To Ronn Neff's "Diary of a census resister "

Readers' experiences

We didn't receive a census form, and we thought we were not in their sights. We have never received a form, and we should have for 1980 and 1990.

Two weeks ago we found a census notice on our front door asking us to please call to make an appointment to fill out the long form — that was a Friday, I think. On Sunday afternoon, an older white-haired gentleman came to the door, which unfortunately was open. When he shouted hello, my husband went to answer. From upstairs I heard our visitor say he was from the Census Bureau, and I made a beeline for the door. He said, "I'd like to ask you a few questions," to which my painfully polite husband said, "Sure," and started to go outside. I got there in time to grab my husband by the elbow and yank him back into the house, saying, "We are not answering any questions."

"But I just want to ask a few questions."

"We aren't answering."

"Why not?"

"Because we don't have to."

"I just want to tell you what the questions are."

"I know what the questions are, and we are not answering."

"Why not?"

"Look, I'm not going to argue with you. I'm not telling you anything."

"Even your name?"

"Especially not my name." I had to close the door in his face.

A friend told me that her friend refused a census-taker to her face and later was called by that census-taker on his unlisted number. When he asked how she got his phone number, she said it was from his condo company's property manager. He called the property manager and read the receptionist the riot act, but the moronic minimum-wager on the phone who gave all this man's personal information out to some stranger who claimed to be a census-taker — who could have been a mass murderer for all she knew — said, "What's the difference? You have to answer, anyway."

A few months ago I sat at a dinner party made up of supposedly high-IQ tech nerds and had to listen to them complain about how long it took to fill out the form. For my husband's sake, I bit back asking them how they could be so stupid. Did it ever occur to these idiots not to fill it out? Who knows?

Cathy Cuthbert

I figure I'd better tell readers about my experiences with this year's census, just for the record. My story is short and sweet: I've had  no experiences. I got nothing in the mail from this nosy group of people calling themselves "the Census Bureau," and none of them ever paid me a visit or initiated contact in any other way. I'm almost disappointed — I'd like to have some fun, too — but on the other hand, the fewer members of the world's most powerful crime family who know how to find me, the better.

Nicholas Strakon
Editor-in-chief, The Last Ditch