Monday, March 15, 2010

If You Think of Counting Me, Count Me Out

Every day I come home and ask my wife if it has arrived yet, more antsy than Ralphie Parker waiting for his Orphan Annie Secret Decoder. Finally today it arrived: the United States 2010 Census Form.

I ripped it open, grabbed my favorite pencil and sat down to fulfill my civic responsibility. I ended up more disappointed than Ralphie Parker finding his Orphan Annie Secret Code message was "Be sure to drink more Ovaltine."

I can't get past the first question.

The form came with a message from the Director of the US Census Bureau himself, dated March 15, 2010. That's today! He must have personally dropped it in my mailbox. Because it is urgent. His message, which he put in bold letters is, "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today."

Today! I had to hurry. I grabbed my pencil, ready to start writing answers, but wait, there were instructions: "Before you answer Question 1, count the people living in the house.." Oh, geez, I don't have this kind of time! The Director needs this back today. I looked around the room. I checked the bathroom and under the couch cushions. I found only two people. Wait, it says, "count all people, including babies". Damn it! I started over, but found no babies. Okay, ready for question 1.
1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?
Stupid, stupid, stupid me! Why have I never watched "Lost!" or "Fast Forward?" or any of the current TV shows which might have given me insight into time travel? Long ago I saw every episode of "Time Tunnel" and "It's About Time", but I can't recall the details of the process. Where is Doc Brown when I need him? I could use his DeLorean right now; or at least some of his creme soda.

I have to fill this out and mail it today, I can't wait until April 1, 2010 comes around again to find out how many people were living here then. I'm going to say that the same two I see now were still here then.
2. Were there additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?
_ Children such as newborn babies or foster children.
Whoa, slow down! Time travel is tough enough, now I have to grasp the concept of children? Whew... and these "babies" they speak of. Since when are they people?

Other people you might not have counted as "living or sleeping here most of the time":
_ Nonrelatives, such as roommates or live-in baby sitters
Seriously? When is someone who lives here not someone who lives here? My brain started to throb ... on April 1, 2010.

Let's skip ahead a bit:
4. What is your telephone number? We may call if we don't understand an answer.
Who the hell do I call? I don't understand one bit of th ...

Hold on.
April 1, 2010.
April 1.
April first!
I get it now. Oh, Mr. Director, you had me going. Riley Girt's got nothing on you. I'll go home and wait for the real census form.
(US Senseless Survey name and image belong to Kevin Wolfe and Riley Girt)


Anonymous said...

That was funny! I can't wait...I need to go check the mail TODAY!!

Frank Lee MeiDere said...

All forms from the government read as though they'd been specially created for April 1.

But wow! "It's About Time"! That show lasted for what -- four weeks or so? I guess longer, because at one point the cave people come with the astronauts forward to the present. I'd come to believe I was the only person who'd ever seen it. Thanks for the clip; it showed me a few things I'd missed as a kid. I suppose it should have obvious even in retrospect that Sherwood Schwartz had something to do with it, but I was certainly surprised to see that Richard Donner was the director. But what really made me laugh was realising that the cave woman (Imogene Coca) was named "Shag."

Really. Shag.

Not a Granny said...

That was my husbands reaction to the first two questions also....

JohnnyB said...

Barb - you should have checked it back on April 1.

Frank Lee - It's About Time was watched by you, me, my sister and my mother. The 4 of us kept it around for a whole season I guess. We started watching because of Joe E Ross from "Car 54" and Imogene Coca. - btw, they apparently caught on to the "Shagg" thing

Not a Granny - They had 10 years to come up with simple, straightforward questions and blew it.

Anonymous said...

It's about time, It's about space, It's about 2 men in the strangest place!

I watched it, too!

Finally got to go back and read some of your blogs that I missed!


Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't realize you had that link to the opening. I remembered that all on my own!