April 13, 2013

Dinga DINga!... who rings the doorbell like that?

Sounds all friendly. Jaunty.

Meade answers. It's the spit-in-the-tube government guy again.

He's back. On a Saturday morning. Maybe he was hoping somebody else would answer the door. But it's Meade again. Still refusing to succumb to the $90 bribe. The man inquires, Mind if I ask why? Meade says that the spit-in-a-tube part is a little over-the-top, plus he's read the brochure, and he's not convinced of the value of the mission. The man shifts to sympathy mode: I know how I'd feel if someone came to my door. And Meade says: Well, there you have it. Hearing Meade's account of the colloquy, I say: I guess their argument is, we want to give you $90. If $90 doesn't overcome your resistance, they've got nothing.

74 comments:

Meade said...

Shoot, if it wasn't the government asking to collect and analyze it, I'd be happy to spit on the ground for free.

Inga said...

What the heck?! Beyond weird.

Did Governor Walker sign off on this? Or would he not need to?

rhhardin said...

Telephone pollsters are not allowed to hang up. It biases the sampling plan. You can hang up, but not them.

The same may apply to door to door sampling plans.

It biases the sample if you won't spit in the tube.

(See how long you can keep telephone pollsters on the phone. I got a half hour)

Meade said...

Inga, INGga: He wasn't from Walkerstan. He was from the other government: Big Brother Obama's.

wyo sis said...

They usually don't need a more persuasive argument than $90. It makes me wonder how they arrived at that amount. Why not $80 or $100?

Ann Althouse said...

"They usually don't need a more persuasive argument than $90. It makes me wonder how they arrived at that amount. Why not $80 or $100?"

They should be authorized to up the amount until you cave.

Maybe $900.

I'd do it for $9,000.

Bob Ellison said...

What if you miss the tube? Do you still get the ninety bucks?

wyo sis said...

"They should be authorized to up the amount until you cave."

Wouldn't that be a great way to do a study on motivation? I'd make them get at least as high as my daughters tuition.

Meade said...

rh: You're right. I should've invited him in. Coffee? Will you be able to stay for dinner? Pot roast. Should be ready in about 3 hours. Here, have a comfy seat. Now, let's talk. $90 for my spit... hmmm, I'll tell ya... I was thinking more like 9 thousand. Can the government go 9 thousand? Oh, oh that's just Zeus. He won't bother you. He just wants to stare at you and smell you. You're in his chair.

Dr Weevil said...

What if you assume a fake foreign accent, insist that you understand what he's asking for while looking a bit confused, then unzip your pants and pee in the tube, and get really hostile if he even looks like he's not going to give you your $90 as soon as you're done? (By "you" I mean Meade, or a hypothetical male reader, not Ann or any female reader, obviously. I mean, that is obvious, isn't it?)

wyo sis said...

Why the sexist bias?

AprilApple said...

Maybe we should have a study on how many people agreed to spit in a tube. Tax payer funded, of course.

madAsHell said...

It was $100, but he put $10 in his pocket. You know.....a destination fee.

Inga said...

Hmmmmm, Dinga DINga.....Inga INGa.... Hmmmmm.

Dr Weevil said...

AprilApple may be on to something. Survey takers have been known to lie about the purpose of their surveys. Years ago I knew a guy who worked in air pollution measurement at SRI (Stanford Research Institute). He said they sometimes got paid time off to participate in studies done by other departments. A bunch of them spent one afternoon sitting at tables in groups of eight drinking pitchers of beer. They were told they were supposed to identify the brand of beer they were drinking, but a friend in the department doing the study later told him that the study was actually testing how much beer people will drink when it's free. His answers to the ostensible and real questions under study were "Michelob" (which he liked) and "a couple of quarts".

Titus said...

At least it gives Meade something to do.

virgil xenophon said...

How much will they drink if it's free? And they have all day? BUWAAAHAHAHAHAhahahah!!

They have to do a study to find THAT out!? AS MUCH as the bladder will hold, rinse, repeat, until they pass out! That's the base line STANDARD--JUST for starters..

(Or it was among my crowd 45 yrs ago, lol.)

Emil Blatz said...

Do they have to watch you spit in the tube? I mean, if you can get the tube, tell him you'll be right back, close the door, summon the dog who lives in the backyard... That way you'd be $90 samolians up, and they'd be spending time trying to figure out why some dogs are drunks.

edutcher said...

