Last night C.W. came to me with the most interesting question. He was in the shape of Timmie Joe, the 14-year old nerd. He was well-attired. Somewhere, he had found one of those old pocket protectors that engineering students in college used to wear, the kind that advertised a blueprint shop. I guess they will be collector items now. It meant he was on serious business.
“Why,” he said, “do people who have everything always want more?”
It took me by surprise and I didn’t have a ready answer. “What do you mean?” I said.
“I’ve been asked to determine if there is such a thing as a “satisfaction point,” he said. “Is there a point at which members of your species determine that they have enough and perhaps others might be entitled to some of the remains?”
“That’s a good question,” I said, “and I don’t have a ready answer. Besides, I’m fairly satisfied with my state.”
I felt a gnawing sensation in my stomach. “Well,” I said, “pretty much so.”
“What are you getting at?”
“How many guitars do you own?”
I told him and pointed out that I had sold one recently.
“And why did you sell it?”
I wanted to look around for help but I knew there were only two of us in the room.
"Uh," I said.
"To care for those who mourn?"
"To care for the poor in spirit?"
“Come on,” he said. “Admit it.”
“You sold it because you want to buy another, more expensive, one.”
I responded with a weak, “It’s my hobby.”
“So, if it’s a hobby, it’s not hoarding riches?”
“And besides, I don’t own them all, just a few.”
“Would your corporations be willing to stop there with your congressmen and congresswomen?”
I had to think about that. “I don’t imagine they would.” I lowered my head. “At least they haven’t so far.”
“What is with you, your species I mean?”
“What has brought this all on?”
“The Falloonian Elders are intrigued by the resistance to paying taxes on your ddyspikrslouckee.”
“What they call it roughly translates into a tax on sexual ejaculations of the more fortunate kind granting unearned riches.”
“I call it the ‘lucky sperm tax’ for short. Think about it.”
I did. Realization began to settle on me like the morning sun on a windless morning. “Are you talking about the Estate Tax?”
“Yes. The one that rich kids who inherit their parents’ money hate so much. The riches they acquire because of a lucky sperm. They seem to care not if the less fortunate ones starve.”
“They have much, do little, and demand more. How can you give more to those who have plenty? My friend the Galilean has asked me that same question? Isn’t hoarding riches the pastime of a ship of sinners? He says so anyway.”
“Wait a minute,” I said. “I seem to know a certain, uh, a certain, let’s see, a certain alien let’s say with quite a collection of Heather Graham photographs.”
He fidgeted. “Maybe it’s because she looks like Mrs. Big Dope.”
Maybe it’s because you have plenty of them but it’s not enough. Why don’t you delete some of them?”
“Hey,” he said with great deal of merriment, “what say we go to the guitar store tomorrow?”
I do have a point, eh? Can anyone
guess who is who? - C.W.
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