Census jail


Last weekend, a young man left a near threatening message on my telephone.

In an ominous tone, the feller chided me for not filling out my Census form. He reminded me that it was my responsibility as a Canadian citizen to fill out the form and if I didn’t do it immediately, he would be calling again.

I have never in my life had a call like this one.

I am really anally Canadian. I believe that the Census is an important activity, and I’ve even been known to bitch about the fact that the Tories deep-sixed the long form. Truth be told, I love filling out forms — even my income tax. I enjoy doing taxes so much that I do them for anyone who asks me.

Free of charge.

Really.

So I was concerned about this phone call, given that it followed an ominous looking yellow reminder package from the Census people urging me to fill out the Census and fill it out now.

The problem is this: I’ve already filled out the damned Census and filed it on-line. I dutifully checked all the boxes and typed in the necessary names, dates and sexes of the three officially residing in this household. And I did it on time.

I’m not answering any of these stupid calls because I did what I was supposed to do.

Filled it in.

Pressed send.

What I didn’t do was keep a record of the fact I filled it out. I’m always forgetting to do this, and it’s why I get into trouble with banks and such when payments go astray, or there is a computer glitch — which is what obviously happened here.

Fact is, I believe the bloody computer when it says that the system is solid and secure.

Even when I know better.

I fear that if I answer one of these calls that the lad won’t believe me.

And they’ll send me to Census jail.

Apparently, you can be jailed, though no one ever has been.

I will surely be the first — because my luck goes that way.

There I’ll be in Kingston pen with Paul and Russ and all the bad boys, in solitary eating my beans alone and doing sit ups to while the time away.

Why do I think I’m going to jail?

Because the Tories said so. They are tough on crime and I’m fully expecting that they will make an example of me.

Even though I’m totally innocent.

Yeah, right, Minister of Census (who is that?) will say when he signs my death warrant.

I will have a last meal of KFC because, after all, I won’t be around long enough to get heartburn.

Death by a thousand statistics.

That’ll be my punishment if I answer the damned phone.

Time to go on the lamb.

Take my last hundred bucks and fill up the tank.

Live off berries and bear meat.

Grow my armpit hair long.

Go crazy in the bush.

Wait, Rose, stop over-thinking this.

When the guy calls next, probably I’ll ask him to send the paper form, and I’ll photocopy it once it’s filled out.

Keep a paper copy.

That’s the ticket.

Because, when it comes to government regulation, you can never be too careful.

Ask Victor Malarek.

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