Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Moron Tax Credit

Once in a while it happens -- you do something stupid, you brace for the consequences, but the moron tax doesn't come. There was the time when I accidentally knocked a cleaver off the kitchen counter, watched it tumble downward to my bare foot, and exhaled a gasp of relief when it landed less than a quarter inch from my right pinky toe.

Once in a long while, your moronic act actually improves your condition. In such cases, you come away with moron tax credit instead of moron tax. My parents have an uncanny knack for converting moron tax into moron tax credit.

Many years ago my father and I went, on a whim, to a Florida water park. We changed to our swimsuits and headed to the large wave pool in the center of the park. For most of the time, the wave pool was simply a pool where adults floated on plastic rafts and kids played Marco Polo. But every hour, on the hour, a siren would sound and you'd hear a big crash as the gears of the wave machine began to churn. Waves would begin rolling through the pool. They would start small but grow heavy enough to throw most adults off their feet.

My father and I poised ourselves at the edge of the pool as the waves began. We laughed as larger and larger waves splashed against us. Then, an enormous wave crashed over our shoulders, knocking both of us down and sucking us backwards into the pool. When I finally emerged, sputtering, from the water, I saw my father at a distance as he was also pulling himself from the water. As I walked over to him, I noticed something strange about his swimsuit.
"Dad," I asked, pointing at his shorts, "When did you change your swimsuit?"

My father looked down at himself and replied with an amazed look on his face. "The wave must have pulled it off."

Now even more puzzled, I asked, "Then, what are you wearing?"

He looked down again. "I'm wearing my underwear."

"Well, why are you wearing your underwear when you were wearing a swimsuit?"

"I forgot to take my underwear off."

I started laughing. "How could you forget to take off your underwear when you put on your swimsuit?"

With triumph on his face, he replied, "Good thing I did forget, eh?"

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