Ann, time to put on your big girl panties (and get rid of those Scarlett O'Hara pantaloons) and talk to this guy yourself.

Give him a good conlawproffing, show him some cruel neutrality, persuade him to see his inhumanity vibe..

Inga said...

Hmmmmm, Dinga DINga.....Inga INGa.... Hmmmmm.

The guy is really the She Devil of the SS?

virgil xenophon said...

TRUE story.

My college fraternity used to frequent a certain bar making it a "home base" sort of thing and got to know the owner well becoming fast friends with him.. (circa 1966) One night two of my frat brothers passed out, one back in a store-room and one in the bathroom whilst sitting on the john. When they both awoke it was pitch black--the owner had locked-up and gone home @ 2:am w.o. noticing them.
Think of it: ALONE IN A BAR! Buwhahaha! They both played pool and drank themselves silly until they couldn't take it any more @ approx 0600am at which time they called the owner to come rescue them. "You son's of B*&%^$s! You waited until NOW to call me!" he yelled into the phone, "I should leave you there until eleven o'clock opening just on general principles except I don't want to have to restock the draft beer kegs!"

A drunken college kid's dream come true...lol

Rabel said...

Would your response have been different if the surveyor had been a more sympathetic figure? A young African-American female, for example.

Bob Ellison said...

I once asked an unsolicited telesales guy, "Why did you take this job? I could get you a better job than this!"

He said, sounding quite sincere, "Can you really?"

No, I couldn't. It's a rough world out there, and sometimes it's difficult to be 100% hermit.

Saint Croix said...

Maybe $900.

I'd do it for $9,000.


I would totally spit in a tube for $600.

If you're waving cash around and serious. Of course, once you start waving cash around, then I start thinking my spit is more valuable than it is. I'm negotiating for my spit.

If you start walking away at $200, I'm like, okay. I'll do it. But I would be suspicious and slightly irritable. I wouldn't be jumping up and down like I would for $600.

For $200, I'd have this feeling that you pulling a fast one. Somehow.

If my brother offered me $10, I'd totally spit. Or a dollar, I'd do it for a dollar.

I think this is a measure of government distrust. They're not testing for spit, they're testing for suspicion and acrimony in the general public.

phx said...

Why would they come a second time? That would make me paranoid.

Big Mike said...

I'd do it for $9,000.

I'd hold out for $9,000,000. Then I could retire.

Saint Croix said...

My first job out of college was doing door-to-door solicitations for an environmental group. (We kept 50%, ouch). Anyway, some nice people invited me in for dinner one time. You meet a lot of friendly people, door-to-door.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Obviously, they are looking to match DNA to A high level Al Qaeda terrorist. And since Meade answered the door both times enabling them to get his swab, they must be looking for Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

Althouse does not answer the door.

Inga said...

Oh no Ann, now they're going to start calling Meade " The Door Man".

Sorun said...

"Survey takers have been known to lie about the purpose of their surveys."

I think most people who've been in the military know that the federal government (e.g. recruiters) will lie to you. Don't assume survey takers from the government won't lie as well.

Inga said...

Althouse has the hots for the doorman.

Inga said...
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Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

This falls under the category of wasting money now. Or they're having a tough time finding spitters.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

Althouse does not answer the door.

Is this something we need to talk about?

I mean, are we in the realm of the young bride in "Drums Along The Mohawk" who hid in terror when anyone came to the door?

Until her husband had to serve in the American Revolution, that is, then she just picked up her Pennsylvania Long Rifle and confronted her visitors.

Or is this a ruling class thing?

Sorun said...

They're probably having trouble getting spit from the Meade-Althouse demographic. Maybe make the reward proportional to property tax, or at least team up with the university so it seems more researchy and less big-brothery.

F said...

Spitting in a test tube reminds me of a family story from my grandfather, a small-town physician in upstate NY.

Grandfather to a male patient: "I need a specimen."

Patient: "a what?"

G: "a specimen of your urine."

P: "I don't know what you mean."

G: "See that jar on the windowsill? I need you to pee in it."

P, incredulously: "From here?"

Dr Weevil said...

Maybe the offer is already proportional to property tax. Maybe black Madisonians living in small apartments in poorer neighborhoods are only offered $10 to spit in a tube. With a sample of one - sampled twice, of course - we know very little about the universe being sampled and any variation in sampling methods used.

