The Survey Dream

I found myself out with a crowd of people on a sunny day at a county fair. Rides were going on as music played. People were laughing, eating, and drinking. My wife and friends were with me. As we perused the fairgrounds, a man accosted us. “Would we be willing to participate in a survey? It’s twenty-five questions long. We’ll go over results later. You’ll be rewarded with tokens for rides, a free dinner, and drinks in another part of the fair later in the day.” Well, young and interested in free food and drinks and ride tokens, we agreed. A large group of us were given the surveys to complete and pencils. The survey form was a narrow piece of paper which turned out to be a small booklet. As my wife and I worked on it, we rode the Ferris Wheel. Multi-tasking at its finest, right?

The ride stopped at the top. I was writing an essay in answer to one question when I dropped my survey. This upset me because I was almost done. I could see exactly where it was on the ground. I also saw the man who’d given us the survey. Calling to him, I explained that I had dropped my survey and pointed out where it was. Could he get it for me?

No problem. He made his way through the crowd and around the rides to where I pointed. By the time he reached it, too much paper had accumulated there for him to find it. No problem. We finished our ride. When we reached the ground, I asked him and requested another survey. Well, he shouldn’t…but he did. I began working feverishly on finishing it in time.

Meanwhile, we’d moved toward the place where we would go over the results and get our free meal and drinks. The meal was a barbecue and I could smell it while the site was like an old television western set with picnic tables in a corral alongside a bunk house

Damn if I didn’t again lose my survey. This time, the wind took it into the corral. A split rail fence kept me from going after it immediately as the wind pushed it across dusty grounds. The survey man was with me when it happened. Laughing, I explained what’d happened and requested another survey. He was against this. Although he appreciated my enthusiasm, he was concerned that my answers would no longer be in the spirit of the survey because I was answering them so many times. I disagreed with his observation. That’s where the dream ended.

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