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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Wait — Are We Supposed to Only Pay the Tax Part?

Hey, folks. Sorry about not posting yesterday. You can post it up to being Friday the 13th, if you like.

Of course, you can also chalk it up to me spending seven hours yesterday getting to, sitting at, and returning from the New England Patriots preseason NFL game against the Philly Eagles, because that’s really what did it. But I’m not going to tell you what to do with your chalk. Do what you like.

As for the game, it was a lot of fun. And if you’re not familiar with the phenomenon, let me tell you — nothing says ‘large, angry, huffing men in too-tight pants’ like preseason football.

(Well, nothing except maybe a longshoreman ballet troupe. Or a Whitesnake reunion tour. But I digress.)

Anyway, by the end of the game, the field was full of people we’d never heard of. And by that time, we’d had an inch or two of rain dumped on us. But we were still happy — the Pats won the game, we were full of brats and beer, and the rain had finally let up. It took us until midnight to fight through the throng of foaming fans and get home, but a good time was had by all. Or at least all I care about. Okay, fine — me.

So, no entry yesterday. And to be honest, there almost wasn’t one today, either. I really ought to be upstairs in the bedroom right now, installing the air conditioner the wife and I ‘bought’ today.

I say ‘bought’ because we ended up paying nothing — or at least very little — for the thing. I mean, we didn’t steal it, exactly. We tried to pay for it. We took it to the counter in the store, along with some other stuff we were buying. And the girl ringing us up scanned the little barcode thingy on the box… but apparently it wasn’t the right barcode thingy.

So, she scanned another barcode thingy on the box, on a sticker on the other side. Still not the right one.

She asked us if we saw another, bigger sticker anywhere on the box — apparently, that was the right one. She seemed a little flustered, so I decided I probably shouldn’t ask why an air conditioner box needs three barcode thingy stickers on it. I was afraid I might get a barcode scanner jammed in a rather unpleasant place, had I gone there.

After flipping the box around a couple of times, she rescanned the little barcode thingy, but that didn’t seem to satisfy her. So, she rescanned the bigger barcode thingy. Nothing. She looked around for some help, but all the other checkout people were busy — the store was packed, because it was apparently some kind of tax holiday around here.

(I’m not sure I quite understand how it works, but it seems to go something like this:

The state government wants to ‘stimulate’ the local economy. So, they set aside one day where no one will have to pay state sales tax. And in response, every single person in Massachusetts who’s planned to do any shopping in the next three weeks goes out today, to take advantage. And now, they’ll do no shopping for the next three weeks. So, I’m not sure how it helps, exactly.

Ooh, but there is one upside — since nothing bought today had sales tax attached to it, the state lost millions of dollars in the process. So, someday soon, our taxes will probably go up a little bit, to make up for the difference.

So yeah, like I said — I’m not really sure what the hell got accomplished. Remind me never to pay attention to these kinds of things again, would you?)

Anyway, to cut to the chase, the checkout girl couldn’t find a manager to help her, and the barcode thingy she was looking for didn’t magically appear on the box, so she basically said, ‘Screw it‘, rung us up, and let us go. With the air conditioner. And a $44 bill, which included a huge bucket and a half-dozen $5 cabinet handles. Now, math’s not my strongest suit, but I’ve got to believe that even without the state sales tax, we got one helluva deal on the A/C unit. Like, free, or damned close to it. Maybe I dig this ‘tax holiday’ thing, after all.

Okay. I gotta tell ya, all this talk about our new air conditioner is making me want to go stick the thing in the window. Especially while I’m sitting here, soaking ass sweat into the couch cushions.

(Yeah, I know — ‘nice talk’. Nobody wants to hear about my ass sweat.

Well, you know what — I don’t want to have ass sweat in the first place, dammit. And if I’m gonna be miserable, I’m not going down on the ship alone. Deal, baby.)

So, I think I’ll go install that puppy, and get a nice, cool night’s sleep. I’ll come back tomorrow and find something else to write about, and sit right here and rave as usual. Of course, I think I’ll turn the couch cushion over first. This thing is gettin’ downright swampy. Yech!

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Wait — Are We Supposed to Only Pay the Tax Part?”

  1. Christine says:

    Oooooh air conditioning *drool*

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