The Lord Giveth and the Government Taketh Away
Or Going from Good Friday to Taxation Monday in One Weekend!
For Christians, this is a special time of year celebrating Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. Meanwhile, for all Americans who made any money last year, it’s a special time of year rushing to get tax returns filed and making last year’s final tax payments. Truly, as the Bible said in Job 1:21, “The Lord giveth, and the Government taketh away.”
Like always, I am very much on top of things when it comes to getting my tax return filed and paying my tax debts: I have filed for an extension and estimated that I probably won’t owe the government anything. If previous years are any guide, I will most likely still miss the extended deadline by several months, and my estimated tax liability will be way off. The government will be like, “Hey, man, not cool at all!” And I’ll resurrect that old excuse from the quaint pre-internet days of the 20th century: “The check is in the mail, I swear!”
And speaking of resurrection, for this Easter Sunday, I have something very special to share with you. I found an antiquities dealer who had an amazing artifact from New Testament times: a cassette tape that contained a recording of the disciples’ emergency meeting on what turned out to be the first Easter Sunday. I think Peter was being egotistical and wanted to secretly record all of his meetings for posterity, kind of like the way Richard Nixon secretly recorded conversations in the Oval Office when he was President (unfortunately for Nixon, the Watergate investigators heard the tapes before posterity did). I think Peter meant to keep the tapes secret, because the other disciples don’t appear to realize they’re being recorded, so you can really hear their candid reactions in real time when Jesus makes his dramatic appearance.
I will release portions of this audio on the next episode of The Crazy Comedy, Humor & Satire Podcast. (Which will be available on pretty much any podcast app or at https://crazycomedyhumor.libsyn.com/.)
I’m also embedding a podcast-player widget featuring my latest episodes below from Spotify, so you’ll be able to listen to it here when the next episode is released:
For now, I will give you a transcription of key moments from the disciples’ Easter-Sunday tape.
Transcription of Disciples’ Dialogue Before and After Jesus’ Miraculous Appearance
Peter: Okay guys, Jesus is dead. It’s time for plan B.
Thomas: I told you guys you were stupid to bet on Jesus. You should have done like me and bet on the Romans.
Andrew: Shut up, Tom. Maybe if you’d had faith like the rest of us, this wouldn’t have happened.
Thomas: You’re just jealous. Sometimes being a doubter comes in handy. Like when there are million-to-one odds, I don’t bet against them.
Peter: So how much money did you make off that?
Thomas: Not much. You know, I don’t like to gamble. I bet like ten shekels.
Andrew: How much you got now?
Thomas: Eleven shekels.
Andrew: So you betrayed Jesus for one lousy shekel?
Thomas: I wouldn’t say I betrayed him, exactly. I just — look, disasters are bad, but if you’re going to suffer the disaster anyway, and you have a chance to make a shekel or two, you’d be a fool not to do that. It’s called making the best of a bad situation. Plus, even if you call it a betrayal, at least I got something for it. Your brother denied Jesus three times for nothing!
Peter: Shut up, Tom. At least I stuck around instead of just running away.
Thomas: It’s called being smart, Peter. They already got Jesus. No sense in all of us getting killed. Besides, if I got killed too, who would collect my winnings from the bookie? What? That scumbag is going to keep my eleven shekels, in addition to all the money you guys lost? No way!
Peter: Can you spare anything? I took out a second mortgage on my house. My wife is going to wring my neck! I took out a secured loan on my boat. I thought this was going to be a big payday. All the oddsmakers had the Romans winning all day, so I thought this would be my chance to cash in on the biggest upset since David fought Goliath. I was already planning my retirement. If Jesus had won, I’d be sitting on 3 million talents right now!
Matthew: Don’t worry. When we do our taxes, I know a way to write off our gambling losses as business expenses.
John: What if they audit us?
