Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My NRFU Diary - Day 6

My third afternoon out in The Field collecting census data, it took a long time for Roy [surmane withheld] of [town withheld] to respond to his doorbell, and I could immediately see why. He weighed around 350 pounds, and probably had had to inch down his narrow hallway sideways to get to the door. Seeing his Sarah 2012 T-shirt, stretched nearly into illegibility though it may have been, and the Doritos crumbs on his lips, hearing Rush Limbaugh on the radio, noticing the Get Youre [sic] Filthy Goverment [sic] Hands Off My Medicare placard leaning against the wall, I thought Roy and I probably wouldn’t make it onto each other’s Facebook pages. The way in which he greeted me — “You got a problem?” – reinforced this impression.

When I advised him of the purpose of my visit, he sneered the sneer of someone who’d been pleased by George Bush’s re-election in 2004 and said, “And I suppose it’s just a coincidence that you show up right in the middle of Rush.” I ignored this provocation and asked, though in 999 cases out of 1000 in these subsidized low-income housing sectors it’s really a foolish question, if his were a full time home, or a seasonal/vacation one. He answered with a question of his own: “What's it like working for a communist dictator?”

I gathered he meant President Obama. I ignored this provocation and asked to how many full-time residents the apartment was home, pointing out that the specific attributes of full-time residence were listed on the attractive pale blue Government Printing Office handout I offered him. He said, as though 6, “That’s mine to know and yours to wonder,” though I suspect he’d have spelled it youre’s. He pretended to use the handout as toilet paper.

A little girl of around nine waddled up behind him slurping greedily at an ice cream bar and glaring at me in that pre-emptively hostile way obese children develop to preclude being ridiculed. She probably outweighed me, and I’m 6-1 if I’m an inch. Her hair was greasy, her eyes full of porcine malice. I decided to indulge in a little provocation of my own. “So I gather,” I said, frowning at my form, pretending to try to find the appropriate box in which to draw an X, “that this is Mrs. [name withheld]?”

“No, stupid,” he said, delighting in what apparently struck him as a rare opportunity to flaunt his intellectual superiority, “this here’s my daughter Britonae, and make sure you spell it right. After a couple of false starts, he told me how to spell it.

“You know what I bet?" he said. "I bet you’re a big fan of Nazi Pelosi too, aincha?”

“Nancy Pelosi the devoted wife, mother, and grandmother whose alleged lack of family values is viciously ridiculed by right-wingers who've themselves run off with shapely young aides while their own wives were having masectomies?" I asked. "That Nancy Pelosi?”

He had me just where he wanted me. “Yeah,” he affirmed, sneering, “the one from San Fagcisco.” The mention of which caused Britonae to make a face as though she’d realized that her ice cream were really dog poop. “Ewww!” she said, to Roy’s great delight. She ran back into the apartment, presumably to be sick.

I think my crew leader would have been pretty disappointed, but I viewed it as my patriotic duty to stab Roy in the jugular with one of the No. 2 pencils with which we enumerators are supposed to fill out our questionnaires. As he fell face forward, bleeding to death, I ran into the apartment and grabbed poor Britonae, who wasn’t throwing up at all, of course, but getting herself another highly caloric snack. I managed somehow to lift her, and to run with her back to my car. When I explained to Child Protective Services that her father had been an unironic Rush Limbaugh listener, they assured me she would be put on a nearly flavorless, but highly nutritious diet immediately, and be enrolled in Progressive Reprogramming, in which the children of persons who shouldn’t have been allowed to reproduce in the first place are taught to mindlessly embrace Obamian Marxism.

Just another day for Johnny the Census Boy!

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