Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tax Day Tomfoolery

I know this is late, but better late than never I suppose. I filed my federal and state income tax returns in mid February. I put off filing the local return, however, until about 9:45 pm on the 15th. And, as I was visiting the Ms. Lion Hearted, I was in Scranton when I mailed the return in.

Scranton, for those of you not from Pennsylvania or just unfamiliar with the city anyway, is a veritable hotbed of subversive liberal activity. It is the kind of place that makes your skin crawl. And, on the evening of 15 April, the kooks were out in full force at the Post Office.

I didn’t expect to see them. Perhaps I should have expected it, but I just didn’t. Last year, as I dropped my last minute tax filings in the outgoing mail bin in Altoona, everything was calm and quiet. Some kind folks even gave me a cup of coffee. Scranton’s Post Office, however, was not nearly so pastoral. In order to get to the building one must drive down a narrow lane and maneuver a tight, oddly-shaped parking lot; of course the Post Office in Scranton had no one outside collecting the returns, in spite of the great amount of business they expected; this all added to a sense of chaos in the parking lot. It took me nearly twenty minutes from the time I entered the parking lot until I could leave again.

And then, there were the kooks. I really wish I had brought a camera with me to share the scene with you all, but as I said I hadn’t expected them. Stupid me. I did learn a number of things from the sloppy and oft-misspelled signs they were holding and waving as they held up the traffic of people with actual jobs who pay actual taxes trying to get to the Post Office.

I learned that my taxes support and only support oil companies.

I learned that taxes are higher than ever.

I learned that my taxes support the filthy rich.

I learned that Bush kills babies.

I learned that war is bad and peace is good.

And finally, I learned that Halliburton is the only corporation in the world, and that corporations are evil and only exist to destroy the environment.

Those were all the signs that I had a chance to observe as I tried to avoid hitting them and continue snaking my way towards and through the parking lot. Over the twenty minutes I was there I did learn one other thing, however, thanks to my keen eye and sharp reasoning ability.

I learned that, no matter how evil oil companies are and how much they support the evil military/industrial complex, simply being aware of that fact is a good enough excuse to idle your car’s engine the entire time. Yes, these fools had their cars idling the entire time I was at the Post Office, and presumably much longer. I guess EvilNastyVileBigOil isn’t quite evil enough to warrant shutting your car engine off during a protest, right?


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