Area 52 HKH

Census 2000 1

Census 2000

by Dorothy Marley

Summary: Jack fills out the long form of Census 2000.

Jack stared at the form in front of him, running his fingers through his hair until it stood on end. He hated forms. All those numbers and boxes and circles and number two pencils--or, in this case, a blue or black pen. Got to be specific about that. No colorful inks allowed here, no red or purple or orange or, as Jack had often been tempted to use, crayon.

He picked up the booklet and flipped through it again, scowling at the cheerful yellow borders and helpful arrows. The long form, too, just his luck. Twice the questions, half the fun. He put it down, then scowled even more at the envelope it had all come in, the words "Your Response Is Required By Law" stamped in big bold letters near the bottom.

"Kiss my ass," he muttered to himself, but carried the booklet over to his desk and sat down, picking up a pen from the clutter on the so-called desk organizer Daniel had insisted on adding. Daniel had said that he and Teal'c would be a while on their "errand," which for them meant that Jack would be lucky if they were back before midnight. Might as well take the opportunity to get this over with.

The first questions were easy enough. Name, phone number, sex, age--always had to zing that one in there didn't they?--race ...

"What is this person's marital status?"

Hm. There didn't seem to be a category for "Living in polyamorous sexual bliss." Jack scanned his choices again, pursing his mouth in annoyance when he realized that the only one that technically fit him was "Divorced." True, but far, far from the whole story.

"Fuck it," he muttered at last, and put a defiant "X" in the box beside "Married." Men could get married on Abydos, according to Daniel, and who the hell knew what they called it on Chulak, so why not? Feeling enormously better, Jack read on.

Ethnic origin? Hm, "Jack O'Neill," think they might buy "Irish?" U. S. citizen? Yep, which allowed him to skip a whole question. Lived in this house five years? No, which meant five extra blanks to fill in, so much for progress. Was he disabled and/or nuts? No ...

Ah, now this was more like it. "Has this person ever served on active duty in the U. S. Armed Forces, military Reserves, or National Guard?"

Hell, yes, you betcha. And, yes, on active duty right now, thank you. Very active, in fact.

"When did this person serve on active duty in the U. S. Armed Forces?"

Check all that apply, huh? Okay, 1995 or later, check. '90 to '95--Gulf War included, no charge--check. '80 to '90, check. '75 to '80, check. Vietnam era, just barely, but check. Wow, five out of nine. Been in a long time, haven't you, Jack?

"At what location did this person work LAST WEEK?"

Last week. Jack lifted his head, staring out over the back lawn while he cast his mind back. Last week ... He felt his mouth curve into a smile, and he bent back to the form. Response required by law, eh? Well, Bureau of the Census, let's see how you like these apples ...

Address? P3R-795. Name of city, town, or post office? Haven, as he recalled. Funny how many communities on other worlds were named that. Outside the city limits? Uh, yeah, that'd be a safe bet. County? Nope. Name of U. S. state or foreign country? Oh, hell, what had Daniel said they called it? Potluck? Potholder? Patachi! Jack spelled "Patachi" carefully into the space. Zip Code? Not likely ...

"How did this person usually get to work LAST WEEK?" Right. That'd be "Other Method, Stargate."

"What kind of work was this person doing?" Well, that was easy. Jack meticulously penned, "Exploring the galaxy" into the blank provided. This was fun.

"What were this person's most important activities or duties?"

"Kicking Goa'uld ass," Jack muttered as he wrote. "Saving planet."

He came to the end of the questions, and read the notice at the bottom of the sheet. "Are there more people living here? If yes, continue with Person 2."

"Okey-dokey," Jack said cheerfully. He readied his pen and turned to the next page.

Name? Teal'c. Age? 82. Race? Jaffa ...

The End