The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘humor’

Toastmasters – Pathways Research Project

Oprah, Hagrid and Peter the Great Walk into an H&R Block

Who here knows who Oprah Winfrey is?

Ok … and who here looks at her and thinks, ‘taxes.’

Just me? No one else had their first experience paying a tax because of Oprah?

When I was in elementary school my parents had a little family meeting. Great news, everyone! We would be getting an allowance! I was ecstatic. I did then, and do now, love money. Imagine how many GI Joes I could get with an allowance!

(And I have a very young son at home, and am so glad to finally have an excuse to buy toys again.)

Anyway. My parents told us about the allowance, but … we had to do certain chores. Fine, fine, that’s fair.

My parents bust out a sheet and explained how the chores were age-appropriate things so my brother might mow the lawn while I would unload the dishwasher.

And, our allowance would be age-appropriate too. It was this simple equation where you take your age and … my dad probably explained but whatever. Just gimme the money.

But. Wait.

‘And, of course, there will be taxes.’

What?

‘Well, there’s the vacation fund tax, you have to contribute to the vacation fund. And there’s the cleaning supplies tax. You wouldn’t want to use that same vacuum all the time right, we need to get tax dollars to one day afford a new one.’

My folks learned about this oh so delightful way of teaching your kids about taxes from Oprah. Oprah! Sure Oprah, you can be a kind woman, an entrepreneur, an incredibly impressive business woman … but you’ll always be a tax to me.

Taxes! What an unappetizing topic. And, unfortunately, I’m not about to tell you how you can reduce them, or get out of them, or anything applicable. But, perhaps, at the end of my speech, you’ll know the answer to one or two Jeopardy questions.

And, if you’re an optimist, a bright side of life kind of person, you can think, ‘well at least that’s not happening to me’ when you hear about some of these taxes.

I

The first known tax was brought to us by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. They had their tax collectors, known as scribes, go around DOOR TO DOOR. That’s upsetting, but wait, there’s more.

The scribes would travel around to audit Egyptian houses to ensure they were using an appropriate amount of cooking oil! AND! AND! That you weren’t using other leftover oils as a replacement for oil.

Oh, one more detail. The cooking oil was sold by a monopoly run by … the pharaoh. Rough, right?

Come April, when you are filing your taxes using software you downloaded nearly instantaneously … yes, it is painful, and yes, our tax code is absurdly difficult, but at least you’re doing your taxes, unperturbed, in your pajamas.

II

From that very first tax, which was an obvious way to make the pharaohs richer … there have been a number of taxes with interesting backgrounds. We are of course aware of special taxes that come up for schools, new stadiums, or the county wants to set aside more land for preservation.

But what about taxes for fashion? Peter the Great was not a fan of beards. While touring some of Western Europe he decided that he liked the clean-shaved look he was seeing in their courts, so he imposed a beard tax back in Russia. IF you wanted to continue to sport your beard you had to carry around a token showing you had paid your beard tax. This was part of his effort to ‘modernize’ Russia.

Britain has created a tax break for films that are … “culturally British.” Your film gets reviewed and scored on four categories: cultural content, cultural contribution, cultural hubs and cultural practitioners. The purpose of this is to preserve British culture. But you have to wonder … or at least, *I* have to wonder … Would Harry Potter count?

You need 16 points and you get four points if the film is set in the UK … which it sorta is. Four more if the film represents a diverse British culture … which it kinda does. And four points for original dialogue recorded mainly in English language. That’s twelve points right there for a fictional magical place full of Brits.

Last but not least, we’ll travel to our flatlander neighbors, Kansas. Kansas taxes sales of admissions for amusement services, or entertainment, or recreation. There is a federal law prohibiting states having fees and charges on airlines and other airport users. So, if you get in a hot air balloon but don’t go anywhere … you’re taxed.

I don’t know why you would get in a hot air balloon and just STAY there. But, maybe that’s an entertaining thing to do in Kansas. If you ask me, it all sounds like classic big balloon lobby in action.

Conclusion

What did we learn today?

Did we learn that we’re glad we aren’t ruled by Egyptian pharaohs? You probably already felt that way, but if not, welcome to the club. They did worse things than tax, you know.

