One Saturday afternoon long ago, Gene Autry and I sat down for a domino game against The Beast and The Dunce.
The Dunce began, as usual, with his mantra, 'If a macca, mek it jook yu!', then smoothly segued into "A dis macca me a go jook yu wid" as he drew the first double-six to start the session. Autry contributed six-five; The Beast, five-ace. I held six-ace; double-ace; five-blank; four-deuce; double-trey (three); trey-deuce; trey-blank. Quick, what should I play? As usual, the answer is revealed at the end. No peeking!
Once again, Haemorrhoid turned up late and wanted to tell a story. Regular readers remember Ernest H. Flower, a lazy articled clerk who earned his nickname with regular complaints about the "piles and piles" of files on his desk. Haemorrhoid knew nothing about dominoes but, as a world-class raconteur, his shaggy-dog tales were always welcome at our games.
While Haemorrhoid told us the story of the thoughtful Scottish husband, I reviewed my domino options. Haemorrhoid began:
"This average Scottish couple had been married for many years and the husband, Jock, a lowly construction worker who barely earned a living wage, made daily after-work visits to his local pub. His wife, Maggie, often remarked to her friend, Jenny that, if only Jock would stop going to the pub, the savings could buy him a brewery.
"One evening, as Jock was putting on his coat and hat to make his way down to the pub, he turned to his wee wife before leaving and said," Maggie, put your hat and coat on, lassie."
Maggie was pleasantly surprised: "Aw, Jock," she shrilled excitedly. "Are ye taking me tae the pub with ye?"
"Nay," Jock responded slowly and patiently, "I'm switching the heating off while I'm out.?"
My sainted grandmother told similar tales of lost World War II RAF pilots recognising they were flying over Scotland when they saw the toilet paper hanging out to dry.
I remembered Haemorrhoid's amusing ditty when our blood-sucking government, after imposing billions of dollars of new taxes since 2012, recently decided to squeeze the very lifeblood out of us with a new 'with-holding tax'.
Well, he's not very handsome to look at.
Aw, he's shaggy and he eats like a hog
And he's always killin' my chickens;
that dirty, old, egg-suckin' dog.
This most cruel of 'new taxes' calls for all government agencies (and companies earning over $500 million per annum) to deduct three per cent from invoices rendered by service providers for payment over to Government. Then the creditor issues a 'withholding tax certificate' to the service provider who can set these amounts off against his next income tax return.
you're always a hangin' around.
But you'd better stay out of my hen house;
you dirty, old, egg-suckin' hound.
Jesus H Christ on a Japanese crutch! Is Government so desperate for cash flow that it'll impose massive additional bureaucracy at a cost likely to exceed amounts collected in order to suck blood up-front? Does Government realise how moribund the tax system already is before it drives this nail into productivity's coffin?
If current tax-collection systems were simply made halfway efficient (or rational), this wouldn't be necessary. At present, tax collectors are under so much unreasonable pressure, they're sending out demand notices for taxes already paid and for which they've issued receipts.
The anxiety to drink the blood of ordinary Jamaicans in order to satisfy IMF demands is so urgent that Government can?t distinguish reality from illusion. It knows only need.
Now, if he don't stop eatin' my eggs up,
though I'm not a real bad guy,
I'm going to get my riffle and send him
to that great chicken house in the sky.
In 1966, country music legend Johnny Cash compiled an album of humorous songs titled Everybody Loves a Nut. He included an ode to man's best friend (if he's got nothing else) on the album called Dirty Old Egg Sucking Dog about an insatiable raider of hard-working people's produce.
The correct play is double-ace, because my six-ace prevents The Dunce from turning the game two of either sixes or aces and should ensure he cuts one of the ends (his six or The Beast's ace), thus giving Autry an opportunity to reintroduce fives. Also, my own 'strength', though only moderate, is in threes and both ace-three and six-three are out there somewhere, either of which from anybody (preferably The Beast) will make my hand a little better.
Peace and love.
- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.