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While no more returns at the moment (this may change when the mail comes this afternoon), I have been getting some interesting mail of late. Specifically: a handwritten receipt for my purchase of two World Fantasy Con 2004 memberships; my contributor's copy of Star*Line #27.1 containing my poem "Joint Custody" (and stuck inside, cash money for it! yee-haw!); and most amusing, a letter from the Republican National Committee containing the Census of the Republican Party.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. But no, I'm not a Republican. Thanks to Georgia's open primary system, I voted in the Republican primary in '02 because all the Democrats were running unopposed. I wanted to not only vote but to actually choose from several options in my voting. So the Repubs were the only game in town. Anyway, the census questions are most amusing, containing such gems as "Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations' commanders?" and "Should we build President Reagan's SDI defense shield against nuclear missile attack?" and "Do you agree that teaching our children to read and increasing literacy rates should be a national priority?" All choices are Yes/No/Undecided. It's actually just a fundraising device. The most important question is obviously the last one, "Will you join the Republican National Committee by making a contribution today?" Your choices are:

  • Yes, I support the RNC and am enclosing my most generous contribution of (pick an amount, noting that a $100 contribution would allow them to mail 250 more "census documents").

  • Yes, I support the RNC, but I am unable to participate at this time. However, I have enclosed $11 to cover the cost of tabulating my survey.

  • No, I favor electing liberal Democrats over the next ten years.
So, even if you don't want to contribute, they still want you to pay processing costs. They don't even include a postage paid return envelope. No wonder they're the party with all the money. Cheap, cheap, cheap.