Monday, March 22, 2010

Attention Please!

We will now take this moment and break from the horrors of the healthcare debate to look at that pale blue form from the government that arrived in your mailbox last week. It seems pretty straightforward, but is it? How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? But they sent the form several weeks prior to April 1. Do I wait until April 1 to fill it out, so I can answer definitively? Oh, but then I received a card in the mail saying, hurry up and send in your census form or you're going to be fined (okay, so it didn't say that exactly, but something to that effect). So I suppose it's okay to assume none of my kids will run away in the next week, and I can simply write a six in that first box.

Question number two seems superfluous or insulting. I'm not sure which. Either it's redundant or insinuates I'm an idiot and don't know how to answer question one.

Question three is the one the is leaving me scratching my head. It reads:
Is this house, apartment or mobile home - Mark ONE box.

Owned by you or someone in the household with a mortgage or loan? Including home equity loans?

Owned by you or someone in the household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)?


Occupied without payment of rent?

I can understand having this as a sentence completion - but why is it a question? Do they mean to say "mark the box that makes a question to which you can answer 'yes'"? That seems awkward. Why doesn't the form say "This house, apartment or mobile home is....and then give the previous choices. Since the census bureau never specifies WHAT the answer to the question is supposed to be, just for the fun of it (okay...just to be spiteful) am I allowed to mark any box (because I could just answer "no" to three of the four choices) to create which ever question I feel like answering?

Okay...that's probably enough of my snarky attitude for today. You may now resume whatever it was (probably something productive) you were doing before you wasted your time here.

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