Also, what time of day do they come? Maybe they're checking licensed gun owners (surely Meade is one?) to see if there's alcohol in their spit before noon, so they can declare them alcoholics and send the police to confiscate their guns.

phx said...

I put my wives in the basement whenever somebody comes to the door.

phx said...

@F Hysterical : D

PianoLessons said...

I really do wonder why the spit-in-a-tube guy came back a second time.

Meanwhile - I've had my spy camera/tape recording sunglasses waiting for them to come to my neighborhood on the Isthmus.

Sigh. No knocking at our door yet.

I find this door to door government project to pay people for their DNA in Madison, WI to be odd and worrisome.

Smilin' Jack said...

If $90 doesn't overcome your resistance, they've got nothing.

Don't be too sure. If it were me at the door, I'd respond in my best Austrian accent, "I'll be back."

Sorun said...

"I'd do it for $9,000."

How much if they wanted a sample of all of your bodily fluids?

AJ Lynch said...

Inga - what don't you understand about "it's the federal govt and I am here to collect worthless spit AND pay you $90?" WTF does Scott Walker have to do with the feds wasting taxpayer dollars?

Darury said...

"...the study was actually testing how much beer people will drink when it's free. "

So I spent every weekend as part of a study and not at a bar? Excellent. Back in the late 80s the bar we went to in Denver had something like a $10 cover for all the Coors Light you wanted. This was back when 3.2 beer was legal at 18 vs hard liquor at 21, so it was a popular location.

traditionalguy said...

Can spit tests be beat like the drug tests are by collecting virgin spit and substituting that for the sample while they are not looking?

The free money offers are always suspect. Money is like gravity and water should downhill. There is a lack of trust problem...unless a politician is at work re-distributing water uphill.

chuck said...

Reminds me of some old college friends of mine. When the missionaries came to the door they invited them in, then sat down nude to talk with them.

What can I say, it was the early 70's and they were both Vietnam vets. Everyone knows those guys were crazy.

Saint Croix said...

To be a lawyer I had to pay money to get myself fingerprinted.

"Can I commit a crime? That would be cheaper."

"No."

Chip Ahoy said...

Dr Weevil, I read that too about the beer. Drinking all you will for free. Turns out the guys doing the study were being studied to find out how long it took for them to realize over a period of observing subjects that it takes exactly one sixpack each to make two straight guys drinking by themselves together gay.

Chip Ahoy said...

They pay you $45.00 and string you out for the rest. The second $45.00 is divided into three parts.The third part, $15.00 is divided into three parts. The last part, $5.00 is divided into five parts. The last of the last part, $1.00 and that goes like this: Dinga DINga! "Hello..." BANG

Saint Croix said...

How much if they wanted a sample of all of your bodily fluids?

Semen: $10,000
Urine: $600
Saliva: $200
Blood: free, if you give me a cookie

I'm discounting my saliva for today only.

Pus: $20,000.

Now I want to give you a deal on semen. Semen is way easier than pus. Pus is a pain in the ass.

Ear wax: $10

Now I'm worried my damn semen is too cheap. I could be on the hook for 18 years of child support. That is not a good deal. I am jacking up semen back up to pus levels.

What I need is some kinda fluid market to help me set prices. This whole thing just stinks of socialism. I'm just pulling prices out of my ass!

Unknown said...

My guess is that the Spit Study Man is hired through some Acorn-like grant snaffling racket. He is a harbinger of the Navigators now training to help us find our way through the Obamacare maze.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/04/10/56525.htm

chrisnavin.com said...

If you spit on him, or in his general direction, will he try and collect it in a tube and take it back to headquarters?

First you build the Obamatron, then Profit!

chrisnavin.com said...

"I tell you what, you give me the $90, and I'll let you pick up all the Zeus droppings in the backyard and take it back to Organizing for Action."

It's the shit of the Gods.

C Stanley said...

Here's a suggestion for greater efficiency with our taxpayer funded research.

The sample collectors should carry photos of incumbent Congesscritters, POTUS, and VEEP. Let the participant choose whose photo they'd like to spit on, and then use the data for the additional purpose of polling.

cubanbob said...

Althouse does not answer the door.


C'mon don't tease us. How many sheckles would it take for you to answer the door?

As for the poor bastard knocking on the door, I suppose it could be worse. Imagine trying to collect poop samples instead.

