Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taxation in Spoonerville

[Scene: Man and Woman walking down the street together when they are met by a group of Thugs]

Thug #1: Excuse me sir, but it appears that you haven't paid your taxes.

Man: I'm sorry, you're mistaken. I actually have paid my taxes.

Thug #1: [nodding to Thug #2] Our Treasurer here has no record of you having paid.

Thug #2: [taking out a notebook and flipping through it] What's your name?

Man: [cautiously laughing] Mark.

Thug #2: [Before Mark has finished saying his name] Nope, no record.[quickly closes notebook]

Thug #1: So you see, you need to pay your taxes. Cash only I'm afraid.

Mark: [irritated] Ok, that's enough. [moves to escort wife around men]

[Thug #3, a large man, steps in front of the couple, blocking their way]

Thug #1: I'm sorry, we cannot let you leave until you have paid your taxes. That money is needed. Stan here [gestures at Thug #4] was recently laid off and so needs his unemployment insurance. And Joe's [gestures at Thug #5] kid needs some medicine for his ... acne. Plus, with the recession and everything, we must provide the local economy with much needed stimulus [gestures toward a pub/bar behind them].

Woman: This is ridiculous! This isn't a tax, it's stealing!!

Thug #1: Not at all ma'am. We represent the government of Spoonerville.

Mark: What? This is Chicago.

Thug #1: Well, I'll admit that our jurisdiction is a tiny little spit, but it's as legitimately elected as any other.

Man: Hmpf. Hardly. I've never even heard of it, let alone voted for it.

Thug #1: Because you chose not to vote doesn't mean you're not subject to the laws of its government.

But because we never wish to appear unfair, I move that we hold a special election. All in favor?

All Thugs: Aye!

Thug #1: Opposed?

[Shot of couple standing there confused]

Thug #1: The motion carries, a special election shall commence at once.

Man: Now wait a minuite...

Thug #1: [ignoring man] Now, those in favor of continuing the charter of Spoonerville and the authority of its current government, say Aye.

All Thugs: Aye!

Thug #1: Those opposed?

Mark: [quickly catching on] Nay!

Woman: No, not at all!!

Thug #1: [smiling] The aye's have it. The government of Spoonerville is once again received it's authority through the consent of the people.

Woman: But that's not fair! This is immoral!

Thug #1: [getting angry] Don't you dare question the sanctity of democracy in our fair hamlet. In fairness to you, we held a special election - in which you participated voluntarily I might add - and in which you lost fair and square, 5 to 2. You can't turn around and complain about fairness and morality just because you don't want to pay your fair share.

Man: [trying to calm things and find a way out] Ok, ok. Calm down. How much is the tax?

Thug #1: Well, we here in Spoonerville operate under a flat tax system. It'll be one hundred dollars.

Woman: One hundred dollars!

Thug #1: [Smiling] Each.

Man: And if we refuse.

Thug #3: [Pulls out a gun] We have to deal with those that break the law.

Woman: [starting to cry] Please ... Just let us go.

Thug #1: I'm sorry ma'am. We cannot simply ignore the law. There'd be anarchy.

Besides, if you don't like the laws of Spoonerville, you can always just leave .... once you have paid your taxes and we say you may leave.

Man: I don't have two hundred dollars though.

Thug #1: Well, don't let it be said that we aren't flexible and willing to adjust to the needs of taxpayers. To cover the difference, we will graciously accept your watch and the jewelry that the young lady has on. It's the least we can do.

[With thug #4 holding the gun, the couple start to hand over their jewelry]

Thug #1: We appreciate you voluntarily paying your taxes.

Woman: Voluntarily!?

Thug #1: Yes, voluntarily. Nobody has laid a hand on you physically or even touched you. And we so appreciate your voluntary participation. It avoids things becoming ... unfortunate.

Man: Can we go now?

Thug #1: Absolutely. After all, this is a free country and you are free to travel as you wish. We hope you have enjoyed your visit to Spoonerville. Please come again.

[Couple walks past the thugs and down the street swiftly]

END