection. Just to mess with them, Kay and I put question marks in ours.

It turns out that the Census is really pretty straightforward, with many basic questions that were pretty easy to answer. We took the same care in answering them as we do when we use TurboTax to do our taxes — we answered as many questions as we could, and then we guessed on the rest of them. You know, the same way that our government has made its decisions on health care reform.

One problem we encountered was the fact that there are spaces to fill in information about up to 12 people in your home, yet there are only two people living in our home — Kay and me.

So in order to finish filling out the Census properly, we had to completely make up 10 other people. It didn’t get challenging until we got to about person five, and we started running out of imaginary friends.

The other problem was that we couldn’t find where we were supposed to put our banking information and our social security numbers. Somehow, they must have forgotten to include that section in our Census. So we just wrote it on the front of the return envelope so they wouldn’t miss it.

So now Kay and I are anxiously waiting to hear back from the Census people on how we did. We really are hoping that we win, because we could sure use the money. We’re really confident that we’ve got a good chance this year. I knew the answer to at least 50 percent of the questions, which is significantly better than I did in college, and they gave me a degree.

Wait, you mean this isn’t a contest? I thought it had something to do with Publisher’s Clearing House. I guess then the government probably won’t be real happy about all of the magazine subscriptions I included, will they?

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