I got a nice letter from Social Security the other day. It was a Friendly Letter, that announced itself at such right at the top (in case I missed that we are now blessed with the Kinder, Gentler Social Security - [oh, and we'll be out of money in 2009]).
Dear Social Security patron (it said - sorta), this is a Very Friendly Form, which you should find in no way patronizing or intimidating. Because it's not. Please fill it out at your leisure, preferably while sipping mimosas and listening to Jazz FM, because this will be a relaxing and pleasurable experience. Then please place a stamp on the enclosed envelope (what with the no money thing we can't afford pre-paid postage) and mail it back OR WE WILL NEVER SEND YOU MONEY AGAIN. Love and kisses.
Question 1: Are you married (tick YES or NO) I carefully ticked "no" and stifled the urge to fold it up into a little triangle, scrawl "for Justin H. DO NOT READ! THIS MEANS YOU BUT NOT YOU JUSTIN" and pass it along the row.
Question 2: When did you marry?
Hmmmmm.... usually government forms include Instructions for Idiots like - "If you answer no, please disregard the next four questions, turn to page seven, add $1,254.997 to the bottom of the column and perform the secret rite of Taxation sub category B." This one had no such comment. I wondered for a moment if just possibly the Social Security people had decided the average human is bright enough to realize that if one isn't married one doesn't need to answer questions relating to said non-existent marriage.
Nah, I figure it's actually a Very Clever Plot. Some nefarious Social Security patron will look furtively around and tick off "no" when really they mean "yes." They'll probably rub their hands and chortle for a minute at the sheer brilliance of themselves. Then they'll look to the next question - "When did you marry?" and, still distracted by their evil plan, they'll unthinkingly fill in "June 8th" and carry on!
And then, you see, then when the Social Security people get the form back they can look at the contradicting answers and the evil doer will be foiled! Tax dollars at work folks - makes you all warm and fuzzy doesn't it?