|The Funniest Newspaper Column
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National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2008 First Place Humor Column
By Clet Litter from the Ozarks
Making sure census numbers match IRS returns
Whilst I’m writing this Hogspore News update, Punkin is out in the front yard trimming
shrubbery. I need to close the blinds, so I won’t have to watch her clipping away when I’m
inside toiling away with a heavy pencil and paper. I suggested that she stop, relax, or even
take a nap. Nope, those scraggly bushes, that have needed pruning for two weeks, deserve
some attention NOW.
She’s done with the landscaping activity, so I can finally get back to laboring over this
report without feeling guilty. She seems fine with me not helping. When she come into the
house, I asked, “Well, are you bushed?” She didn’t smile like she normally does when I
make a real clever joke.
I got a notice from the Census Bureau that we could fill out their form online. Course,
Winslow’s Hollerians didn’t receive the same letter. It’s not cause they don’t have internet
service. The reason is that the guvernment don’t trust em. They want to identify every
person living in the home. They’re sending an inspector out, once they can find an
employee to volunteer for the job.
Duncan Winslow says, “Our people are suspicious of the Feds. It’s a crime if we lie to
the guvernment, but they can ‘misspeak’ to us.”
Ten years ago, the citizens built a secret trail in the back of their properties. They used it
to shuttle a bunch of boys and girls from farm to farm when the census taker passed
through. After the feller counted the children, the kids would run out to the next home.
Kinda fortunate that the kids looked like they were somewhat related. The body counter,
no it ain’t a recent horror movie, never noticed that they were clones.
The local folks want to be certain that their number of family members was the
identical number that they entered on their income tax returns every year. They think the
IRS shares the information. Us patriotic stock knows that’s not true, but we do know that
them Holler folks are suspicious.
This time, the population people are wise to the old ways, so each family is gonna offer
a quart of Moonshine as a gift to the Fed numbers guy for every child he registers that he
can’t see. The residents are hoping that with some constant sipping on the gifts that the
inspector will soon actually start to see those children … that aren’t really there.
This week, Mumford Pickens doesn’t have anything to say. He’s been working late into
the night brewing enough untaxed gifts to sell to the residents of the Holler.
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