In those days a decree went out from the Department of Commerce, in accordance with a constitutional mandate, that a census should be taken of the entire American world. This was the first census to take place when Arnold was Governator of California. And all went to retrieve their census forms, each to his own mailbox.
And I also went up from my couch, in my living room, in apartment 113, to the mailboxes, which are over by the leasing office, to mailbox number 113 because I am of the apartment and mailbox #113. Also, it was a Saturday and I wasn’t really doing anything else and whenever I don’t check my mailbox for a couple days it always fills up with junk mail until there’s hardly any room for important bills and stuff.
Arriving at mailbox 113, I discovered that the receptacle was indeed stuffed to the brim with Ralph’s coupons, credit card offers, Trader Joe’s flyers, and various other marketing miscellany. The time had come to clear it out. So I wrapped the junk mail together and stuffed a bunch of it in the outgoing mail slot, because there was no room for it in the trash can. But before junking the junk mail, I was careful to extract the census form of which the Commerce Department had spoken.
And in the same region, later on that day, I was back on my couch keeping watch over the NCAA Tournament games at night. When suddenly, a commercial from the government appeared before me and the sound of propaganda was all around me, and I was filled with confusion.
And the commercial said unto me, “Be not confused, for behold, I bring you good news of great appropriations which will be for all taxpayers. For unto you is offered this day, from the city of Washington in the District of Columbia, a government distribution which is more than $400 million. And this will be the sign unto you, you will find your census form, wrapped in an envelope and lying in your mailbox.” And suddenly there was on the commercial a multitude of disembodied voices praising the census and saying,
“We can’t move forward, until you mail it back. We can’t move forward, until you mail it back.”
When the commercial ended and a plug for Two and a Half Men appeared, I said to myself, “let me go over to the table and see this free-money form which the commercial has made known to me.” And I went with haste and found the form lying on the table next to a box of Berry Berry Kix and beneath a copy of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsu …I mean…March Madness Preview.
I remembered the saying which I had heard concerning this form and was eager to discover the criteria by which the government doled out its blessed funding. I made known to the form my birth date and skin color and was astonished to see that I was not questioned further. Is that all that is necessary for the judicious appropriation of public monies? What of my education? What of my marketable skills, virtuous lifestyle, or community service experience?
In this manner it was made clear that personal merit is of no concern to the form. As has been foretold since days long past, one cannot obtain the grace of the government through hard work and personal achievement. It is only with one’s national descent that the government is concerned.
As the Reverend Jesse Jackson has rightly stated, “the government giveth and the government taketh away. Blessed be the government and blessed be the Chicano, Filipino, Alaskan Native, Hmong, Laotian, and Pacific Islander with whom the government is well pleased.”
And all who heard of the form were greatly amazed and gave praise to their government for its unmerited favor.
But I treasured up all these things, pondering them in my heart. (And on my website).