Thursday, February 10, 2011
Fortunes told and untold
The Associated Press reports that about a month ago Romania's witches and fortune-tellers had to start collecting taxes from customers, and now Parliament is thinking about going one step further: If the witches's predictions don't come true, they could be fined or put in prison.
"Superstition is taken seriously in Romania," says the AP, "and officials passed the tax bill in a effort to increase revenues. The new bill would also require that witches have permits and provide their customers with receipts." They would also be banned from plying their trade near schools and churches, apparently to protect both the pious and the innocent.
The witches and fortune-tellers counter-argue that they are not to blame for the failure of their tools: "They can't condemn witches; they should condemn the cards." We all know the truism about the bad workman blaming his tools, but this takes it to a whole new level.
First they mess with the zodiac, and we have this new and unpronounceable Ophiuchus, and now this. Where will it all end? Will poltergeists need social security cards?
In the meantime, Romanian officials are almost certainly laughing all the way to the bank.