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Spearing a Tax Deduction

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by Walter Brasch

On a bright Monday morning, a day before tax returns were due, I bumped into my ersatz friend Marshbaum who was placing a change container at the Gas-High Mini-mart on Low Octane and Greed avenues.

"March of Dimes?" I asked.

"Dimes. Quarters. Ten-dollar bills. Whatever."

Since he misunderstood my question, I tried it another way.

"What charity? Humane Society? MS? Veterans Relief?"

"Even better. A museum."

"Science museum for kids? Art museum?"

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"Not even close."

"I'm not playing 20 Questions. Put the danged label on your change can." From a tattered vinyl briefcase, Marshbaum took out a peelable label proclaiming donations for the "Marshbaum Museum of American Culture."

"You can drop your spare change into it now."

"What's the scam?" I asked suspiciously.

"No scam. Legitimate museum. Just like the Historic Voodoo Museum, the International Toaster Museum, and Britney Spears' one."

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"Britney Spears has a museum?"

"Not really a museum, but four rooms in a museum in her hometown of Kentwood, Louisiana. Been there more than a decade. Even has a scale model replica of the stage of her HBO concert and a full-scale replica of her pre-teen bedroom."

"Just because she can dance, flash skin, and lip sync at the same time doesn't warrant a museum. And in your case, even if you do build a monument, it will remain as empty as your own life."

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http://www.walterbrasch.com

Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)
 

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