Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Up A Pole For Polls

It's election season and, for better or worse, that leads to polling season. I loathe polls and the organizations conducting them.  I pay no attention to their prognostications, and have resolved to mess with their so-called "data" by offering hilariously dishonest answers whenever the opportunity arises.  I never accurately answer even the simplest of demographic questions, let alone those about my voting intentions or political leanings.  Pollsters will tell you they're getting better at weeding out inconsistent or misleading answers.  They're lying; they'd never sell their crappy data if they admitted how easy it is to screw with 'em.

Several POTUS election seasons ago, my weekend was interrupted by a cheery poll-taker sounding just like my new best friend.  The conversation went something like this:

(Ring, ring, ring!)

Vertical Man:  "Crap.  Stupid phone.  Who the heck is that?"

Pollster:  "Hello, I'm (Doofus) calling from (Dumbass Polling) and we're talking to Great Suburban Outback residents about the upcoming election.  Do you have a few minutes?

Vertical Man: "Why sure.  I'd LOVE to talk!"  (Liar)

Pollster:  "First, let me get some data about you and your household."  (Just go ahead and try, bucko.)
Q:  Age?  A: 21. (At that time I hadn't been 21 for, oh, about 21 years.)

Q:  Marital status?  A:  Polygamist.  (OK, that seemed to be acceptable.)

Q:  Household income? A:  $2 million large.  (That shoulda tipped him off right there.)

Q:  Religious affiliation?  A:  Druid, reformed.  (I'm sure he marked 'weirdo cult' or something on the form.  Thanks to Hawkeye for the answer, by the way.)

Q:  Kids?  A: Seven.  (At age 21? Hello!!!  Do the math...)

Q:  How long have you lived in your house?  A:  All my life.  I was born in the basement.  (Probably untrue.  I dunno.  I was just a kid.)

Q:  Did you vote in the last election?  A:  Yes (That part's true.  I don't mind lying through my teeth to pollsters but draw the line at sounding unpatriotic.)

Q:  Who did you vote for?  A:  Ralph Nader (Wrong.  It was either Clinton or Gore or Kerry or Bush.  Or someone like that.  I disremember.)

And here the real fun begins...

Pollster:  "Now, let me ask whether you're a Democrat or Republican?"  (A stupid, presumptive, poorly-constructed question, but that's not my problem...)

Vertical Man:  "Neither.  I'm a Communist."  (I'm not really. Probably.)

Pollster:  (...long silence...apparently the database doesn't have a code for the Red Menace...) "Well you must be very happy to see Nazis returning to northern Idaho, right?

Vertical Man:  "I dunno which is more appalling: your knowledge of history or the fact that you interrupted me on a fine Saturday morning!"  

(Conversation terminated...) 

That flip answer undoubtedly landed me on some FBI watch list, labelled as "A bozo and probable danger to the Republic who should never be allowed to vote, breed, hold public office or travel abroad."  Oh well.  It was a nice life and loads of fun while it lasted, especially when that particular polling organization incorrectly predicted the election's outcome.  I'd like to claim partial credit.

1 comment:

Lynne said...

You did NOT have this conversation with a pollster...for real!!?! I cried AND peed laughing so hard 'listening in' on the conversation. I did think it was a little redundant of her to ask your political leanings. Couldn't she tell by your other responses that you were a future 'Alec Baldwin For President' supporter?

This one is a keeper if for no other reason than to clear out the ole tear ducts.