Bob Boyd said...

A guy is conducting a survey door to door. His job is to ask people if, when they're taking a bath, do they sit facing the faucet or facing away from the faucet. He records their responses on his clipboard and goes on to the next house.
One day he asks a man the question and the man says, I sit facing away from the faucet." The guy records the answer, but then says, "Pardon me, but I have ask literally thousands of people this question and you are the first person to tell me you sit facing away from the faucet. This isn't part of the survey, but I have to know.... Why do you sit facing away from the faucet?
The man says, "I have no plug."

kimsch said...

I've had a guy come to the door saying he sells meat. His truck is down the street, it's a pickup, no signs on it, just a truck. He says he sells beef like Omaha Steaks.

I'm sorry. I don't buy meat from some random guy with a random truck. It's not like he's a Schwan's guy or from some known source.

Would anyone buy unsourced meat?

Hagar said...

Any unsolved murders or whatever in your neighborhood lately?

Rabel said...

Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Do me a favor,
Open the door and let 'em in

Jay Vogt said...

Continue to deny them your Precious Bodily Fluids.

Jay Vogt said...

He didn't look North Korean did he? That could be a problem.

James Pawlak said...

Gee---Such people threaten me. With Wisconsin's new law as to home defense, there is a solution for such.

Basta! said...

In the last post on this topic, someone linked to the paper detailing this study's methodology, if one wants to dignify it with that name. I actually waded through the whole thing. It's crap.

Anyway, I took notice of the fact that in 2011 they were paying people who spit only $30!!! Tripling the pay-out in two years is more than the rate of inflation. I suspect they've been having a hard time getting people --- or, perhaps, people in particular, underrepresented demographics --- to participate.

Kohath said...

Studying alcohol use in Wisconsin is like studying pregnancy in a hospital maternity ward.

C Stanley said...

Would anyone buy unsourced meat?


We had to culture pureed shrimp from a street vendor once in micro lab. Blechhh.

Astro said...

The thought of this gets my paranoia brain cells overheated.
I think about those crime shows where a detective picks up a cigarette butt or beer glass used by a suspect so they can get a sample of her DNA.

So where are they storing this DNA data, and how will it be used in the future? How do you know it's secure? How do you know the guy won't deposit some at the scene of a crime?

What if the guy offered you $90 for your fingerprints?

Harold said...

Had a friend once who rid herself of Jehovah's Witness's. They rang the bell, she answered the door, blouse buttons all undone, "You're just in time. I just finished tieing my husband to the bed, come upstairs and join us!" And ran up the stairs leaving the door open. She watched out the upstairs window as they ran, RAN, down the sidewalk away from the house.

They musr have some secret hobo like signal they leave on a property saying- "Do not knock here, evil within."

bagoh20 said...

We know that you American voters are a cheap date. I mean we just had an election and you did a lot worse than spit in a tube, but it's not like anyone is offering you more. The world is a tough place, and some assholes expect you to take care of yourself and mind your own business. We'll take care of all that for you, baby. I'm your man now, bitch, and I said spit in the damned tube.

Christopher Smith said...

You know, I know someone who worked for one of these studies. They want huge numbers for their study to be statistically significant. But a lot of the study's staff/investigators are really enthusiastic about the research, think it is very important, and assume that everyone else will feel the same way. So they map out these study areas (districts that provide an even representation across income levels, ethnicities, etc.) based on the assumption that 80 or 85 percent of people will cooperate.... Yes, they really think that if you randomly knock on people's doors asking for private health information, 80 percent will give it to you. Because after all, it's for important research.

Needless to say in the study my friend was working for, that didn't go so well. But once they committed to those districts, they had no choice but to push for that cooperation rate. Sounds like that's maybe what's happening to you.

Christopher Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
atlasshruggedforyou said...

This is not FREE money. Consider it an earned income tax credit...a SHITT (spit-here-in-the-tube)tax credit if you will.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Next time, offer him $90.00 to go away and not come back.

The power, scope, and cost of the Federal Government must be reduced!

crosspatch said...

Wait .. if this is a random sampling survey they wouldn't care if you refused, they would just move on. If he came BACK that means they want HIS DNS for some reason. In a random survey they will eventually get enough respondents to satisfy their requirements by simply moving on to the next person.

That he came back tells me that this isn't a random survey at all and they specifically want DNA from your household for some reason.