Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 105,101,325 Issue: 206 | 2nd day of Gathering, Y7
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The Tax Beast – Most Feared Beast in Neopia


by illianatgd

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It was the most terrifying episode in my entire Neopian life! I was on my way over to the Trading Post to place a bid on a fabulous necklace I heard was up for sale, when it happened. The fearsome Tax Beast jumped out and demanded a portion of my neopoints! I was so startled that I didn’t have time to think. I simply handed him the amount he asked for, and like a creature in a nightmare, he disappeared…neopoints and all. It was only afterwards that I realized I had been robbed!

Yes, my friends, robbed. How else would you explain what happened to me and thousands of others in Neopia? A huge creature jumping out of the bushes and demanding a portion of my neopoints sounds an awful lot like a robber to me. So, I set out to corner the crook and demand some answers.

After several months of searching, I finally found the horrible thief relaxing at the AstroVilla Neolodge. There he sat beside the pool sipping an ice cold Chocolate and Asparagus Ach y Fi and munching on a Bag of Peanuts. The nerve! I marched right up to him and demanded an explanation for the theft of my neopoints.

I guess I expected him to get angry, but he simply nodded his head and patted the seat next to him. Bemused, I quickly whipped out my trusty Striped Notebook and began writing. Here are the notes of our conversation that day:

Me: Let’s just start off by asking who you are, and what you do.

Tax: Well, I am called the Tax Beast, and it is my singular honor to collect the taxes from all Neopians.

Me (angrily): Oh yeah? And is that how you are paying for the most expensive lodge, and eating peanuts like they grow on trees. Er, um…

Tax (raising an eyebrow): Of course not. I happen to be on vacation. It is a paid vacation, and I get two of them a year. This lodge is paid for by my employers so that I can relax after a hard year's work.

Me (sarcastically): Hard year's work?! All you do is pop out of bushes and steal neopoints! Are you trying to tell me that this is only a job?

Tax: Uh, yes. That is exactly what I am trying to tell you.

Me: Ok, fine! Then tell me this! If we are paying you taxes for ‘your employer’, where do our taxes go?

Tax (uncomfortable now): Um, well…

Me: Come on now. If we Neopians are required to pay taxes, that must mean that they are being used for something! What exactly are our taxes doing to improve Neopia?

Tax: Um, well there is the Wishing Well. Someone has to pay to fulfill all of those wishes.

Me: Right. Have you ever met anyone who actually got anything from the Wishing Well?

Tax: Well, not personally. But I did hear once…

Me: Nevermind. What else are they paying for?

Tax: Civil servants! That’s right, we have to use them to pay the Bank Staff, the Hospital Staff, Dr. Death, and all the people who work in Neopia.

Me: Alright, but even with all of those things there would still be a lot of neopoints lying around. What else?

Tax (really nervous now): Well, game maintenance.

Me (laughing): You're kidding! Game maintenance? That is the lamest… Ok, so basically what you are telling me is you really don’t have any idea what happens to all the neopoints you collect. Right?

Tax (baring his teeth): You know what? I am beginning to get annoyed.

Me (nervously): Right. Um, could you just tell us what you do know?

Tax: Well, there is a lot to take care of to keep Neopia running smoothly. The paths need to be maintained or how would you get up Terror Mountain to try to steal things from the Snowager, or visit the Water Faerie to heal your pets after they’ve been battling? Hmmm?

Me: Well I…

Tax (nodding now): Yes, we have to pay the workers to do that, and they have to be good. You never see “Under Construction” signs on any Neopian paths, do you? I didn’t think so. Then there is the Shop Wizard. That poor guy uses his magic all day and night to help people find things they want or need. Who’s going to pay him for that? You?

Me (uncomfortably): Well I…

Tax (really warming up now): Let’s not forget that all these lovely Neohomes are eventually going to start costing more than just building fees. Someone has to pay for all of that electricity, and we have things in the works to be sure that every home owner will have to do just that! But until then, we have to get the neopoints from somewhere, so here I am!

Me: Now wait a minute…

Tax: All people have to do to make sure I leave them alone is just keep their neopoints in the bank until they actually have to use them. If someone is out carrying around thousands of neopoints just to have them on hand, then I am more than happy to relieve them of a few to make sure that everyone gets paid fairly. Yes, even my pay comes out of those taxes. I don’t work for free either.

Me: I had no idea!

Tax: Yes, that seems to be a real problem with you. However, to be fair I should tell you that I took this job for one reason, and one reason only.

Me: Really? Why was that?

Tax (roaring!): Because I absolutely love jumping out of bushes and terrifying everyone I see!

So there you have it. If you have ever wondered what exactly gets done with your neopoints once the Tax Beast takes them, you need not wonder anymore. Is the Tax Beast the evil creature he seems to be? Oh, yes he definitely is. (After this interview, he promptly took 10 percent of my neopoints before he returned to finishing his drink.) There is no compassion in the heart of the Beast, at least not for Neopian visitors like us. The one consolation is that at least you get an avatar after you’ve been attacked. Personally, I will just be sure I leave my neopoints in the bank to collect dust. The Tax Beast is still the most feared creature in Neopia…at least to me.

 
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