The Cowboy and the IRS Genie

When my buddy sent this to me, he left in the comment attached by the friend who had sent it to him: “The truth is often brutal and not kind.” (For foreign readers, the IRS is our federal tax agency. Today — April 15 — is our traditional Income Tax Return Due Day.)

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A modern-day cowboy has spent many days crossing the desert without water. His horse has already died of thirst. He’s crawling through the sand, certain that he has breathed his last, when all of a sudden, he sees an object sticking out of the sand several yards ahead of him.

He crawls to the object, pulls it out of the sand, and discovers what looks to be an old briefcase. He opens it and out pops a genie. But this is no ordinary genie. She is wearing an Internal Revenue Service ID badge and a dull gray dress. There’s a calculator in her pocketbook. She has a pencil tucked behind one ear.

“Well, cowboy,” says the genie. “You know how I work. You have three wishes.”

“I’m not falling for this.” Says the man. “I’m not going to trust an IRS lawyer genie!”

“What do you have to lose? You’ve got no transportation, and it looks like you’re a goner anyway!”

The man thinks about this for a minute, and decides that the genie is right.

“OK, I wish I were in a lush oasis with plenty of food and drink.”

POOF: The cowboy finds himself in the most beautiful oasis he has ever seen. And he is surrounded with jugs of wine and platters of delicacies.

“OK, cowpoke, what’s your second wish?”

“My second wish is that I were rich beyond my wildest dreams.”

POOF: The man finds himself surrounded by treasure chests filled with rare gold coins and precious gems.

“OK, cowpuncher, you have just one more wish. Better make it a good one!”

After thinking for a few minutes, the man says, “I wish that no matter where I go, beautiful women will want and need me.”

POOF: He is turned into a tampon.

The moral of the story: If the government offers you anything, there’s going to be a string attached.