Matthew: They won’t audit us. Rome is like 6 years behind on processing tax returns. They don’t have the staff for an audit. Plus even if they do audit us, I know some people at the I.R.S. [Imperial Revenue Service]. We’ll be fine.
[Sound of footsteps approaching, then heavy breathing. Mary Magdalene enters.]
Andrew: What the hell, Mary? Why are you running back here? We already told you, if you’re being chased or followed, don’t come here! You’ll lead them to us!
Mary: I’m not being chased! I got good news! Jesus is alive, and I saw him!
Peter: For real?! If what you’re saying is true, I might go from rags to riches just like [snaps finger] that!
Andrew: Ha, ha! I can’t wait to see the bookie. I’ll be like, “Hey schlemiel, remember me? The guy who took that crazy bet? Well, here’s Jesus! Who’s the fool now? Pay up!”
[Peter starts running in circles while hooping and hollering. He high-fives Andrew.]
Mary: Stop it, guys! I’m serious!
Peter: You don’t think I’m serious? I hocked my boat. Mortgaged my house to the hilt. Maxed out all my credit everywhere, and put it all on Jesus. And now you’re telling me that I might have won that bet! Million-to-one odds! I’m rich!
John: Where did you see Jesus?
Mary: Down at the cemetery.
Thomas: You guys are delusional. If you hadn’t lost so much money making stupid bets, you wouldn’t be engaging in all this wishful thinking right now. All I know is, I won a shekel on my bet, and I’m not giving it back. Jesus is dead. Unless I see Jesus, in person, eating pizza and doing a keg stand, I ain’t believing none of it!
Peter: Yeah, that’s why I got to walk on water, and you didn’t. You have no faith. Like George Michael sang, “Gotta have faith!”
Peter: George Michael. Nevermind. After your time.
Thomas: I’m out. I got things to do today. I got eleven shekels in my pocket. Hey Mary, now that Jesus is gone, maybe we can start going out.
Mary: What are you talking about?
Thomas: Come on. I know you and Jesus have something going on.
Mary: What kind of Illuminati crap have you been reading? Our relationship is purely Platonic. We’re just friends. Without benefits. Nothing like that at all.
Thomas: Not according to the Jerusalem Inquirer. They said . . .
Mary: That’s what you get for reading that lying tabloid: a bunch of stupid ideas about me and Jesus. I expect that from the general public, but from you? You know me and Jesus. Why are you going to believe some crap you read in some tabloid?
Thomas: If it’s not true, why are you getting so defensive?
Mary: It’s not true, okay! What else did you read in the Inquirer? That Pontius Pilate’s wife had a love child with an alien? That Caesar is secretly dying of AIDS? For someone whose nickname is “Doubting Thomas,” you sure believe a bunch of stupid shit.
Thomas: I’m just trolling you. I wouldn’t even read the Inquirer at all except that it’s right there, whenever I’m in line at the grocery store. You can’t help but see the headlines. “Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ: Start of a Top-Secret Bloodline?”
Mary: That’s all horseshit. I’m going to sue them for libel. And you too! Keep repeating those lies, and I’ll sue you as well.
Thomas: You ain’t suing nobody. Look, guys, I would love to hang out all day talking about Jesus surviving the crucifixion somehow, but I’m a realist. Right now, in the real world, I got eleven shekels burning a hole in my pocket. I’ve got places to go, things to see, people to do . . . I’ll be back later.
Peter: You’re lucky we’re Christians, Thomas. Otherwise, we’d rob you. Heck, we may still rob you. Eleven shekels sounds like a lot of money, considering how much I owe. Unless . . . if Mary is right, this changes everything.
Mary: If I’m right? Look, I saw him, okay!
Thomas: How do you know it was him? How do you know it wasn’t a Jesus impersonator?
Mary: You don’t think I know Jesus?
Thomas: You mean “know” in the Biblical sense? Yeah, I think you know Jesus, just like Adam knew Eve.
Mary: Shut up, Tommy. You’re going to know the back of my hand across your face if you say that again!
