More Taxes, No Matter How You Pronounce It!

My first year in medical practice, I received a bill from the IRS that infuriated me so much my hands literally shook when I re-read it. It had to be a mistake! A personality tax? What in the world! I already had a general disdain for the Department of Revenue, but this hit an all-time low: A PERSONALITY tax??? Wasn't it bad enough I paid taxes on my house, income, gas, food, motels, and all purchases? Now they're going to tax my personality? Was my personality so bad it deserved taxation? If so, based on what? Had I not cracked enough jokes? Had I sputtered at some idiot on I-40 who pulled in front of me without using a blinker? Perhaps I'd droned on too long when telling a story. Had someone overheard me repeating gossip and then ratted to the IRS? In any event, I was soon to be out $300, and all because some bozo at the IRS deemed my personality worthy of taxation! Surely it wasn't three-hundred dollars bad!

I snatched up the phone receiver indignantly and mashed in the phone number for the IRS. After an eternity on hold, an employee finally answered my call. After forty minutes with a phone glued to my ear while fuming the whole time, I lit into him. “What do you mean by issuing a tax on my personality? Who are you to judge whether I have a good personality? I'll bet you IRS people aren't stand-up comedians yourselves!”

"If you'll just let me expl---"

I butt in and snapped, "Who's ever heard of a personality tax? The idea is preposterous! And if there were such a thing, trust me, there are people with far worse personalities than mine! I have a patient who hasn't cracked a smile or said anything kind in twenty years. She's mean to my staff and never says 'thank you.' Now that's somebody who deserves a personality tax!"

Suddenly, the IRS employee laughed out loud. “Ma'am, it’s not a PersonALity tax! It’s a PERSONalty tax! We charge it to all professionals for the personal privilege of owning a business.”

Huh??? Embarrassed, I muttered a hasty apology and hung up. Well, I do declare! Who'd have thunk? matter how you pronounced the word, it still meant three hundred bucks out of my pocket! Come to think of it, I now wish it were a PersonALity tax---maybe then, I could lower my tax burden by telling more “Knock Knock” jokes!