Did we learn that Hagrid will get a break in England, but be taxed if he ever goes to Russia?

Did we learn that Oprah is evil? I wouldn’t go that far, but you can if you’d like. And now, for the worst impression of Oprah you’ll ever see, I’d just like to invite everyone to look under their seats because … YOU GET A TAX! AND YOU GET A TAX!

Sources

https://bebusinessed.com/history/history-of-taxes/

https://www.cnbc.com/2014/02/14/top-12-weirdest-tax-rules-around-the-world.html

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/fun-facts/7-crazy-taxes-from-the-us-and-abroad/L503QNBEQ

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Attn: Ellen (9/12/18)

Front

 

Ellen365a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

 

Ellen365b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

When do you think the first barber shop was? I bet it was during caveman times. And I bet it wasn’t successful at all. Why pay perfectly good animal hides when I could just gnaw off my hair when it gets too long? But that barber? Talk about an outside-the-box thinker.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

 

August 2018 Haiku

August 1 (Wednesday)
Kiddo’s fav teachers
Leaving daycare (new pursuits)
But … But … But … My son!

August 2 (Thursday)
Day before a trip
Whiplash from frequent watch checks
Woah! It’s … 8 am.

August 3 (Friday)
Phoenix, here we are!
And the heat’s not all that bad
… in shade … in a pool

August 4 (Saturday)
Cupcakes and fam time
Early birthday for kiddo
(Oh, and for dad, too)

August 5 (Sunday)
My son and my dad
Squawked/screeched/babbled back and forth
Talking politics?

August 6 (Monday)
Flying home today
Kid slept on me the whole flight
Woke up in dad sweat

#gross #SoMuchBellySweat

August 7 (Tuesday)
Alarm set for 5 …
Wake up early! Go jog! And …
Nah. Re-set for 6.

August 8 (Wednesday)
Kid’s poor little cough
Cough. Hack. Cough. Chew some. Swallow.
Ah. Adorable.

August 9 (Thursday)
Recreate the bug
Toughest step in fixing bugs
*Think customer thoughts*

August 10 (Friday)
Watched woman swimming
We had same pace – she looked CALM!
… Perhaps … form matters …

August 11 (Saturday)
Cousins kids birthday
Kids playing … Adults chilling …
That’ll be so nice!

August 12 (Sunday)
Scheels with the kiddo
Animatronic Lincoln
CAPTIVATED him

August 13 (Monday)
IT! IS! OFFICIAL!
The boy knows at least one word!
But. It’s ‘dog,’ not dad.

August 14 (Tuesday)
Birthday gift for kid
A tiny bike looking thing
Small. Cute. Just like him.

August 15 (Wednesday)
You hear ‘Canada’
You think nice, friendly. Add ‘goose’?
Wrong move. Game over.

August 16 (Thursday)
Amazing finding
Fake coughing cracks the kid up
*Fake coughing ensues*

August 17 (Friday)
Eye doc for the kid
They have such fancy gadgets!
Dug the tech display

August 18 (Saturday)
Kid and I to pool
Tons of noise, kids splashing him …
And yet it went well!

#ThingsThatExciteMeTheseDays

August 19 (Sunday)
Hanging kayak rack
Let’s dance, old neglected foe!
… Annnnnnd I hung it wrong

August 20 (Monday)
To balance the day
Wife and son got me donuts
Monday … Neutralized!!

August 21 (Tuesday)
Water aerobics
Class if all elderly folks
Cracking dirty jokes

August 22 (Wednesday)
Unhappy sleeper
Put kid next to me in bed
Slept great after that

#flattered #tired #LearnToSleepPlease

August 23 (Thursday)
Saw a hummingbird!
Or as God likes to call them
Nature’s crack/cocaine

August 24 (Friday)
FRIDAY! Heck yeah, man!
Can’t wait to go out and … Nah.
I’m beat. When’s bedtime?

August 25 (Saturday)
Grandparents arrive
They come bearing birthday gifts,
Hugs, kisses, and awwwws

August 26 (Sunday)
Kid’s birthday party
A distractible eater*
*Cupcake exception

August 27 (Monday)
Took the day off work
Hanging with wife, kid, wife’s folks
Soaking up the day

August 28 (Tuesday)
Met to get feedback
Enjoyed learning why I failed …
Kudos, reviewer!