Thomas: Okay, I’m out. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose lover just got executed by the Romans.
[Mary lunges towards Thomas with her hand raised to slap him. Thomas backpedals quickly towards the door.]
Thomas: So long, folks!
[Thomas runs outside and slams the door behind him. Meanwhile, the disciples are laughing uproariously.]
Peter: You know what would be great? When Thomas comes back, Mary, you can hide and then, once he sits down and gets comfortable, you can jump out and slap the shit out of him!
Mary: Forget Thomas! I am telling you, I saw Jesus. He is alive!
John: You said you saw him in the graveyard? Let’s check it out.
Peter: I’m going too! Man, I can’t wait to take Jesus to my bookie and be like, “Guess who turns out to have won his bet after all! Pay up, fool!”
John: I’ll race you!
Peter: You’re on. How much you want to bet, I win?
John: You don’t have any money to bet, remember?
Peter: That’s just till I take Jesus to see my bookie and collect my winnings.
John: Fine. Ten shekels.
Peter: That’s all?
John: Okay, fifteen shekels.
Peter: Watch. This will be the easiest fifteen shekels I ever made!
John: Look, you know I ran track in high school. I’ll even give you a head start.
Peter: Okay, if you want to lose even worse, then sure, give me a head start. Like P. T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute!”
James: P. T. who?
Peter: Barnum. Nevermind. After your time.
Mary: Boys! Boys! Enough already! Are you going or not?
Peter: On your marks, get set . . .
[Suddenly Peter starts running. As he runs down the stairs, he yells, “Go!”]
Andrew [laughing]: Cheater.
John: Watch. I’ll still beat him.
[Mary shakes her head and walks out.]
About an Hour Later
[Peter and John enter the room where the other disciples, besides Thomas, are waiting. They carefully lock the door behind them.]
Peter: I got good news, and I got bad news. Which one do you want first.
Andrew: Give me the good news first.
Peter: Okay, Jesus’ tomb was empty. I think he’s alive, and I think I won my bet after all! I am gonna be so rich! I am never going fishing again! You hear me! Never! From now on, I’ll be living on the beach, sipping Tequila Sunrises all day and drinking moonshine all night!
Andrew: You said there was bad news?
Peter: Oh yeah, I lost the race. Meaning I owe John fifteen shekels. Anybody got any extra shekels they can loan me? I’ll pay you back when I collect from my bookie.
Andrew: None of us has any money, remember. Except Thomas. I say we rob him.
James: Wait a minute. So even with the head start, John still beat you? You’re getting old, Peter!
Peter: He cheated. Anyway, I’m still faster than you, James.
Andrew: So you saw him?
Peter: Saw who?
Andrew: Jesus. You said he’s alive.
[Suddenly, dramatically, Jesus enters the room!]
James: Great Caesar’s ghost!
Andrew: That’s not Caesar’s ghost. That’s Jesus’ ghost.
James: I know. It’s a figure of speech.
John: Jesus! Is that really you?
Jesus: It’s me. I am alive. I am not a ghost.
James: I didn’t mean you were like a spooky Halloween ghost. I meant “ghost” in a good way. Like you’re a holy ghost.
Jesus: Different person. There’s the Holy Ghost, and then there’s me. He’s a ghost. I am not. See, watch, I can eat and drink. Can ghosts do this?
[Jesus proceeds to eat a piece of fish.]
James: How did you do that?
Jesus: Well, as was prophesied, on the third day I was resurrected by the power of . . .
James: No, I’m talking about, how did you go through the wall like that? When you came in. The door was still locked, and you just appeared, like you came through the wall or something. How did you do that?
Jesus: Great magicians never reveal their secrets. But you’re missing the point. I’m here! I am alive!
James: Yeah, I got that. But how did you go through the walls and the locked door like that? I thought it was because you were a ghost.
Andrew: A holy ghost.
