The Enumerator

There was a knock on the door several nights ago. It was 8.30 – who could it be? I thought about pretending I wasn’t home, but curiosity got the best of me and I opened the wooden front door.

Before me stood an elderly woman – mid-seventies – if I had to guess. A slight woman with glasses framing her large eyes. She seemed startled, or at the very least, uneasy to be there. And, in the split-second before I opened my mouth, I wondered what she could possibly want from me.

‘Hi,’ I greeted, hesitantly. And, by way of greeting, she stuck her laminated name tag attached to an elastic lanyard in my face. I think it said Ann. Enumerator. She underscored the ‘Enumerator’ bit with her finger. As though that made it official and would immediately shed light as to the purpose of her visit.

It did not.

She reiterated her title and flipped the pages of her clipboard. She found my address typed at the top and verified it two or three times. ‘So, just to confirm this is [blank] street and this (pointing to the letters) is the postal code?’ ‘Yes,’ I confirmed. Solemnly. As if under oath.

Still on a quest to figure out what and who she was, I scanned the information on the sheet. Two names were listed. Not ours. Based on the junk mail we receive even after two years of living in this house, I guessed they were the names of the previous tenants. My eyes landed on a box labelled ‘elector name’ or something like that.

Was this about voting?

‘Are these the names of the people who live here?’ she asked, pointing to the names on her paper. The infamous Affleck brothers. (Not the Affleck brothers, mind you.) ‘No, they haven’t lived here in at least two years,’ I offered. ‘So, they don’t live here anymore,’ she quizzed me. ‘No,’ I stuck to my story.

And, with pen poised, she asked ‘can I have your name?’ Not in the mood to waste anyone’s time, I interjected. ‘Is this about voting?’ She looked at me like I was perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Her hand lifted the nametag from where it was hanging around her neck and thrust it towards me. ‘Yes, Enumerator.’

‘Well, we’re not Canadians,’ I stammered. ‘We can’t vote,’ desperately hoping this information would allow me to escape the conversation. ‘So, you’re not Canadian,’ she eyed me suspiciously. ‘No, we’re here on work visas,’ I over-informed, lest she think we were a house full of deadbeats.

‘Yes, well then you can’t vote,’ she concluded, and thanked me – awkwardly – for letting her know. And vanished down the dusky sidewalk, in search of some bonafide electors.

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