Census Follies

So my wife and I just got a phone call.  Here’s the gist of it:

“We’re calling from the U.S. Census.  May I speak to the person who completed the census form?”


“We just need to confirm the accuracy of the information you submitted to make sure that everyone is only counted once.  [He then rattled off some gobbledygook about how this is required by law.]  On April 1, 2010, were the following people residing at your address?  [He names off each member of our family.]”


“Was [one certain family member] residing there on April 1, 2010?”


“Was he overseas serving in the military?”

“What?  No.  He was here.”

“Was he living in a group home or drug treatment facility?”

“You mean in addition to also living here at the exact same time?  No.  He was still here.”

“Was he living in a homeless shelter?”

“Dude, no!”

“Are there any children who lived anywhere else during March and April?”

“Yes.  We share custody of two of our children with their mom.  One child’s time is split 50/50; we each see him half of the week.”

“In March and April, did he live with you most of the time or at the other address most of the time?”

“Um, like we said, it’s 50/50, so it was half at each.”

“Would you say the time he spent at each house was equal, then?”

“Why, yes.  Yes we would.”

“Was anybody other than who is listed on the form living with you on April 1, 2010?”


“Anybody at all?”


“Any foster children?”

“Well, of course.  It goes without saying that when we said nobody else was living here, that the foster kids didn’t count.”


“Dude, no.  Like we said before, nobody else was living here.”

“Any friend living with you for a while?”


“OK.  Were any extended family living with you?”

“*sigh* No.”

“That concludes our interview.  Do you have any questions?”

“Yes.  Is everybody getting one of these calls?”

“Yes, we’re making these follow-up calls to everybody.”

“If everyone’s going to get one of these follow-up calls anyway, then what’s the point of even filling out the paper form?  Why not just do the phone calls?”

“I really couldn’t tell you.”

 Your tax dollars at work!


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