Jesus: You’re thinking of someone else. I am not the Holy Ghost. I am Jesus.
James: That’s what I’m saying. You’re not a ghost. You just ate some of our fish. So you have a physical body. But you just appeared inside this room, in the flesh, without opening the door. How did you do that?
Jesus: Forget about how I got inside this room. I am alive. Aren’t you amazed by that?
James: Well, yeah, that’s pretty impressive. But how did you get inside this room without opening the door? I used to do magic tricks as a kid, and I could never figure out how to disappear and reappear. If you could show me how you did it, I won’t tell anyone else.
Peter: Hey, Jesus, you know, um . . . Okay, about Friday night. I, um . . .
Jesus: I forgive you. I told you that you’d deny me three times, didn’t I? Looks like I was right again.
Peter: Oh, that. I was actually talking about a little bet I made Friday. I was going to ask you to go with me to see my bookie; I got some money coming my way, and I’ll split it with you. But since you brought up that whole denial incident, I am very sorry about saying I didn’t know you. I actually had my fingers crossed when I said it.
Jesus: You also cursed me.
Peter: Define “curse.” Okay, maybe I cursed a little.
Jesus: You said, and I quote, “I don’t know that no-good, rabble-rousing, spreader of deadly misinformation, so-called Messiah. He’s a damn conman! I would never follow him! I even read in the Jerusalem Inquirer, he’s having an affair with Mary Magdalene!”
Peter: Look, I was still drunk from that big Seder we had. You know I didn’t mean any of that.
Jesus: And you went on to say, and I quote, “I don’t know that Jesus character from Adam. I would never believe any of his bullshit. Never! Don’t believe me? Anybody got a hammer and some nails? I’ll crucify his ass myself!”
Peter: I said that?
Jesus: You said that.
Peter: Okay, I can explain . . .
[Jesus gives Peter the side-eye.]
Peter: Okay, I can’t explain. I’m sorry. I screwed up. But like Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive divine.”
James: Alexander who?
Peter: Alexander Pope. After your time.
Peter: Anyway, Jesus, you know I love you, right? You only hurt the ones you love, right? You’ve heard that saying before, right? I hurt you, but it’s just because I love you. Plus, like I said earlier, to err is human; to forgive divine. I am human, so I erred. But you are divine, so I’m sure in your infinite goodness and mercy, you will kindly forgive me, right? Please?
Jesus: I forgive you. Just feed my sheep with all that money you make off those bets you made on Friday.
Peter: How did you know about that.
Jesus: I know things. You don’t think I know things? I know that you lost that race to John, and you owe him fifteen shekels.
Peter: Look, John cheated. I’ll race him best two-out-of-three. Come on, John. Double or nothing.
Jesus: Forget about racing. You’ll lose three-out-of-three anyway.
Peter: How do you know?
Jesus: I just told you I know things. Just like I knew you’d deny me three times. Take my word for it, you’ll lose even more money if you try to bet double or nothing on another race. Face it, Peter, you’re getting old. And fat. You ate half the matzah at Passover by yourself. I keep telling you to lay off the carbs. It’s not good. Eat more fish and veggies and less bread.
Peter: Okay. By the way, will you go with me to see someone real quick?
Jesus: Your bookie?
Peter: Well, he’s not just my bookie. But yes, he is my bookie. And he owes me three million talents. I’ll split it with you.
Jesus: He’s a cheat. He doesn’t have three million talents. You’ll be lucky to get 15 shekels out of him.
Peter: Jesus Christ!
Peter: Sorry, I didn’t mean you. It’s a figure of speech.
Final Thoughts about Easter Sunday and Taxation Monday
Hope you have a happy Easter weekend and that your Taxation Monday isn’t too unhappy. As I mentioned earlier, the Lord giveth, and the Government taketh away.
