I went around to the back of my car to unload the groceries. I was busy mulling over the fact that I spent $121 on food…I mean, I didn’t get THAT much. My cart wasn’t even full for craps sake. So how in the world could I spend—
A male voice spoke up behind me.
And because I startle easily, I screamed at the top of my lungs and swung the bag with the milk over my head. I was prepared to knock the guy out if he tried to rob me. He could have the bag of vegetables if he was really insistent but he would NOT get the bag containing the Little Debbie snacks.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” I went, the bag waving over my head.
The guy immediately held his arms out. “It’s okay. I’m sorry, it’s okay,” he said quickly. He took a step back lest he get smacked with the milk.
I took a good look at him. He seemed harmless enough. He had on tan pants and an orange vest with the words CENSUS BUREAU down it. He also had a clipboard in his hands.
“I just need you to answer some questions. Did you happen to mail your census paperwork in?” the guy asked. He was still quite a distance away from me. I think he was worried that I’d still strike him in the face.
I set the bag of milk at my feet. Hmmm...census paperwork, census paperwork....I thought back to the countless things I have filled out. Then I remembered filling out the census paperwork. I had been curled up on the couch and Natalie had tried to take it from me.
“If you mess with this, you’ll go to jail,” I had told her.
Only a three year old doesn’t really grasp the concept of jail so she didn’t take me seriously. She ran up the stairs with the paper so I yelled something that I knew she’d get.
“IF I DON’T GET THAT BACK, BROBEE IS GOING BACK TO THE STORE!”
I named one of her favorite characters from her creepy Yo Gabba Gabba show.
She ran downstairs and handed me back my paper.
So yes. I had filled out the paperwork.
But crap. Did I remember to MAIL it?
“I thought I did,” I told the man. What if he pulled out handcuffs and took me to jail? I mean, I didn’t think he could but I didn’t know. It was my first time filling out the paperwork. And I couldn’t go to jail. Not when I hadn't seen the Grey's Anatomy finale.
“Well, we did have reports about some getting lost in the mail. Needless to say we didn’t get yours so I’ll need to ask you some questions,” the man continued.
“Sure,” I agreed. Phew, no jail. I would not survive in jail. I do not look good in orange.
“Here’s my boogie,” Natalie said, coming over and handing me a booger. WHY does she keep doing that? I don’t WANT her boogers.
So basically I just had to answer questions about who all lives in the house. I answered the questions punctuated with demands for Natalie.
“Yes, his name is Tom, he’s 28 and NATALIE DON’T PUT THAT ROLY POLY IN YOUR MOUTH!”
“No, we don’t own the house, the military does, NATALIE, STOP LIFTING UP YOUR SHIRT AND FLASHING THE CARS. You are NOT A KARDASHIAN SISTER!”
When I was finally finished, the guy thanked me. Then he frowned.
“What’s going on over there?”
I thought Natalie was flashing cars again. But no, he was staring at Tommy’s science experiment.
“Oh,” I said. “My son is trying to devise a potion to get grown adults to stop going crazy over Twilight. Haha.”
The guy just gaped at me as though I had a leprechaun doing a jig on the top of my head.
“To be honest, I’m not sure what he’s doing,” I said, feeling my face grow red. I really need to stop trying to be funny.
Plus, it’s probably not wise to joke with a Census Bureau guy. He could write down on our papers, “Child makes potions, could potentially destroy Earth.”
“Hmm. Well okay, thanks for answering my questions. And oh, I think your daughter is trying to climb up that tree.”
I looked over and Natalie was halfway up the little tree in front of the house.
“AH-U-DAH-MAY!” Natalie screeched, grasping on for dear life. She was saying the Spanish word for help. She learned it from watching Diego. Who says television is bad for kids?
“Thank you,” I said to the man and darted off to help Natalie.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy wrote on our papers. “Dysfunctional family,” and underlined it three times.