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March 21, 2014

WOLFSIE: And the survey says ...

At first glance, it seemed like a pretty good deal. Enjoy a compliment­ary $25 gift card from one of the local supermar­kets. All it required was answering a few questions online. I knew it was a marketing scheme. I wasn’t born yesterday. In fact, as you’ll see, I was born 114 years ago.

I had to agree to certain contractual terms, including my permission for the research firm to forward my responses to businesses so they might then contact me about possible purchase of their products or services.

The first line asked me the date I was born. I was honest about the exact day in March, but I scrolled way to the bottom of the drop-down menu and found the earliest birth year listed. I clicked on 1900. I thought that might dissuade the life insurance sales people from pestering me with calls.

Next, I was confronted with several questions somewhat disguised as statements.

• 92 percent of females who fill out this survey want to receive free samples. Do you? (Was this a trick question? I’m a guy. How do I answer that? I think the first question on a test should always be the easiest.)

• 40 percent of those who fill out this survey meditate. Do you? (Yes, and right now I’m deep in thought, wondering why I am doing this for a lousy 25 bucks.)

Then things started getting really serious …

• 8 percent of those who fill out this survey are unemployed. Are you?

• 13 percent of men who fill out this survey need ED medicine. Do you?

Next, they asked my level of education. One of the choices was: I’d rather not answer this. No such option was available for my mental state, my sex life or my financial status. But did I go to a two-year or four-year college? Apparently, that’s getting way too personal.

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