Thursday, April 23, 2020

Microstory 1349: Citizenship

Father Garcia: He’s coming here now. He skipped the Martins, just like he did the Wilsons. He was at the Washington’s, though.
Mother Garcia: That doesn’t mean anything, dear. Perhaps they filled out the Census online. That’s how it’s done these days. He has a satchel, he could be legit.
Father Garcia: How do you know he’s from the Census? He’s not wearing a uniform, or anything.
Mother Garcia: It’s hot, he’s probably allowed to wear whatever he wants.
Census Taker: Good afternoon, folks. My name is Census Taker, and I’m conducting census surveys for the 2020 census.
Father Garcia: Uhuh.
Census Taker: Are you, by any chance, Father Garcia?
Father Garcia: Maybe.
Mother Garcia: Don’t be rude. Yes, he is, and I’m Mother Garcia.
Census Taker: What are your ages?
Mother Garcia: I’m fifty-four, and my husband is thirty-eight.
Census Taker: Oh, that’s...
Father Garcia: That’s what?
Census Taker: Never mind. How many children do you have?
Father Garcia: We took the 2010 census. You should already know that we have more than zero, if you really are who you say you are.
Census Taker: We’ve been trained not to ask any leading questions. If I could just get a number, that would be great.
Father Garcia: Three; all over ten.
Census Taker: Great. And how many people are living in your household total, including yourselves?
Mother Garcia: Five.
Census Taker: Do you rent, or own, this property?
Father Garcia: We own it.
Census Taker: What are the genders of your children?
Father Garcia: What does that matter?
Census Taker: I don’t decide which questions go on the survey, sir. I’m just doing my job.
Mother Garcia: It’s okay. One boy, one girl, and one nonbinary.
Census Taker: Umm, what was your third child’s sex at birth.
Mother Garcia: I’m not answering that.
Census Taker: All right, fine. Their ages, in the same order, please.
Mother Garcia: Fifteen, seventeen, and twelve.
Census Taker: Are you of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
Father Garcia: Yes, all of those things.
Census Taker: Okay...
Father Garcia: Are we almost done here?
Census Taker: Almost, sir. How long have you lived in this country?
Father Garcia: We already gave you our ages.
Census Taker: That’s not what I asked.
Mother Garcia: Don’t get mad.
Father Garcia: Don’t get mad? Don’t get mad! I am mad. I need to see some official identification.
Census Taker: Sure, here ya go.
Father Garcia: No, don’t just flash it in my face. Hold still, so I can actually look at it.
Census Taker: Are you a legal citizen of the United States of America?
Mother Garcia: Get out, get off of our property right now!
Father Garcia: We read the news; you’re not allowed to ask us that question. Who are you? What the hell are you doing here?
Fake Census Taker: You come over to our country—I don’t give a crap if you’re second generation, or dreamers, of whatever—you come over here, and you take our jobs, and you live off of welfare and social security, which we pay into, and you don’t contribute anything!
Mother Garcia: Hey, idiot. Undocumented citizens with jobs do pay social security. The government takes it out of their paycheck every period. But since they don’t have real social security numbers, they don’t get any payments out when they come of age. So actually, undocumented people contribute more than you do!
Fake Census Taker: You need to get out of my country!
Father Garcia: I’m calling the police.
Fake Census Taker: Build the wall! Build the wall!
Father Garcia: [slams door]
Fake Census Taker: (Build the wall.)

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