Let Us Be Lovers’
We’ll Tax Split Our Income Together.
By Dan Jamieson
For many years now I have observed two elderly people, a man and woman, who meet in mid-walk at a bench near my home. They come from opposite directions to sit and talk for a while if the weather is fine.
Yesterday, the weather being fine, I was out for a walk myself, and overheard the following conversation as I passed their bench.
"Lucille, I have been a widower for many years, and I know you lost your husband some time ago," the elderly man said. "As we have been meeting on this bench for several years now, I believe it is appropriate that we should marry."
The woman looked thoughtful for a while. "We have known each other for years, Harold, and are quite compatible in all respects, but why this sudden interest in marriage?" she asked.
"Mr. Flaherty, the federal finance minister, has allowed that we seniors can, if we are married, split our income for income tax purposes. This, he says, will save us a bundle in taxes and we could spend our winters in Florida."
"Oh, that would never work, Harold," the lady replied.
"And why not?" Harold said. "The government has promised us fortunes through income-splitting."
"But Harold," Lucille pointed out, "Neither of us makes enough income to be taxable. We both rely on the Old Age Supplement just to get by. We don’t have enough income to be worth splitting."
Harold thought about this a moment. "That’s the government for you," he said. "There’s always a trick somewhere."
He looked thoughtful for a moment. "I don’t suppose we could have any kids, eh? Cash back from the government for kids."
"No," Lucille said thoughtfully, uncomfortably shifting her septuagenarian bones on the bench. "I don’t suppose so."
"And I haven’t got a drivers’ permit any more, so I’m not going to buy a fuel-efficient car."
"I’ve never had a permit," Lucille said, heading off Harold’s next question.
No money in the federal budget for the likes of you and me then," Harold said with a wistful smile. "Well, it never hurts to check."
At this point the sun went behind a cloud and the pair stood to begin their walk home, promising to meet again the next day if the weather was fine.
After going a few steps, Lucille looked after Harold and seemed to pluck up a little courage. "Would you like to come over for dinner, Harold?" she asked. "It isn’t much, just a cat-food soufflé, but I’m sure there’s enough for two."
"Cat food soufflé!" Harold looked aghast. "Lucille, don’t you ever read the news? There’s a big recall on cat-food. They say it causes kidney failure in cats and dogs. Particularly the stuff you use in a soufflé. Who knows what it does to people. Better you come to my place. I’m having watery Kraft Dinner."
With that they set off arm in arm in the general direction of Harold’s place. They were both smiling and I thought I heard Lucille say, "Harold, you are such a romantic."
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