Census Sensibility

April 5, 2010

I dutifully filled out my census form the other day.

Question 1 went to great lengths explaining who should be counted and who should not.  Question 2, as if Monty Python were allowed to submit questions, asked if there were any additional people whom you did NOT count.  One can be assured that if some numerally challenged person responded “yes” to Question 2, some officious person will be calling the phone number given in Question 3.

There was no admonishment on the form not to include pets.  The form never actually used the term “Homo sapiens.”  I would not be surprised if the census receives several thousand responses with names like Schookums Smith and Pooh-Bear Taylor listed as residents.

So the United States found out from me, presumably in order of importance:

  • That I have a mortgage
  • My phone number;
  • That I’m Craig M. Stevenson;
  • That I self-identify as male;
  • That I’m older than I think I am;
  • My birth date (to check whether I compulsively lie about my age);
  • That I’m not hispanic (which apparently is all about attitude now);
  • That I’m an uninteresting shade of white; and
  • That I don’t live anywhere else.

My recollection from 2000 was that the government at least cared what I did for a living.  Maybe I just want them to care a little more about me in general.  I know the IRS cares.  But they don’t give me warm fuzzies in the way the Census Bureau does.

Seventy-two years from now the hallowed 2010 Census vaults will reopen and some busybody can say to themselves, “Ha! Craig Stevenson lived alone and was an uninteresting shade of white.”

That doesn’t seem to capture the spirit of the thing very well, does it?


One comment

  1. This might be the most accurate description of the Census 2010 I’ve seen yet!

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