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,
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
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?