August 29 (Wednesday)
Speech about taxes
Taxes!? What was I thinking?
Ambitious self? FOOL!

August 30 (Thursday)
Open house today
“Please join our Toastmasters club!”
Exclaimed to … no guests.

August 31 (Friday)
Picnic with wife, kid
Hope mac & cheese covered clothes
Work appropriate

Why’s That TV So Damn Loud?!, and Other Opinions I’ll One Day Share From My Front Porch

You kids better quit eating my meat-flavored gruel!

No, I don’t know where the remote that controls the dog’s brain is … oh no, HE ATE IT AGAIN!

Hey neighbor, nice front porch … NOT!

Hey kid, turn off your VR goggles and pay attention to your self-driving … ah, never mind.

GET A JOB! … Or don’t, the universal basic income that the government wisely decided to embrace because of the automation of so many jobs limiting the workforce to only 10% of the population has really made not having a job a comfortable living. Which, again, makes sense because frankly, people are so much worse at most jobs than technology. So um … GET A HOBBY. Seriously, the ‘hobby’ stipend portion of your UBI is really pretty nice, personally I’ve taken up painting and I love it. So um … GET A PAINTBRUSH. Or a book. Or rock climbing equipment. Whatever. Have a good one!

white wicker padded bench

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Attn: Ellen (9/5/18)

Front

 

Ellen364a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

 

Ellen364b

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

It’s good to know that even in nature there are obnoxious siblings.

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR
@DumbFunnery

P.S. I bet he’s saying, “hey … your ear smells.” And the sibling is thinking, ‘do I really need to be a pack animal?’

Why am I doing this?

 

Eat Like a One Year Old

I’ve got an idea for a restaurant which would fail miserably … but oh what fun in the one month it’d be open.

The idea is customers eat like one year olds.

You walk in, the host or hostess shows you to your seat and then around comes your waiter or waitress. This is where the fun begins. As a customer you don’t need to say a WORD. Nothing. You can, if you want, you can say just one word over and over while looking at any and everything. Or you can just make noises. Or be silent. Whatever.

You are the 1 year old customer, and it’s up to you.

Over the course of the next however long you want you will sample, spit out, make weird faces, make noises, look with disgust and horror at your waiter/waitress when they guess wrong at what you want.

It’ll be grand.

The waiter/waitress will run to/from the kitchen, over and over, bringing you small samples of a really weird variety of foods, and you’ll happily eat four bites and then NO, I DO NOT WANT … ok, one more bite WAIT NO. I DO NOT WANT.

Be as difficult and crazy as you want as you eat a seventeen course meal, where each course is comprised of just a few bites.

Tip will be automatically included in your bill, because the wait staff deserve it.

One Year Later!

Ladies and gentlemen, the kiddo has made it to one year of life! And, mom and dad have too! Phew.

Let’s take a look back (read: lazy post) … here are my posts around the kiddo’s arrival, and all of the daily haiku I’ve been doing.

(Note: I recently looked back on these, and it made me appreciate that I have been doing the daily haiku.)

 

The Big Arrival

The Kiddo – Part I – Watership Down

The Kiddo – Part II – Game Day

The Kiddo – Part III – Chez NICU

 

Monthly Posts

Is the Fog Beginning to Lift? (3 Months)

4 Months and Counting

The Carousel of New Parenthood (5 months)

Month 6, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Short Nap

Month 7, Or Oh the Places You’ll Go (Developmentally)

Month 8, Or Get Up, Come On Get Down With the Sickness

Month 9 or Crawlington Station

Month 10, or Stand Up And Make Your Voice Heard!

Month 11, or OHHH! MY EYE!!!!

 

Haiku

January 2017 Haiku

February 2017 Haiku

March 2017 Haiku

April 2017 Haiku

May 2017 Haiku

June 2017 Haiku

July 2017 Haiku

August 2017 Haiku

September 2017 Haiku

October 2017 Haiku

November 2017 Haiku

December 2017 Haiku

January 2018 Haiku

February 2018 Haiku

March 2018 Haiku

April 2018 Haiku

May 2018 Haiku

June 2018 Haiku

July 2018 Haiku

 

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