TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Farmer, The Pickup, And The Elephant: A Post-Modern Fable

Once upon a time in West Texas there lived a farmer. In addition to raising crops, he kept a collection of interesting animals as a hobby. Always keen to make some money, however, he used the output of the animals for compost and sold the excess to surrounding farms. More about that below the fold. But first I need to tell you about the farmer’s pickup truck, “Iris.”

The farmer’s dad had bought a fine Ford F250 in the early 2000’s. His dad was very fond of the truck and called it “Iris.” But the farmer did not like Iris and so he used it exclusively to haul the animal product to market. Of course that meant Iris stank. The stink offended people, who thought Iris was to blame for payload the farmer asked Iris to carry.

When the farmer took over farming operations from his dad in 2008 he began neglecting Iris by not putting in the money to make needed upkeep and repairs. For example, he used a really cheap motor oil because he liked its name “Liberty,” and he liked the pennies he saved. But that oil actually did the exact opposite of what oils are supposed to do: it exacerbated the wear on the engine Then the farmer started using an even cheaper lubricant: chicken grease. When the once proud 5.2L Voodoo V8 engine failed, the farmer replaced it with an 4-cylinder engine taken from a Ford Fiesta, ‘cause that was cheap. More pennies saved! As parts failed, Iris became increasingly unreliable.  Still, the farmer kept relying on Iris to carry the load for him.

And now, for the Elephant part, below the fold.

In November 2016 the farmer was excited about an opportunity to add to his animal menagerie: an Elephant.  The Elephant was delivered in January 2017. The farmer was really delighted, especially considering the anticipated output of this magnificent creature would add greatly to his composting business.

But there was a problem. The Elephant was constipated. Really, really constipated.  The anticipated output did not happen. In fact, the Elephant could produce nothing all year. It surely tried. The farmer gave it all sorts of medicines and encouragement, but nothing seemed to work. The farmer grew desperate. The Elephant grew larger. They both knew that if the Elephant could not produce, it would die.

Finally, to the great joy of the Farmer, the Elephant produced. And produced. Pound after pound after pound came out. It took hours. And when the animal was exhausted (so to speak), the farmer was looking at over two tons of output. He loaded it onto the Iris. All 1097 pages of it.

And what do you think about the ability to Iris to haul all this loveliness? Gosh, I don’t know. I’ll let you, dear reader, finish the Fable for yourself. Post-modern fables don’t end, they just stop, doncha’ know.

Bryan Camp, IRS News, Tax, Tax Policy in the Trump Administration, Tax Practice And Procedure | Permalink


Hitting the egg nog early, huh? Pretty funny though.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Dec 23, 2017 11:23:26 AM

The Fable of the Elephant Dung!

Posted by: Enrique | Dec 23, 2017 7:22:08 PM

Iris had one last haul left in the ole girl and carried the new and remaing animal product inventory to Brian Camp’s house and dumped it all in his front lawn - Merry Christmas Mr Camp - don’t spend all your new found wealth (from tax savings) in one place

Posted by: Pedestrian Accountant | Dec 24, 2017 8:38:37 AM