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Monday miscellany


  1. Pat H.
    Pat H. September 27, 2010 6:13 am

    Yes, the census is still out there sucking up federal largess.

    My wife and I filled out the first form, the part that asks how many live here and no more, long ago. Still, that apparently wasn’t enough. We received a second form, just like the first, which my wife threw into the “round file”.

    Oh, but not to be deterred, a female census worker came upon me while I was outside on my deck doing some sort of project, and asked if she could ask me just a few questions. I told her that we’d filled out our census form and sent it in several months prior to her visit whereupon she says, “well, you can’t fill out too many, can you?” I informed her that one form was enough for us and that we weren’t going to be answering any further inquiries of any kind. Since I’m 6’1″ & 250 lbs, and she wasn’t, I guess that was enough for her and she went away.

    Finally, so far, we had another census visitor, a male this time, who found me out on my deck again. After he asked if this was XXX Txxxxxxxx Road, despite the six inch high brass numbers on our mail box, which he passed on the way into our drive, I just looked at him and said, “we’ve sent in the form at least four months ago, don’t send anyone else out here, now beat it”t. Maybe it was just me, maybe it was that forty caliber SIG in the holster on my belt, hard to say, but he left with no further questions.

    Will they try again? I don’t know, but if there’s more money to waste, they may.

  2. CS
    CS September 27, 2010 8:18 am

    My census form went straight into the trash.

    Some weeks later, I’m doing tractor work when I become aware of someone standing near me in the yard. I stopped the engine, thinking I’m dealing with a lost passerby who lacks the sense of how to how to approach someone working with noisy, dangerous equipment.

    Then I saw the clipboard, the census taker made introductions and the conversation ran something like this:

    “How many people live in that house?”

    “None of your business.”

    “Sir, the Constitution requires you to answer my questions…”

    “Yes, I’ve read the Constitution and I don’t care. By the way, are you threatening me with the use of force if I don’t answer you?”

    “No! But if you don’t answer my questions, our state won’t get its full allotment of tax money back from the Federal government…”

    “Then don’t let them steal it in the first place and we won’t have that problem, will we?”

    “Sir, I’m not here to discuss that.”

    “You brought it up.”

    “Uhhhhhh… sir, if you’re not going to answer my questions, I think you’re being very short sighted.”

    (Right about then, the good natured banter ended and I put on my grumpy face.)

    “Know what short-sighted is? Walking past two ‘No Trespassing’ signs and through a closed gate to come bother me while I’m working. Good day.”

    No further contact.

  3. Claire
    Claire September 27, 2010 9:35 am

    CS and Pat H. — kudos to you.

    In the past, I don’t recall anywhere near this many stories of rude persistence by census takers.

  4. Sam
    Sam September 27, 2010 10:10 am

    The second visit we got from a census taker was kinda fun. I was courteous but firm. When she got pushy, I faced her down with my 6′ tall, 210 pound gorilla pose (hands on hips and a glare on my mug) and she all but ran to her car.

    “Did you see that Babe?” says I. “I still got it! A nasty look from me and they run!”

    My bride of 23 years was laughing, which of course takes me down a notch or two. “Look at you hip big fella.”

    And there, on my hip, was my beat up old holster and 9MM. I was more or less unaware of the pistol, its always there and I felt no threat.

    Opps. On the other hand, the third visit was a hell of a lot more cordial. “We didn’t live here April 1st. Beat it.”

    End of story, I hope.

  5. Dave
    Dave September 27, 2010 11:15 am

    I never sent the form in, then opened the door without thinking when the first flunky showed up. It took some time to convince him that “2” was all he was going to get. Then when another came and left a notice, I left the notice on the door and no others have been by since. The notice is still there. I was considering taking it down, but if they’re still coming around I guess it stays.

  6. Kevin3%
    Kevin3% September 27, 2010 2:14 pm

    I sent in the first part of the form answering only the number of people living here, with a cover letter explaining that Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 mandated an Enumeration. That was all that would be answered.

    First visit, a polite inquiry asking me to fill out the form. I declined citing the same part of the Constitution. She left without comment.

    Second visit, was a very rude women, I repeated the information and she became nasty. The first thing she said was, “why is everyone around here so rude?” I said, “I cannot speak for anyone else but I was a little tired of overly intrusive questions from the Federal government.” She the insisted I “had to fill out the form.” I told her they got all the info they were going to get from me. She then said “don’t you yell at me!” I informed her that was not yelling but I was in “not going to answer any further questions and she needed to leave.” She then stated, “I have a right to be here on official government business.” I was now quite annoyed and informed her she had no right to be on the property if I told her to leave and she needed to leave now.” She turned away, called me a jerk and said she was going to call the police to report my “threatening her”. I laughed and closed the door.

    3rd visit was a neighbor (part time work for extra money) who asked that I fill out the form and I told her I would not furnish any further information. She was actually polite and understanding of my position.

    4th visit was a guy who insisted that the congress had the authority to seek this information. I told him they can ask anything they want but I have no obligation to answer. He said that he would have to submit this as a “refusal”. I shrugged and closed the door. He left. That was in early August and I have not had any further inquiries.

    Frankly, I was surprised that in such difficult economic times as these, this is what they are wasting money on…..well, no, I guess it is not surprising.

  7. Karen
    Karen September 27, 2010 4:09 pm

    The more I hear, the more my feelings are hurt. We didn’t get any form and no one has come to harass us. I feel so inconsequential…so forgotten. Poor me. Maybe they did come but decided not to stay when they saw the sign “Dog friendly. Beware of owner.” Yah, that’s what happened.

  8. Ellendra
    Ellendra September 27, 2010 7:49 pm

    We got a visit from someone claiming to be a census worker. . . Except, his “badge” was handwritten, and the questions he asked had nothing to do with any census I’ve ever heard of. Things like “What is your annual income?” and “How many TVs do you own?” And when I refused to answer he tried to bully me, claiming I was “legally required” to answer. I eventually shut the door in his face, but for a while it was amusing watching him trying to be intimidating when he was visibly shaking in his boots.

    Made me glad I answered the door armed!

    PS: Karen, I love that sign!

  9. naturegirl
    naturegirl September 28, 2010 12:37 am

    I lol’d at “jigger them together”, I might steal that expression….

    I wonder if Joel made her head spin?

    I escaped the census, as well…I remain a happy ghost……

    As for the nurse & the cop, blame it on the altitude for both not thinking correctly…….

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