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March 10, 2010

I received this census pre-letter in the mail yesterday.

Below is my acknowledgment letter to the census director.

Mr. Robert M. Groves
Director, U.S. Census Bureau

Dear Mr. Groves,

I have received your letter dated March 8, 2010 advising me that I will receive another parcel from you in the near future.  It reminded me of the time that my mother-in-law had bought my wife and I a very nice gift.  Keeping with social graces, we wrote her a very nice thank you note. My mother-in-law so appreciated our note that she sent us back a thank you note for our very nice thank you note.  Well, in the spirit of good humor, I sent her back another letter thanking her for the thank you note she sent us in response to our original thank you note for the very nice gift she sent us.  Your aforementioned letter reminded me of that.

I have never once before received a letter telling me that another letter was on the way.  Companies that I owe thousands of dollars to don’t do that; they just send me an invoice and I pay it.  This is asinine, Mr. Groves.  Before I even got to the second sentence of your letter I was chafed.  I continued reading and was struck by your inclusion of the phrase “fair share” in two of the three sentences of the second paragraph.

I visited the website you offered at the bottom of the letter for additional information on “fair share” and possibly a rationale for why your office would irresponsibly send such a pointless piece of mail.  There I perused the questions purported to be on the aforementioned and forthcoming census form and I believe I’ve identified a problem with my ability to “fill it out and mail it in promptly.”   Per your pre-letter notification letter I am responding to here, I am to expect to receive the census form on or about March 15, 2010.  That first census question asks me the number of people living at this residence on April 1, 2010 – a full two weeks in the future.  I am both hopeful and doubtful that you can comprehend this perplexing situation.



  1. Probitee permalink
    March 10, 2010 8:14 pm

    Lighten up Hugo; that first question is an April Fools' Day joke from Uncle Sam.

  2. your friend permalink
    March 16, 2010 4:22 pm

    Yes, I would like to know what the “fair share” is all about! I’m sure they are trying to figure out how THEY can get their “fair share” of our money in taxes.
    As for your pre-letter letting you know you will be getting a letter in the mail. I guess this is similar to a “save the date” card you might get for a big party or wedding invite.
    Nonetheless, unnecessary. Let’s think about all of the money wasted in postage! They will be sending you 2 letters & a pre-paid envelope to send your consensus back ($.44 x 3 x number of households). What they could have done is to send a postcard (cost less) telling you to fill out your consensus online. They could then narrow their mailing list saving thousands of tax payer dollars. That sounds more “fair” to me.

  3. April 13, 2010 1:09 pm

    Dear Uncle Sam,

    In about two weeks, you will get a response from me telling you what you can do with your Census form. Three people live here, we’ve been counted.




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