Census Workers: Beaten, Bitten and BruisedS

Do we chalk up the 379 assaults on census workers to increased anti-government sentiment or the American predilection for beating the piss out of strangers who come on your property? Either way, it's brutal out there for a census worker.

The Washington Post has assembled some truly horrifying census worker anecdotes for their round up of "incidents of violence, hostility against census workers." And, Jesus, are these people trying to count citizens in America in 2010 or Beirut in 1983? Census workers have been

shot at with pellet guns and hit by baseball bats. They have been confronted with pickaxes, crossbows, and hammers. They've had power lawn mowers pushed menacingly toward them, and patio tables thrown their way. They have been nibbled by a duck, bitten by pit bulls and chased by a pack of snarling dogs.

Hard to imagine how a lawn mower can be pushed "menacingly," but besides that this all sounds absolutely terrifying.

Perhaps the most impressive, though unsurprising, aspect of this phenomenon is the variety of weapons Americans have used to injure census workers, encompassing all the piercing, bludgeoning and projectile categories. Here is one census worker from the Post story who was attacked by lawn furniture:

Chesney showed her census badge, she said, prompting the woman to launch into a tirade: "I don't need the blankety-blank government snooping in my business." Then she threw a metal patio table at Chesney, who escaped injury by ducking.

Two of California census worker Wendy Soto's fingers are now paralyzed after a pit bull bit her hand and stomach. But this story wins for outright bat-shit-craziness:

In a rural part of Nevada County northeast of Sacramento, two census workers told authorities that a man ordered them off his land and mentioned his submachine gun, then followed them down the drive with a crossbow in his hand. No charges were brought against the resident, according to the sheriff's department.

Whatever census workers are paid, it's not nearly enough