The audio for the disciples’ secret Easter Sunday recording will be available for you to listen to when I release the next episode of The Crazy Comedy, Humor & Satire Podcast, which you can get on pretty much all the podcast apps or you can listen to the embedded Spotify player below (widget will play the most recent episode):
Speaking of Jesus and the American federal government, you could really make the case that the government is a greater miracle worker than Jesus. [Christians, hear me out on this one . . .]
Jesus did do a lot of miracles in his time. He raised Lazarus from the dead. He multiplied the loaves of bread and fishes and miraculously fed thousands of people. Listen to this clip from the late, great Sam Kinison, a former fundamentalist preacher turned sacrilegious comedian, talking about some of Jesus’ miracles:
So Jesus did some great miracles. If we measure the value of his miracles in financial terms, how much do you think his miracles were worth?
Maybe providing Lazarus with free health care would be worth . . . a million dollars? Let’s say Jesus healed 10,000 people and provided each of them with free health care worth a million dollars apiece. That would be around $10,000,000,000. Ten billion dollars. Pretty impressive, right?
And let’s say Jesus fed another 10,000 people at his revival meetings. And let’s assume that each meal was worth about $15. That’s another $150,000. Combined with the healings, that’s $10 billion and some change, total.
And let’s say Jesus did a bunch of other miraculous stuff that amounted to another $10 billion worth of goods and services, so now we got miracles worth a combined $20 billion.
That’s pretty impressive. But compare the economic impact of Jesus’s miracles to the miracles wrought by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the Fed and the Treasury have created TRILLIONS of dollars just — POOF! — out of thin air! Not to mention all the TRILLIONS of dollars they miraculously created and gave away to the banks after the bankers torpedoed the world economy after the sub-prime mortgage market blew up in 2008.
So Jesus did miracles worth $20 billion, whereas the Fed and the Treasury have done miracles worth over $20 TRILLION!
Anyway, I think the implication is clear. As the Doobie Brothers used to sing, “Jesus is just alright with me!” But the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury are on a whole other level! The churches and evangelists who follow Jesus are constantly asking for more money; meanwhile, the bankers following The Fed and the Treasury have billions of dollars to lend!
Here’s an audio clip below of the Doobie Brothers performing the awesome song, Jesus Is Just Alright with Me!
Maybe someone can do a song about the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury! They could name it, “Central Bankers Are Super Awesome with Me!"
And speaking of Taxation Monday, here’s the late, great George Harrison singing about the taxman. [His backing band called The Ruttles or the Beatles or something like that was pretty good too.]
And if you think we got crazy taxes to pay in America, it could be worse! The top marginal tax rate in the U.K. back in the Beatles’ day was 95%! Hence, the words, “One for you, nineteen for me,” and “Should five percent appear too small, be grateful I don’t take it all.” Yikes!
Of course, the effective tax rate in the U.S.A. may get all the way up to 100% before long! After all, by 2030, they got to make sure we own nothing, have no privacy, and yet are somehow happy about it. They must have some good drugs ready to give us! We’re already living in a Brave New World, so we are past due for our Soma! Anyhow, to make sure none of us (except for the billionaire elites selflessly leading this Great Reset) own anything, they’ll probably start taxing 100% of whatever we have left over after inflation eats us alive.
But let’s not end on a bad note. The government is corrupt and incompetent, but God is good. Hope you all have a happy Easter — or Passover, if you’re Jewish and still waiting on the Messiah — or if you’re not religious, hope you have fun waiting in all those long lines at pretty much every restaurant you might try to eat at Sunday afternoon. And if you’re American, good luck dealing with the Taxman on Monday!
Thanks for reading Tilting at Windmills: Humor Writing by Daniel D! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
For more fun foolishness for me, check out the links on my LinkTree at https://linktr.ee/DanielDMan, including the links for The Crazy Comedy, Humor & Satire Podcast, which you can find on any major podcast app.
And if you’re feeling all bummed out like Job because you have nothing left after paying your taxes, just remember, “The Lord giveth, and the Government taketh away!”