John Boston | Hi! Got Time To Take a Real Quick Survey!?

John Boston

You ever have that kind of girlfriend who is movie starlet head-turning gorgeous, insatiable, secretly follows you, needy, nuts and cares for you bordering on her own, capitalized, rabbit-boiling neurosis?

Yeah. Me neither.

Instead? I have The Business Survey.

It’s the Chamber of Commerce version of stalking.

All of us are plagued by the 21st Century’s newest alpha predator. There’s no place left on Earth where one can escape The Business Survey. Peskier than an Antifa mob at a 2-for-1 Ill-Fitting Ninja Black Pajama sale, every time I conduct some penny-ante act of capitalism, whether it’s brain surgery or buying a submarine sandwich, a half-second later, I’m slapped with a survey.

“HI! We know you’ve just come out of a brain transplant and there are probably vile canary yellow fluids still leaking from betwixt your stitches, but won’t you take a moment or two to fill out our brief survey?”

I mean. What do I say? “Fire bad?” Or:

“Your brain surgery was fun and easy to dance to, but I’m having trouble remembering the lyrics. And the names of my body parts.”

Dentists, prostitutes, fish tank repair shops, coroners, ex-wives — everyone is sending whiny, post facto surveys begging me to rate their performance. The last one? Rating former spouses? Probably isn’t that hard. I’d just print: “Could have used more baby talk, encouragement, a clearer understanding of the term, ‘My Safe Word,’ more time in the film room plus the opportunity to touch up the Polaroids afterwards. Also? Not having to wait until Saturday for confession would be a big help.” 

Cripes. I get a flat fixed. I’m driving. There’s air in the tire. I’m happy. Unless the air in the tire has mysteriously wandered somewhere else or the tire’s exploded and I’m upside down in a culvert with the car on fire, I don’t really want to rate my experience. And, if I could text while engulfed in flames, yes, I probably will give you, the tire chap, the Sad Face emoji, followed by — under COMMENTS SECTION of course: “Fire — bad…”

I buy gum. From a vending machine. Seconds later, I’ve got six guys who all look like Jim Carey following me with clipboards, asking me to compare, on an emotional level, this experience with the birth of my child.

“Love my child. LIKE — my chewing gum,” I tell them. “Ten stars for my offspring. Six for the gum, pending, of course, on her upcoming report card.”

Funny. Major places — like the cable company, utilities, 911 — they don’t offer How’d We’d All Do, Y’All? questionnaires. That’s because they put you on hold while you get to hear “Girl From Ipanema” elevator music for 19 hours. Not only that, the bigger companies reserve their comments to five characters so you end up sounding like Tarzan flunking a critical writing class. You certainly can’t write: “You lousy no good mangy sunnuva piece ª≠¡¢)º!!!#~•!!+¡¡!!,” etc., etc., etc….”

Five characters?

You know what you can write with five characters?


I don’t even know how to pronounce that.

I’m too nice a guy to respond with, “What a fat rude bastard…” in response to a really sweet grandmotherly receptionist. Or write: “Bob’s Pizza over there on Willard & 8th held my family hostage at gunpoint Thursday. Plus, the pinball machine ate my quarter.” Or submit: “I’m a quadriplegic in an iron lung. On wheels. Was going through your drive-through and your staff wouldn’t serve me. Had exact change, too.” Or, my favorite:

“Your staff? They’re racists.”

I confess. I prefer more open-ended questions, like: “Any other comments?”

Sure. Answer me this:

“In these oft troubled and confusing times, can men have cleavage?”

There’s the old favorite: “Your sales manager’s wife. Does he have any dirty pictures of her? No? Would he like to buy some?” followed by, “Is there a way to pry that one star off my cell phone screen and chew on the edges just to give you a lower grade?”

Of course, on these surveys, you can go the other way and be positive: “No man has ever cleaned my carburetor like that. I’m still moaning. Very truly yours, Maxine Waters (D). P.S. The ‘Burt Reynolds Called From Heaven And Said He Wants His Toupee Back’ jokes? They’re getting old.”

Do you like the How Can We Do Better queries? I do. They give me elbow room:

“Improve my experience? Well. You could have your crack R&D department find a way to travel into the future to prevent the next time my $129.95 iron with the 64 settings erupts, blasting a planet-ending 12-quart burst of steam onto my only clean blouse, denigrating it into electrons 20 minutes before a vital job interview. Jackass.”

What is with this climate of a national inferiority complex?

It’s getting so bad that spouses will be performing their perfunctory husbandly and wifely duties, interjecting rapid fire every half-second: “How’m I doin? How’m I doin? How’m I doin? How’m I doin? How’m I doin?…”

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just old-fashioned me, behind the times. Maybe I need to follow up my Signal opinion pieces with short questionnaires to our beloved readers.


1) Would you like to see more happy adverbs?

B) As a leftist, does your index finger get tired from reading?

ii) IS fire bad, or, do you think it’s just gotten a bad rap?

John Boston is — well. Never mind. On a scale of 1 to a billion, you tell us.

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