Elections having just ended here, the outcomes that both please and distress us are naturally on our minds. But even California’s Shakespearean machinations for gleaning shekels from the pockets of the people can’t compare to what just happened in Romania.
According to the AP, the country is desperately seeking new sources of revenue. They’ve raised sales taxes and slashed the wages of public servants (sound familiar?) Nevertheless, the Romanian Senate recently rejected one revenue-enhancing proposal – namely, a proposal to regulate and tax witches and fortune-tellers.
The bill, introduced by by lawmakers Alin Popoviciu and Cristi Dugulescu of the ruling party, would require witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts for their professional services. Wait, there’s more: from now on, they would also be held financially liable for wrong predictions!
A famous Romanian witch, Maria Campina, told the media that practitioners’ erratic income from these endeavors would make record-keeping difficult.
This is likely true. But the bill’s sponsor Popoviciu thinks that the opposition actually arose not out of enforcement concerns but from lawmakers who were afraid of having curses and spells put upon them.
<<<…and Margaret Hamilton’s cackle echoes throughout the land…>>>
Not a bad strategy, eh? Wonder if we could get our corporate raiders to fear spells?
I was first alerted about this newsworthy item by Chuck Shepherd’s most excellent column, News of the Weird. Each month, Shepherd collects legit but odd news items from the mainstream press and offers them as excerpts. (Yes, I did search, and easily confirmed this piece with original sources.) I read NotW in my favorite newspaper, Funny Times, to which I subscribe. Sometimes it comes quite late and rather wrinkled: I suspect that the post office workers are having their way with it before it reaches my box. But that’s okay. They likely need it, and besides, I’m saving my curses for the truly worthy.