Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny approved of themselves. Some people did not take so kindly to them, however. Their enemies, for example.
They had made several such enemies recently, when they had a group of people complete a survey. The group’s leader felt that the survey was a waste of time, and swore revenge on the two of them.
Still Dawson Filter and Sylvester Denny persisted with their survey. They found other people, who were happy to fill out any survey to take their minds off of their dreary lives.
The other group found people too. They formed the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad, gaining approval from numerous public officials. Their billboards started popping up all over Saskatchewan; and newspapers tended to skew toward affirming the Squad’s message. One newspaper printed the following political cartoon:
Those willing to fill out the survey grew fewer and fewer. Sylvester and Dawson’s old comrades Babe Listowel and Twelve-Anne Stradivari joined them in a bowling alley to try to find a solution to the survey problem.
“What if we join the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad; and then while attending one of their meetings, point out that ‘Anti’ is an acronym for ‘Approving Notions of The Investigative’?” Babe Listowel suggested.
“Such an idea!” Twelve-Anne exclaimed, “Then the group would be forced to come to terms with the fact that it had been named the ‘Approving Notions of the Investigative Survey Coalition Squad’ the whole time, redefine its primary values, and leave us to do the survey thing that we’ve been doing.”
Dawson Filter threw his bowling ball down the alley. As the last pin fell, so fell the last of his doubts that Babe Listowel’s plan was flawless. Twirling back around to face the group, he expressed his approval with a nod.
Now that all the pins were down, the game was over; and the crew could begin enacting their plan.
The first phase of the plan was joining the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad and pointing out the acronym. They finished this step in an amount of time that was less than 12 years, as the leaders of the Squad were stationed just outside the bowling alley.
The plan had no other phases. It was a just a matter of waiting to see whether the plan worked.
The following is the diary entry of a woman named Rosaline Ingles found loitering by the bowling alley at the time of this story:
Today is a day. I know that most people know things like this; but I was just telling you because you are a diary and therefore know nothing. I bet you already forgot that it is a day today. You are pathetic.
Oh, look! There are people! Oh, right, you can’t look, because of reasons that you can’t know. Do my eyes deceive me? The people seem to be talking. Here is a transcript of everything they are saying:
Person 1: (Unintelligible)
Person 2: Hey, (Unintelligible)
Person 3: (Unintelligible) (laughs) (Unintelligible)
Person 2: (Unintelligible)
Person 4: (Unintelligible)
Person 1: The plan worked!
The people are gone, now. All of the people are gone. Every time.
Sylvester Denny, Dawson Filter, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari (listed alphabetically by last name) finished the survey a week later. It was disappointing and unnoteworthy. This was especially unfortunate because it was the first survey the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad had chosen to support, turning public opinion against the Squad and even further against surveys. But when fighting public opinion, one would be hard pressed to find a better team than the Quest Committee, the Anti-Survey Coalition Squad, and surveys, particularly when surveys are personified as a walrus-vampire figure with a giant claw.