Posted by: dacalu | 2 April 2020

The First Survey

On the eighth day, the angel Survael appeared to the man and the woman and asked them for their feedback. There was a great ringing sound, like unto a new text message in the heavens, and the sky was rent in two, and the angel descended upon Eden. “I come bearing a short survey. Be not afraid, for it will take only 15 minutes.” Adam and Eve were perplexed, for they had no experience of the survey, but they loved the Lord. So, Adam said, “Let it be with me according to thy prepared script.”

And Survael said unto them, “Please rate creation and all therein on a scale of one to seven, with seven being the most blessed. I will read the questions one at a time and ask you for a number. Do you understand the instructions as I have explained them to you?” And they replied, “yea, we have understood.” And the form was blank and void.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the light and the darkness?” Eve replied that the light was very good to see by and Adam said the darkness served for sleep and prayer. The angel frowned and asked them again. “On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the light and the darkness?” But they stared blankly. So, the angel said, “I need a number” and “is the light good?” Eve said, “yes, the light is good.” But Adam, scratching his head said, “is it very good?” Survael wrote a six and called it good. And there was hemming and hawing, the first question.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the firmament?” Eve worried about leaking, but Adam said this was good for the plants and probably intentional. They never fully answered, but Survael said, “I shall write a six.” And it was so. And there was hemming and hawing, the second question.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the land and the seas?” Survael squinted and added that this question had fiddly bits, and perhaps they should take them one at a time. He asked them to rate the seas individually, as well as each of the plants after its own kind: the grass and the herbs and the fruit trees bearing fruit. And all of this was straightforward, except for the bit about the fruit.

Adam and Eve thought that the fruit was very good. They enjoyed the olives, figs, and citrons, but they had not eaten fruit from two trees in the midst of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. So Adam told the angel to write down a seven, but add “N/A” for “not apples.” Survael said, “there is no space for that on the form.” And Eve said, “there should be.” And there was hemming and hawing, the third question.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the sun, moon, and stars?” The humans liked them very much, but wished to leave room for improvement, so they gave them a six as well. And there was hemming and hawing, the fourth question.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the birds of the air and the fish of the sea?” This provoked discussion. They agreed that the birds were very noble, but found the fish hard to fathom.

“What is Leviathan for, exactly?” asked Adam.

Eve wanted to know more about the great whales. “They’re very nice, but not exactly fish-like, if you know what I mean.”

“I just ask the questions. I didn’t write them,” Survael replied defensively. Adam suggested he might be happier with more mackerel. Eve glared at him and wondered aloud whether cod came in a larger size. Survael sighed loudly. “There are always more fish in the sea.” This caused them both to glare, so the angel moved on. “Birds good, fish good.” And there was hemming and hawing (as well as an awkward cough), a fifth question.

“On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate the inhabitants of the earth: beasts and cattle and creeping things?” They were good as well. Adam offered to name all of them individually, but Survael said that would not be necessary.

“And yourselves? On a scale of one to seven, how would you rate humanity?” And the humans said that they were very good, a seven out of seven, at least. But Eve kept all these questions and pondered them in heart. She couldn’t help but wonder about the apples…

And God cursed the survey above all forms of data collection, so that the social scientist must live by sweat and tears. From that day forth, all surveys, no matter how well intentioned, no matter how carefully written, no matter how precisely delivered, cause anxiety and never, ever take only 15 minutes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: