I shouldn’t have let our nine-year-old fill in our census form

Maybe I should not have let my nine-year-old daughter fill in our census form. Looking at the form, we seem to have acquired an extra resident.

The once-every ten years trawl for information took place on Sunday night. It’s an offence not to to fill it in. It says on the front of the form. “You could face a fine if you don’t participate or if you supply false information.”

It also says: “Your personal information is protected by law. Census information is kept confidential for 100 years.”

A hundred years? Sure who can wait that long? When I checked over our completed census form, I found this entry for the fifth member of our household. As the form says: Individual questions – Person 5 start here…

1. What is your name? Christy Shmib   (First I knew he had a surname.)

2. What is your sex? (I see a third box has been added and ticked.) Teddy

3. Date of birth? 06 – 06 – 2002

4. On 27 March 2011, what is your legal marital or same-sex civil partnership status? (Oh, another extra box added and ticked.)   Friended

5. Do you stay at another address for more than 30 days a year? No [Go to 7]

7. Are you a schoolchild or student in full-time education? No [Go to 9]

9. What is your country of birth? England [Go to 13]

13. How is your health in general? Fair  (Only fair? What’s wrong with him then? Ach, his nose is a bit rubbed off I suppose.It used to be black. Now it’s pink. Well, we all know why that is, don’t we? Booze.)

14. Do you look after, or give any help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others… Yes, 50 or more hours a week  (Hard worker, lot of heart.)

15. How would you describe your national identity?  …Other, write in. Cuddly  (Neatly sidestepping a potentially tricky area.)

16. What is your ethnic group?  A. White – Any other White background, write in. Furry.

18. What is your main language?  Other, write in (including British Sign Language) Gordi Gor  (Spoken by a select few girls in our neighbourhood, and now Christy too it seems. As far as I have been able to ascertain so far, Gordi Gor chiefly consists of the words “gordi” and “gor”. But intonation is apparently very important.)

19. How well can you speak English? Not at all  (That explains why he’s been so quiet.)

20. What is your religion? Any other religion, write in. Butterfly (??? Ah, apparently when he’s lying in bed he looks up at a butterfly on the ceiling. Fair enough.)

21. One year ago, what was your usual address? Same as Person 1  (That’s me.)

22. What passports do you hold? Gordi Gor

23. Are you day-to-day activities limited because of a health problem or disability which has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months? Yes, limited a lot  (It comes to all inanimate objects in the end.)

24. If you are aged 16 or over Go to 25.

25. (Hold on. This can’t be right. Look at that date of birth. Unless bear years are different…) Which of these qualifications do you have? (…nearly everything is ticked here, I’m not typing all those professional qualifications, GCSEs and NVQs in.)

26. Last week were you: None of the above (Hardly surprising, considering…)

27. Were you actively looking for any kind of paid work during the past four weeks? No

28. If a job had been available last week, could you have started it within two weeks? No

29. Last week, were you waiting to start a job already obtained? No

30. Last week, were you: Looking after home or family

31. Have you worked? Yes 2010

33. In your main job, are (were) you… An employee

34. What is (was) your full and specific job title? House minder (Wondered what he did all day while we were out.)

35. Briefly describe what you do (did) in your main job? Minded a house  (Well, duh.)

36. Do (did) you supervise any employees? Yes  (What? Who? Unless he means that zebra, the dolphin and a strange toothy blue creature.)

37. At your workplace, what is (was) the main activity of your employer or business? Minding houses

38. In your main job, what is (was) the name of the organisation you work (worked) for? Christy’s House Minding

Actually, I should stop panicking. No-one will notice will they? Looks pretty convincing.

Anyway, if the Office of National Statistics is looking for someone to fine, surely they’ll go chasing after Christy? Or the person who filled in the form. “Yes, officer or your honour, it was HER. She’s the culprit. She may look young, but criminals these days. You just can’t keep up with them. Oh, I blame the parents. Actually no. Scrub that. I blame the mother. Oh yes…”

I think I may have to leave the country for a bit to lie low. If anyone calls, Christy can answer the door or the phone. I reckon that falls within his house minding remit.



Filed under family history, life

14 responses to “I shouldn’t have let our nine-year-old fill in our census form

  1. so whimsical; loved it!

  2. Great article! Gave me a wonderful laugh. I can just picture my kids at that age filling out our census form.

  3. Simply superb…here in India we too went through the census thingamajig. Government teachers came and ticked off answers–very basic..not so detailed as yours. Bear it with equanimity!

  4. Haha, she’s good! Last Census we had, my brother filled in the form (we’re two families but the Census guy thought we were only one ‘household’. So God knows what went on it. Perhaps we don’t exist any more. I wish I could convince the bank of that.

  5. Ah! Now that was good! Lol 😉 Living in a shared house our census form is still floating around amongst housemates…not quite sure of it’s exact location right now, but hopefully not in the post box as I haven’t filled my bit in yet 🙂 Then again, I’ve managed to avoid the electrol roll for the last 7 years so I would be only too happy not to exist on the census either! Great post, I really enjoyed that and no doubt will still be smiling about it when I go to work in the morning!

  6. Chenab Mangat


  7. Love this post. Need all the laughs I can get. This was great.

  8. Somewhere there will be a government functionary fretting over the need to publish future census forms in Gordi Gor. Thanks for the laughs!

  9. Barbara Rodgers

    What a wonderful imagination and sense of humor your daughter has! 🙂

    Our census information only remains confidential for 72 years, making some data sought for genealogical research available much sooner!

  10. I was goaded into putting Pastafarian for religion, which seemed funny until the prospect of fines was brought up (until then I was only worried about whether my descendants would think me A. an idiot B. pretty cool, actually, or C. a dangerous heretic). Thanks to this post, I am now relieved that I could’ve done a lot worse. So, er, thanks for that!

  11. stan burridge

    yet again i am both amazed and impressd with your wit and wordsmithery from the blackwatertown blog…

    it is of course very tempting to follow this up, alas my own resistance to big brother scrutiny was limited to where it came to wanting my telephone number.. i replied if you want me you can write…

  12. rex trews

    Great piece.

  13. Rob's Reviews

    As a Newbie, I am always searching for articles that can help me. Can I use your post in my blog?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s