Not Martha

least expected places

fortune reading Put down your chopsticks and get involved in Census 2010!

Dear census people: Oh creepy! First you sent us a letter to let us know the census was going to arrive, then the census arrived (which we filled out and returned), then you sent a postcard to let us know the census should have arrived. And now you’re in my fortune cookie. Cut it out.

p.s. Should you ever be in Seattle the hand shaved noodles at Shanghai Garden are excellent.

update: To be a bit clearer, actual fortunes were printed on the other side of these slips of paper, I knew that the Census Bureau had purchased space on the back of the fortunes, I think it is important to make sure that people know why being counted matters, and I applaud the Census Bureau for doing something with such a sense of humor. I was just surprised to be so incredibly well informed that the census was going on.

· comments [27] · 03-30-2010 · categories:mumbling · seattle ·

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marissa // Mar 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I was at green leaf and got a census fortune!!! it creeped me out as well. Seems like an odd way to spend tax money.

    Oh and those are the best noodles on the planet.

  • 2 lauren // Mar 30, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Is this real?
    Ohmygoodness.

  • 3 wendyp // Mar 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I saw a Dora the Explorer commercial urging kids to make sure the parents fill it out. enough already! LOL!

  • 4 Can They Count You If They Can’t Find You? « saroy.net // Mar 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    [...] came across this photo here. Yes, it’s [...]

  • 5 Kristin // Mar 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

    It’s downright weird! We had these same fortunes in cookies from a restaurant in Federal Way. There were real fortunes on the other side. WTH? Census reminders with our Chinese food?

  • 6 Emmakat // Mar 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I would think this would not be terribly necessary in Seattle, maybe more so outside of Seattle though, where it’s more purple-y red.

  • 7 Tina // Mar 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I got the same pre and post census notices- AND yesterday I received a note from my child’s school reminding me to participate in the census! I’m steering clear of fortune cookies until this blows over…

  • 8 Kari // Mar 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Alright, we get it! Fill out the damn forms, and send them back! It’s not like we can’t follow directions or anything, right?!!??! LOL

    I kinda like the creepy fortune cookies, although I haven’t stumbled across any in Chicago… fwiw

  • 9 Misty // Mar 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Yes, creepy indeed! I shuddered at the expense and paper they used sending two letters telling me that the census forms would be coming, and a followup letter letting me know it should have arrived. Poor trees. :(

  • 10 Katie // Mar 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I have not gotten one of the fortune cookies…but freaky! Emmakat — turns out red/blue is not important in this activity…check out the interactive map of return rates

    http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/

    National average is running about 50% right now and in 2000 the final tally was about 72% – - pretty amazing compared to voting rates in my opinion.

  • 11 Erica // Mar 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    In Texas we are having a very hard time getting people to send in there census forms. this year because of the political climate Seems like some fringe groups are frightening people not to.There are so many services that depend on these numbers from transportation to redistricting,

  • 12 Angela // Mar 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    @Misty and others, re: expense: I have a friend who works for the census and she told us that it is way cheaper to send everyone letters and postcards (and, apparently, fortune cookie fortunes) than it is to send a census worker to your door when you don’t respond. It costs 44 cents to mail a letter; it costs $56 or something to send a census worker.

  • 13 MamaLana // Mar 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I also read somewhere that they can’t find enough “qualified” census workers. Doomed! We are doomed!

  • 14 Jen // Mar 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Really, enough is enough. How many people could we have helped with the price of one of those mailings.

  • 15 tara // Mar 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I used to live in Seattle and I soooo miss those shaved noodles.

  • 16 Kathleen // Mar 30, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I’m visiting family in May. Will book mark your link. Thanks for the tip!

  • 17 lissa // Mar 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I love those noodles! I almost went for some today!

  • 18 Heather // Mar 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Funny, I haven’t seen any waste of my taxpayer dollars yet, much less the actual CENSUS form which I’d happily fill out and mail back on the same day. And it’s March 30th. Um, US Gov’t, what are you waiting for?

    I have seen plenty of OTHER occasions when the federal government wastes my taxpayer dollars, though, and in at least one case, I was able to get them to STOP sending me their junk mail. (People running for office: if you’re running as a fiscal conservative, telling me that all the crap you’re sending me was printed at my expense really doesn’t paint you as a fiscal conservative. JUST STOP.)

  • 19 Census fortune cookies continue to creep people out « Hyper OM // Mar 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    [...] forms are out already (heck, that April deadline is just around the corner). The Consumerist just published a short reference to one freaked out customer. Just a reminder: weirdo cookies from Tsue Chong Co. were shipped into restaurants and groceries in [...]

  • 20 justJENN // Mar 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    wow, creepy!

  • 21 Benjamin Lukoff // Mar 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    I got these at Wong’s up in Wedgwood. Tsue Chong in the ID is making them. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukobe/tags/uscensus/

  • 22 Jen // Mar 31, 2010 at 11:52 am

    I used to live in Seattle too and one of the things I miss the most is Shanghai Garden and the Barley Green Hand Shaved Noodle. Thinking about it makes me want to fly up there right now!

  • 23 Cody Davis // Mar 31, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I received a fortune cookie at an upscale asian dining place and it said “promote literacy, buy fortune cookies.”
    I was so pissed.

  • 24 paola // Mar 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    The fortunes are part of a broad effort in communities of color to make sure that people are filling out the census forms. Some communities of color have not had high participation in the census. Unfortunately, this means that services and programs may not effectively plan for or serve our communities because of significant undercounting.

  • 25 Jessica // Mar 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I’d be so annoyed if this was my fortune. The best part of getting Chinese food is the fortune cookie (which have become more like “philosophy cookies” instead of fortunes, but I digress.)

    I’d demand a new one.

  • 26 Link Lot « // Apr 4, 2010 at 8:34 am

    [...] The U.S. Census fortune cookie—really? [...]

  • 27 Link Lot // May 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    [...] The U.S. Census fortune cookie—really? [...]

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