A year after Adam and Eve’s premature, Biblical departure from the Garden of Eden, the chief income tax agent in Edenton province called Adam to his cave to discuss their joint income tax return.
“I’m sorry to call you in like this,” the agent began, “but we don’t have sufficient information on your Form 1040 to make a refund.”
“What’s the problem?” Adam asked.
“First of all, we don’t have a last name for either you or your wife.”
“We don’t have a last name,” Adam replied. “When God made me from the dust of the earth and Eve from one of my ribs, He said ‘it is good.’ At that time, there were only the three of us and we were on a first name basis.”
“You’re trying to tell me that you weren’t born–you were formed from dirt by someone called ‘God’?”
“Yeah. We didn’t believe it at first ourselves,” Adam admitted.
“I see that you’ve claimed one dependent child named Cain.”
“Do you have valid birth and marriage certificates?” the agent asked.
“Well,…no. When God said ‘it is good,’ we just assumed we were covered.”
“Whaaaaaat?” the agent laughed loudly. “Read my lips. It’s NOT GOOD as far as the tax agency is concerned.”
There was an embarrassing silence for a long moment.
“You people get your kicks by trying to keep all of us in a perpetual state of siege and nervous tension,” Adam said forcefully, inching up close to the agent’s face.
“Okay, since you apparently don’t want to keep this on a professional level,” the agent said, his face suddenly flushed, “I’ve heard all of those stories about the two of you, too. You certainly went to a lot of trouble having your fun, huh? Eating the forbidden fruit, being evicted from Eden because the woman you are living with was fooling around with a slimy snake, ruining the neighborhood…going naked all day like hippies. Now you’re trying to cheat the government on your taxes,” he added. “What do you do on holidays…get high on dessert nettle? I can’t believe it! You two blew all the eternal bennies of Eden–the federal Good Time Garden.”
“My taxes pay your salary, right?”
“From my perspective, it appears that my money is really being used to harass me.” Adam said.
“That’s not how the tax agency likes to look at it.”
“You people start out by believing you’re only second to God. But, by the time April 15th rolls around, you think you’ve moved up a notch.” Adam’s contempt was so brazen the tax agent was momentarily startled.
“Let’s get back to your return. You cite a ten mite deduction for a rental oxcart for moving from Eden and another hundred mites for miscellaneous expenses that are job-related. What precisely is your occupation?”
“I’m a ship-in-a-bottle maker,” Adam proudly admitted.
“What are your specific duties?”
“I take full bottles of wine and ready them for the insertion of ships. My work is prompt and 100% guaranteed.”
“Well, Adam, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to disallow all of your deductions because you failed to attach a W-2 form to cover your income during this tax year.”
There was another long silence.
“Look, Mr. Tax Man, I’m about to pour a torrent of light into your dark and dismal world,” Adam began, his voice rising with his blood pressure. “Nothing is more galling than the arrogant and patronizing attitude of bush-league bureaucrats. God even told me the other evening that HE was a little pushed by it all, too. And He knows it’s not easy trying to raise a little Cain on my salary, either.”
The tax agent seemed to have had enough. He appeared so frustrated that he groaned aloud an Old Testament lamentation. “Aaaaiiiieeeeoooo.”
Adam stared at him for a moment and then shrugged his shoulders. “Ain’t it the truth, though? Now you know how the rest of us feel this time of year.”