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The Long Form

Many people are complaining that the U.S. Census Long Form contains invasive and personal questions. This is true, although we wonder if people who are surprised by this are also surprised by the gall of those nosy customs agents. At any rate, we were able to get our hands on an early draft of the long form, which included many questions that were removed from the final version. We include excerpts here, as an example of how much worse it could have been.

What is this person's ancestry or ethnic origin? Would this person wear clothing from another person's ancestry or ethnic origin if it were "cool"? What if Woody Harrelson wore it?

Does this person speak a language other than English at home? Why? Is English not good enough for this person?

Where was this person born? Was this person's conception an "accident"? Is this person sure? Parents usually lie about these things, you know.

At what location did this person work LAST WEEK? Did this person have to dress up as some sort of dancing food or animal and hand out flyers? If so, ha ha.

What time did this person usually leave home to go to work? Does this person ever leave the back door unlocked? Where does this person keep his or her valuables? How about cookies?

Did this person live in this house or apartment 5 years ago? Does this person still have that poster of The Proclaimers up? Those guys were weird looking.

LAST WEEK, was this person on layoff from a job? If so, how much time LAST WEEK did the person spend drinking store-brand liquor and trying to buy a gun without ID?

What was this person's total income in 1999? Does this include money and merchandise won in cola company "instant winner" giveaways? Does this include money found at bus stops? Does this include promotional money like "Camel Cash"? Dammit, how do you expect us to run a census if you don't include everything?

Does this person even know what a "census" is? Two months ago, did this person think it was a compact passenger car from Honda?

Does this person own any of the following items: a refrigerator magnet saying "insanity is hereditary: you get it from your kids", a t-shirt depicting a nude or bikini-clad female chest, a hat into which you can install beverage cans, any variety of miniature plastic talking toilet? For God's sake, why?

Is this person aware of the five-hundred-dollar fine for supplying false information? Who was the Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Fifth Army in World War I?

What is this person wearing?

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