Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Liveblogging the census form

6.08 pm (CST): I pour myself a big glass of 2004 Fox Creek Sauvignon Blanc and reflect that it would be irresponsible to have more than about two of these while I'm filling in the form.

6.09 pm: Maybe three.

6.10: I wonder what stats they've already got by now on the number of people who are too stupid or inattentive to realise that they are supposed to do it TONIGHT, NOT LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK BEFORE, YOU MORONS.

6.11: The wine is not quite what it should be. I re-think my position on screw caps and switch to a pinot grigio that suggests a combination of not-quite-ripe-pears and granite, which is more like it.

6.13: Online or paper? Paper. Blue or black? Blue.

6.15: I make a mistake with the very first question, writing my street number in the 'Flat or apartment number' box. I take back what I said about morons at 6.10. Also, two glasses of wine might be better.

6.29: I'm bored, and only up to page 12. It would be more fun if I made up the answers, but the cumulative effect of ratbags making up the answers is that people who definitely need all kinds of services may not get them. Back to it.

6.31: I have now written down my name and address twice and it was no fun either time. There are boxes for the name (if any) of one's house. I consider giving my house a name. Emoh Ruo? Avalon? Chez Furball?

6.41: Is that all there is?

I'm sure I remember it being more interesting than that. Oh well. But I still like the idea that all over the country tonight, everyone is doing the same thing, working in these divisive times on what is, for once, a common endeavour. I imagine a kind of Google Earth point of view where I can look with my X-ray vision down through people's roofs and see them sitting at the computer or the desk or the kitchen table, sweltering in Broome or shivering in Launceston, calling out things like Oi, Person 2, how many hours of unpaid housework and gardening did you do this week?


Oh, you did not.

*....., ....., ....., ....., ....., ....., ..... and ......*

Oh. Right. I'll put that then.


comicstriphero said...

The LovelyWife and I set aside tonight as our "hot census date" - which really only involved a couple of bacardis and me filling in the little boxes wrong (surprise).

I was suprised though at how quickly those 'unpaid hours of housework' add up though.

And why must I exclude my motorbike from the number of vee-hickles garaged at my residence this evening?

JahTeh said...

I must admit that Peggy Lee song was running through my mind as I filled this in. They didn't even ask about politics and I was all ready.

Pharoah said...

My wife's at home in Turramurra filling in the Census Form - my daughter is in Wagga at Charles Sturt Uni, my son is finding himself, and is "lost" in some bird's arms in a pub in London, and I am slaving away here on a project in Delhi, India.

I wonder what will the future demograhists and genealogists make of this ?

Ampersand Duck said...

We nearly had a tiff over how much housework HAD been done and by whom. I'm proud to mark on the form that the majority had been done by the male of the house, no matter how much he resents it.

And it's very hard not to add your cats.

I did write that Bumblebee's religion was Jedi. it's the truth!

mark bahnisch said...

I can answer the question asked at 6.10pm:


mark bahnisch said...

And I can even make it easy for people to follow the link, if blogspot will let me!

Anna Winter said...

Mr Anna was most upset that he wasn't allowed to list me as his "Common Law Wife".

He was even more upset when he discovered that, as Person 2 of the household, the ABS is only interested in how he is related to me.

mark bahnisch said...

Who gets to be person 1 or person 2, the person who first gets their hands on the form?

My flatmate's down the coast visiting friends, so it's not a question I had to confront.

Anna Winter said...

It's a power struggle, Mark. Survival of the quickest/ the one who can find a pen first.

Lucy Tartan said...

I remember with pleasure the year my parents filled it in using the noms de plume "John and Mary Frogshit." Also what Duckie said about the cats! And Jahteh I think you should feel free to just add to the form. There's plenty of room. It could be the last chance any of us get.

Ampersand Duck said...

Your parents must be rockers, LT.

I was talking to someone yesterday who saif that they once added their household ghost who apparently calmed down after being offically recognised.

Kate said...

Hard not to add the dog too, though she was very unforthcoming about her religion and her income.

Lucy Tartan said...

Obvs. the dog's religion is Kate-worship.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Yes, one doesn't get that with cats. They prefer it the other way round. Mine remained on a lofty plane high above it all.

naomi said...

I grabbed the form first and so was person 1. Housework overkill must be a family trait Ducky because M certainly outdid me - mainly because I left him at home with sick bairn while I went to work and he took it upon himself to spring clean AND cook (he is going away for a month soon so is interested in increasing domestic capital).

tigtog said...

I filled it in online and the cat still wanted to sit on the census-online form with my login number on it.

I had rum and cherry juice in a tall glass (juice drained from the tinned-cherry pie-filling that was cooking away) to sustain me though, so I managed to shove her off the desk.

Rebekka said...

We named our abode "The Glenlivet" in honour of the census-filling (not quite as tasty as cherry-pie filling). I am going to make a sticker that says "The Glenlivet" to stick on the front door for when the census lady comes back, in case she checks.

And my person 2 did more unpaid housework than me too, but I reckon I pay him in puddings.

Pinko Bogan said...


Ya gotta be careful.

We got “done” some years ago, having put Principal Householder Erik down as “Erik Con Meo,” and not using his/our surname, as usually done at the vet’s.

A gruff person returned a few nights after the census, swishing the offending form and rather patronisingly going through it, one tense lump at a time.

During the punishment Erik sat by the fire and gazed languidly across the room, but sensing danger and ready to spring into action at any moment.

His occupation and religion bits seemed to jolt our caller – “hunter/sleeper” and “RC” may have aroused primal Vegan sectarianism (although I explained that “RC” stood for “Rat Catcher”, and asked if “C of E” (“Cat of Excellence”) would do instead, but just copped withering stare.

Not as intimidating as Mr Con Meo ’s frown could be, however – we called it the “Did you just open that bloody fridge and not for me, you bastard” look.

But ABS took particular offence at Erik’s perfectly truthful reply to “Languages spoken at home.”

Erik was down as bilingual in 1. Vietnamese (in which he could, and very frequently did, utter his animal variety with flawless intonation) and; 2. Cat (in which he was extremely fluent, NAATI level 5, in fact).

The gruff ABS person uttered a barely proficient meowing hiss at all that, and, form “done,” marched off into the night, her back fur bristling and tail raised.

The light was poor so I can’t be sure, but I’d swear she marked with a scalding jet each of the tyres on the Honda. Some of them are just born plain mean. Or maybe it’s some ABS tradecraft thing.

Erik passed away some years afterward from renal failure.

But were it not for ABS’s brutal refusal to account in the national tally for his health needs and many other foibles, he might be with us today and not buried under the cherry tree where he effectively feeds his old friends the kurrawongs (not on this year’s census).

Georg said...

Hmm, no one has actually said how many hours of unpaid housework they actually nominated. I'm beginning to feel like perhaps I put too little...

I loved filling out the 'needs help getting dressed' bit for person number three. Well, he is three.