There's been a fair amount of comment on the 2011 Census as the A4 envelopes have thudded onto doormats the length and breadth of the country. But it's what's not on the form that has got the most attention.
There's been more than the usual degree of "I'm not filling this in," this time from people who wouldn't normally harbour anything more rebellious than lieing-in past nine on a Sunday morning. I've heard "How dare they ask for all this information?" more than once. Typically from people who think nothing of having their entire life open to all-comers on an unprotected Facebook profile.
But on the form itself, it's question 17 that has caused most confusion. It says: "This question is left intentionally blank. Go to 18." Apparently it's something to do with the Welsh language version of the form, but I'm afraid that's way too sensible an answer. So I've come up with some alternative questions that the Man might like to ask us instead:
17) How do most people refer to you?
a) the space cowboy
b) the gangster of love
17) Are you one of the droids we're looking for? Yes/No
17) What suddenly appears, every time you are near?
d) Police officers
17) Who won the FA Cup in 1958?
17) Have you seen the remote control for the telly?
17) Who do you think would win in a fight between the following?
a) A weasel and a pike (water optional)
b) A jellyfish and a coat hanger
c) A Jack Russell terrier and ex-England cricket player Jack Russell
17) Out of the following, what have you taken away from a hotel room? (tick all that apply)
( ) towels
( ) items from the minibar
( ) the minibar
( ) bedding
( ) toiletries
( ) a sense of foreboding
17) If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can't I paint you?
a) Because you have no discernible talent.
b) Because existence is essentially a false construct and attempting to record it is futile
c) Because you're holding the brush from the wrong end, you pillock
17) Seriously, have you seen the remote control anywhere?
a) I told you last time, no.
b) Jesus, do I have to find everything in this house?
c) Oh, hang on, I'm sitting on it.
17) does my bum look big in this?