It’s Sunday morning. I’m up with the birds – as opposed to the more customary drifting off to their twittering. The result of a teetotaling Saturday evening. I must be getting old. Or soft. Or both.
Small James, my younger spawn, is moaning. He does that. Not about a sober Daddykins torturing him awake at a fiendishly early hour. Well, he is a bit. Harper Junior’s major gripe is that he has to file his first tax return. The same week the muppet with whom he shares a surname and residential address shot the taxman.
Small James doesn’t do well with the system at the best of times. Genetic, I guess. Maybe the tattoos. The Oxfam wardrobe. The uMsinga ears. The clever mouth.
Small James is panicking. Small James reckons I’ve painted a target on his back. Marked him for life. Small James is convinced Daddykins has set him up for a serious going-over. Nine-hour queues. The microscope treatment. Latex-gloved auditors and repeat cavity searches in a basement at Pixley ka Seme Street. No rebate from Oupa 2.0. Ever.
I wind Small James up as much as I can. I have to. It’s my duty. Small James is United scum. And the fruit of my loins.
Small James’ paranoia is not misplaced. The taxman is not to be messed with. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and we’re cool. If not, two in the chest and one in the head. Ask Al Capone.
Ask Timmy Marimuthu. Timmy’s the former button merchant who set the honey trap that got Oupa nailed. And he’s the Cat in the Hat’s bra. Timmy reckons Sars has hit his family hard. Timmy’s wife’s been audited. Timmy’s son-in-law has been audited. Timmy reckons that even his domestic worker has been audited. Sars is just warming up with Timmy.
Don’t mess with the taxman.
Mess even less with the taxman’s boss.
Pravin Gordhan. Pravin used to be the taxman. Pravin is from Prince Edward Street. Pravin was my man Poojah Uncle’s neighbour. That’s when Pravin was PG. Pravin’s a straight arrow kind of cat. Low-key but really serious. No Facebook during working hours. No trying to get some at the taxpayer’s expense. No lying when you blow it.
Do your job. Play by the rules. Dance. Or get off the floor. Amen.
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