When the tax department decided to audit Grandpa, and summons him to their office
the auditor was not surprised that he showed up with his lawyer.
The auditor said, ‘Well, sir, you have an extravagant lifestyle and no full-time employment, which you explain by saying that you win money gambling. I’m not sure this office finds that believable.’
I’m a great gambler, and I can prove it,’ says Grandpa. ‘How about a demonstration?’
The auditor thinks for a moment and says, ‘Okay. Go ahead.’
Grandpa says, ‘I’ll bet you a thousand pula that I can bite my own eye.’
The auditor thinks a moment and says, ‘It’s a bet.’
Grandpa removes his glass eye and bites it. The auditor’s jaw drops.
Grandpa says, ‘Now, I’ll bet you two thousand pula that I can bite my other eye.’
Now the auditor can tell Grandpa isn’t blind, so he takes the bet.
Grandpa removes his dentures and bites his good eye.
The stunned auditor now realizes he has wagered and lost three grand, with Grandpa’s lawyer as a witness. He starts to get nervous.
’Want to go double or nothing?’ Grandpa asks ‘I’ll bet you six thousand pula that I can stand on one side of your desk, and pee into that glass on the other side, and never get a drop anywhere in between.’
The auditor, twice burned, is cautious now, but he looks carefully and decides there’s no way this old guy could possibly manage that stunt, so he agrees again.
Grandpa stands beside the desk and unzips his pants, but although he strains mightily, he can’t make the stream reach the glass, so he pretty much urinates all over the auditor’s desk.
The auditor leaps with joy, realizing that he has just turned a major loss into a huge win.
But Grandpa’s own lawyer moans and puts his head in his hands.
’Are you okay?’ the auditor asks.
’Not really,’ says the lawyer. ‘This morning, when Grandpa told me he’d been summoned for an audit, he bet me twenty-five thousand pula that he could come in here and piss all over your desk and that you’d be happy about it!’
Our legal system is based on the concept that accused law breakers should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but for some reason that ideal doesn’t apply to taxes. I find that disturbing, and maybe that’s why I get such a kick out of that joke.
Each of us is unique…just like everyone else. Yeah, I know, I used that line in last week’s column, but it seems to fit in with what I want to say now about another topic I’ve recently addressed. Back in the first week of June I wrote a piece called ‘Making the Grade’ in which I bemoaned the lack of respect our society seems to have for the teaching profession. My main points were that I would be happy to see teachers’ work loads reduced and their pay increased because I would like to see the best minds attracted to the profession and I think it is extremely important for our kids to be taught by people who are happy with their lot in life. That’s because along with their main subject matter, teachers also teach our kids by example what it is like to be adults in our society.
Anyway, I just got my daughter’s report for the term and I seem to have got part of my wish – the bit about reducing the workload – as the handwritten teacher comments have been replaced by a key of standardized comments that range from #10: An excellent result, well done, to #30: Thorough revision is required to improve on this result.
Opps: I hope I didn’t have any impact on that move, because that certainly isn’t the kind of work load reduction I was looking for. For me, the individual personalized comments have always been just as important as, or more important than, my children’s grades. I don’t want them slotted into one of 34 predetermined categories, and more to the point, I want them to believe their teachers care enough about them to treat them as unique human beings.
This move gets a big #30 in my book.