The Grump That Stole Christmas came early this year.
He came in a pick-up to bring us good cheer.
T’was there at the house when the truck, it drove up.
And out swaggered th’ meanest lil’ pup,
A peach-fuzzed, bespectacled guy with this gal.
And oh what a look she had on her brow.
All business, no fun, it was clear that these two
Were there to do me in with their taxation voodoo.
The sign on the door said “Tax Assessment” [beware!]
So I put on a smile, straightened my hair.
But with one look at me, they challenged me with:
“You th’ contractor, the GC, the builder of this?”
“Oh, no,” I said, proudly, “I’m the homeowner, that’s all.”
And conversationally: “We’re sure proud of it, ya’ll.”
He ignored what I said. An irritation, so fast.
And if looks could kill, she’d be having a blast.
So with a practiced little sneer, and a pimple upon it,
The man tapped his nose, like a snot-crusted grommet.
Clipboards, blueprints, tape measures and more.
Slide rules, calculator, and camera to bore …
As deep down inside what wee savings we had.
They brought them all out, and yet they were mad.
At the thought of a guy like me, with a nice, modest house.
Like a fat tomcat who’d cornered the mouse.
But the very next question, and the last thing they asked.
Was the one that hit me with no time to bask.
It poked me like a nasty thumb right in my eye.
‘Cause it’s the home comfort system that most strokes my pride.
“What kinda heat ya got in there?”
Was all that she asked as both of them stared.
To see if I flinched, and, yes, when I did.
They watched as I wriggled and twisted and slid.
Back in my brain to connect with the cause.
For such a question, with no time to pause.
“Hot water” was all I could say.
And then it hit me, and still echoes today.
Of course! As important to them as how many bedrooms
or bathrooms or square footage inside.
Was the best way to tax us, like tanning our hides.
As plain as day for all to see.
Blunter than fecal matter, with no trace of glee.
We’re not s’posed to have comfort. We should wither and rot.
‘Cause furnaces and heat pumps, the scorched air lot
Is what they permit with no extra tax.
A conspiracy!, Class action!, Discrimination! I wax.
And so this year as the Yule tunes play.
We wait for the news of the fine we must pay.
Yes, a fine for sure. Little else could it be.
For last year we bought a boiler for under our tree.
Installed in the spring, now purring along.
Because when you want comfort, there’s no other choice.
Go with hot water, but watch for the voice.
Of the Grump that Stole Christmas, with taxbook in hand.
And when they ask THE question, try to be bland.
Be unflustered, unphased; don’t bandy about.
Don’t twist, cringe, wriggle or shout.
Just say, with a smile as you meet their stare.
Oh, why of course, it’s Scorched air!
Taxpooredly yours, John Vastyan
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