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The Non-Expert

Are Your Cats Really Adorable or Just Regular Adorable?

Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we show you the 50 questions on this year’s census you didn’t see coming.

Illustration by Jennifer Daniel

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.

 

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Question: Which questions do you avoid to not have government detection in the census. —BW

Answer: 1. How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or FEMA trailer on April 1, 2010?

2. And how many llamas or iguanas or other people’s mommas are hiding in your house-trailer right now?

3. How many single gays that we’re not going to count in this census are living there, I’m just asking for fun?

4. Oh hey, is that good-looking young lady I see around the neighborhood sometimes in here too?

5. As TV’s Moesha once asked, Who Is She 2 U?

6. Anyhoo, of the others that are staying up in here, do you know when your cousin and your mother-in-law are finally going to get out for good?

7. If you answered “When they finally get a damn job,” are you a little freaked out by how long that’s going to be?

8. Has your opinion changed towards the favorable regarding Obama’s death panels since these people and animals came to live with you?

9. I know, right?

10. In the last year, did you spend down more than 50% of what you call your “savings,” and by that I mean I mean the bank account money you refer to when you say “savings” and make little air quotes with your fingers?

11. Is your house or apartment underwater, by which I mean you have outstanding debt on it at a value that is higher than it is currently appraised for, not that anyone’s gonna buy it anyway?

12. If yes, why are you still here?

13. Sure, you could get a nice little studio downtown and then your cousin and your mother-in-law would have to move the fuck out, right?

14. Alternately, is your FEMA trailer underwater, by which I mean the old-fashioned kind, with the water coming up and stuff?

15. How many Hot Pockets are in your refrigerator or ice box right now?

16. Oh no, that is sad, did your gay cousin or mother-in-law eat all your Hot Pockets?

17. But seriously, don’t worry about the missing Hot Pockets, do you know what’s inside those friendly little pockets, for real?

So, not to be blunt, but don’t you think you could live somewhere nicer than this dump?18. Oh, was that all you had around to eat today while waiting for the unemployment?

19. Did you know that there are a couple of asshole Senators who think that people staying on unemployment is basically turning us into welfare queens with no desire to work?

20. No, why would I make up something that nuts?

21. Oh sure, go down to Washington and try it yourself—you really think you could do a better job?

22. Do you think that those tea party people are just a small pack of crazy racists or instead are they a large chunk of America that is accurately enraged but somewhat challenged with issue-coherency?

23. Do you think less of some of those individuals when you find out the last book they read was Atlas Shrugged?

24. Or is “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” where you draw the crazy cut-off line?

25. Do you have cats?

26. And if so, are they really adorable or just regular adorable?

27. Do you wish they’d try and get a job already too?

28. Is one of them named Karl LeGarfield—because don’t you think that is the best French-pun cat name in the whole world?

29. Do you remember back when everyone hated French people so hard?

30. Why do you think nobody cares about French people any more?

31. Are you finally going to do something about that big muddy hole in your yard?

32. I mean, it’s not like you have anything else to do all day, right?

33. Oh, you’re just updating your Twitter?

34. Do you think Twitter will ever make money some day? Please explain your answer in the form of a business plan addressed to Jack Dorsey, c/o General Delivery, San Francisco, CA.

35. Um, have you seen any of your kids in the last 20 minutes since we started talking?

36. Are you old enough to remember when people’s parents basically had no idea where the kids were at any time before 10 p.m.?

37. And they had to run TV ads every night at 10 p.m., reminding people that they had children and should probably know where these children were at that time?

38. Do you think those days were better, when kids never wore seatbelts and everyone smoked indoors?

39. Don’t you think it’s TOTALLY CRAZY that people used to smoke ON AIRPLANES?

40. How many people in your household think this census is being used to track delinquent tax payers and illegal immigrants?

41. And could you please draw in this space a neat little Venn diagram of two overlapping circles, with one circle representing the people who believe that, and with another circle representing the people in your household who view Jews as “shifty” or “untrustworthy” or think they “control the secret world government in concert with NATO,” and overlap the two circles by the total amount of people, proportionately, who believe both of these things?

42. No, I think you just drew one circle there?

43. Ohhhhh. OK. Moving on then! So, not to be blunt, but don’t you think you could live somewhere nicer than this dump?

44. Do you think that because the TV told you to think that?

45. Hmm, so then what do you do all day since the TV went away?

46. Don’t you think the ads and limited show selection on Hulu are really annoying though?

47. How many states do you think America will have by the time we do the 2020 census?

48. Are you tired? So, so tired? Tired of making do and feeling wantful and envious, and having chapped hands and chores and arguments and potatoes to peel?

49. Did anyone have some sex with you yet today?

50. Would you eat this ham sandwich if I just pulled it out of my slacks pocket and handed it to you and even though it was a little warm it didn’t even smell kind of bad?

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TMN Contributing Writer Choire Sicha is the coproprietor of The Awl. More by Choire Sicha