There’s only two things you have to do . . .

One of them is dying.  The other is paying taxes.

Oh, the joys of paying taxes.  Garbage collection.  Police officers coming when you desperately call 911 after baracading yourself in your bedroom after the lights have gone out and come back on, waking you up to what you think is the sound of a burgler trying to get in your front door but it’s really just the two printers in your office coming back to life (these sounds are similar, I swear!  not that I’ve ever actually heard what a burgler sounds like, thank goodness!).  Schools for children to be educated, even if you don’t have any (or plan on having any).  Elections.  Congresspersons.  Over-priced leather chairs for congresspersons to sit their overpaid tookeses (sp?) on.

And, libraries.

As it is public record, I have no qualms in posting here that my yearly payment to the public library is $26 divided by two because there are two persons in my household.  Which means that I pay $13 a year to check out 50 items at a time, including new releases in the DVD and book department, have unlimited access to several databases, be able to read several newspapers and magazines, be on the computer and internet for 2 hours per day, and participate in programming like chinese ink drawing and juggling and yoga and storytelling and haunted houses and . . .

$13 a year is a bargain people!  a bargain.

But not for some . . .

Patron:            Where is the TV guide?

Me:                  We do not get the TV guide, sir.

Patron:           You should, it comes in the Sunday paper.

Me:                  We have never received it sir. (does it?  does it really?  does it come in the Sunday paper?  and how, pray tell, would you know?  Do you get the Sunday paper?  And, if you do, then why do you have to come in here on Saturday afternoon every week to read the prior week’s papers?  huh?  Why?  and!  do you really need the TV guide at this point?  all of those shows listed in it would have come and gone by now!  it is 5:55 p.m. on Saturday!)

 Patron:             Well, you need to check on the subscription.

Me:                    Sir, I’m sure that we do not get it becuase our subscriptions are cheaper because they are discounted for the library . . .

Patron:              Well, I pay taxes and you should pay for a better subscription.

Me:                   You can make a complaint if you want, sir.

Patron:               Because my taxes have gone up every year and you should give me a better paper.  I heard you guys are getting raises too!  So I should get the TV guide.

Me:                     Sir, I am not getting a raise.  I got a 5 % paycut.

Patron:              Well, I still pay taxes.

Me:                   Would you like to file a complaint?

Patron:               Yes.

Me:                      Here is the form, sir. 

Patron:                Well, ma’am (sarcasm is not this patron’s strong suit, but he’s trying), who is going to respond?

Me:                       We forward complaints downtown where they are routed to the correct department or director for response.  They will call or write you, at your preference.

Patron:                  You know, this has nothing to do with you, I just want to get my money’s worth for my taxes.

Me:                      OK.  Well, just give me the form when you’re done.

Patron:                 Because I should get something for my taxes.

Me:                        UH-huh.  (because it hasn’t dawned on you that you already are getting something for your taxes, right?  Like me, talking to you, for instance.  Or!  Those newspapers themselves.  Or, those DVDs you check out.  Or, all those interlibrary loan requests I fill out for you!  Or!  Or! Or! . . . )

Patron:                Here’s the form.  Thank you.

Me:                       You’re welcome.

So, yeah.  Two things you have to do:  pay taxes and die.

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