It’s census time. We’ve been doing this in the UK for almost a thousand years. Well, not me personally, although I wouldn’t mind getting that sort of longevity out of life. But I wasn’t around for the original Domesday Book. I wasn’t around for the first of the modern census’ either, back in 1801. This year’s social survey will, however, be the fourth than finds my name etched somewhere into British history.
I filled out my section myself. No one else should be trusted. They might kid the government into believing you’re a tax dodging millionaire. The form is pretty simple, although there are a few boxes which raise your eyebrows. For different reasons.
I was asked what my job title is. Sales Assistant. What does that involve, they want to know. I assist with sales. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer. I wonder how much of a sense of humour they possess. Probably not much. Oh well. That’s their problem.
Box 17 has been left intentionally blank. Kinda weird. That’s exactly what it says. This question is intentionally left blank. Go to 18. So I went to 18, right after I went on the net to find out more about the mysterious Question 17. Did aliens land on Question 17? Is it the UK’s version of Area 51? Is number 17 the Queens unlucky number, and deliberately omitted for her pleasure?
Census’ of decades, and centuries, before used to ask some odd and personal stuff. Had someone tried to resurrect one of these very non PC questions? Were we going to be asked if we were blind, mute or feeble minded? I’d have answered in the affirmative to ‘feeble-minded’ given the option. Any future indiscretion or falling foul of the law on my part, and I’d have a get out clause. I’m feeble-minded, and I did tell you so.
Class was once important too. Upper, middle or working? I guess contemporary UK would require new adjectives. Toff, Nimby, Chav or Pikey? It was also obligatory to tell the authorities where you came from. An E for England. S for Scotland, W for Wales and
pikey I for Ireland. Or a F for Foreign Parts. I was tempted to scrawl F in chili sauce on my section, as a reflection of my living arrangements of the last 6 years.
It turns out that Question 17 is for the Welsh only, and all census’ sent to English addresses are left blank. Intentionally. One imagines that had it been unintentional then they would have said that this box has been accidentally left blank. But who knows for sure. But anyway, I’ve completed my part. And for the second consecutive consensus I have registered my religious belief. It’s voluntary, you know. But I’m not ashamed to declare my faith. A Jedi. Don’t laugh, there were 400,000 of us at the last census. If you don’t like it, you can jolly well move along. This isn’t the blog you were looking for. Move along, move along…