I’ll Eat My (Non-Taxable) Words

Doug Gamble of Los Angeles has penned jokes for Ronald Reagan and George Bush

I lost an argument the other day and was prepared to eat crow, but something stopped me. I couldn’t help wondering if crow is covered by California’s new tax on snack foods. I mean, it was bad enough losing the argument, but if crow is considered a snack I wouldn’t want to have to fork over tax money to boot.

I was going to offer to eat my words, but the same apprehension applied. Until I hear an official verdict from the Board of Equalization about the taxability of words and crow, neither shall enter my mouth. And until I get a ruling on whether it’s a snack, there’s no way I’m going to swallow my pride, either.

A friend invited me over to his place for dinner recently to chew the fat. I told him I’d better hold off for awhile. I know the groceries used in the meal aren’t taxable, but if chewable fat is considered a snack then I’d be out of pocket.


Actually, the big snack-tax raises a number of perplexing questions. What if you nibble your sweetheart’s earlobe with abandon, only to discover in the morning that it’s a taxable snack? And I heard about a wife who told her husband that he looked good enough to eat. He phoned Sacramento for a ruling.

When a quarterback is sacked it’s sometimes referred to as “eating the ball.” The ball in question is made of pigskin. Now, I know that imitation pork rinds are taxable while genuine pork rinds are not, but I’ll be darned if I know where a football lands.

One of my clients said he’d fax me a cartoon that was food for thought. I demurred. I figure a cartoon is actually snack food for thought, whereas a serious article would be genuine food for thought and therefore non-taxable.

I guess when I go to the beach I’ll still be able to feast my eyes on the bikinis. No one, surely, could rule that a feast is a snack, as long as I don’t nibble on any earlobes.

As a Pete Wilson supporter, I’m not really criticizing the tax, just admitting my confusion. I read where someone said that anyone wanting to protest the snack tax should mail a Ding Dong to the governor’s office. Interesting idea, but how do you get Jerry Brown into an envelope?