Re-Extending Your Extended Benefits

by DAN BERGSTEIN

The recent Unemployment Extension Act will provide relief to thousands of Americans still looking for work. Before benefits can be paid, applicants must fill out the following survey each week of the extension.
 
1.       Are you currently employed? (Yes/No)
 
2.       Are you currently able to work? (Yes/No)
 
3.       Really hard? (Yes/No)
 
4.      Have you looked for work during the past week? (Yes/No)
 
5.       In every single nook and cranny? (Yes/No)
 
6.      You’ve been claiming benefits for a while now. Are you even trying to find a job? (Yes/No)
 
7.      Really? (Yes/No)
 
8.       You know you’re not going to be a marine biologist, right? That ship has sailed, my friend. (I know/News to me.)
 
9.       And you realize that you’re kidding yourself with dreams of being a rapper? (I understand/Dreams can come true!)
 
10.       Have you considered farming? (Yes/No)
 
11.      If No,  why not? — what, you’re too good to be a farmer? (Yes/No)
 
12.     Have you considered working at the mall? (Yes/No, my ex works there and it would be weird/But I have a bachelor’s degree.)

13.     What about going to Bartending School? (You sound like my dad/I’ll give it a shot–ha ha.)
 
14.     How’s your novel coming along? (So far, so good/I gave up because my sister needed to use the computer.)
 
15.     You’re not taking this seriously, are you? (Yes I am/Enh)
 
16.     Have you considered selling your plasma? (Yes/No)
 
17.    Have you considered selling your dog’s plasma? (Yes/No/You can do that?)
 
18.    Have you tried selling your CDs and DVDs on E-bay? How many times can you watch “Rain Man,” anyway? (That’s an interesting idea/I watch “Rain Man” more and more  often, it seems.)
 
19.   Would you be willing to help my cousin Jeff move this weekend? The gig pays $50. He’s a good guy. (Yes/Well, um … My back is all messed up and … you know.)
 
20.   What about gambling? Do you feel lucky, today? (Yes/No)
 
21.    If No, come on–don’t be such as tight ass. (You have a point/I don’t like you when you talk to me like this.)
 
22.   What was the last job you applied for? (Ice Road Trucker/Two years ago I auditioned for “American Idol”–that counts, right?)
 
23.   How broke are you? (I’m behind on my bills/I ate road kill mixed with ketchup for dinner last night.)
 
24.   Are you discouraged? (Yes/[Silence, as single tear rolls down cheek])
 
25.   Stop crying. You don’t have it that bad. Would you rather live in Ethiopia? (You’re right/Does Ethiopia need a rapper?)
 
26.   Maybe we can write a screenplay together? (Yes/No, I don’t work well with others.)
 
27.   Can you marry someone wealthy? (Yes/No)
 
28.   Down at the gas station, there’s a guy who pays people to … Never mind. You’re probably not interested. (I only take legitimate work/No, please go on. I’m intrigued and desperate.)

     
Thank you. We will evaluate your answers and determine if you are eligible for benefits this week. If you have lied to us on this questionnaire, there will be no punishment, except that which your guilt will inevitably visit upon you.    

Dan Bergstein pronounces his last name “Drawbridge.”

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