Say it Ain’t So!

Yesterday morning Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, jumped on my bed, and gave me the usual stare-down. The one he gives me every morning, compelling me to get up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head, and then make my way down to the kitchen to feed him.

That stare-down.

Only yesterday, it was a different kind of stare-down.

“What, Henry?” I groaned. “Why are you looking at me that way?”

“I’ve got some good news and bad news,” he offered up. “Which one would you like to hear first?”

I opened one eye and wearily said, “Tell me the good news.”

“Your daughter is heading back to college today, and it’s going to be months before you see her again.”

That’s not good news, Henry. You know very well I’m miserable about her departure, and am going to miss her desperately. So, tell me the bad news.”

“Okay, but first I have more good news.”

I adjusted my pillows and sat up, and looked at him with a skeptical eye.

“Okay, Henry, tell me your other good news.”

“We’re in for another hot, dry spell. It’s going to be over 100 degrees again today.”

“Henry, don’t you know anything about what makes for good news?”

“At least we have air conditioning,” he added with a wink.

“Now, that’s good news, but I already knew that. So, what is the bad news, Henry? I’m getting impatient.”

“There’s one more piece of good news!”


Turning red-faced, he said, “I just had an accident downstairs, so I can wait a bit before you take me for a walk.”

“HENRY! I can’t believe you think that’s good news! I’m guessing that the bad news must be really, really incredibly bad. ”

Henry nodded and blurted out,

“Amazon just started charging tax in California today!  Your free ride is OVER!”

“What???” I demanded, with a sense of panic overcoming me.

“Kaput, gone, finito,” he sighed. “It’s hasta la vista, Baby!”

“Henry! This can’t be true!  Say it ain’t so! Amazon’s been fighting the state of California about this tax for years. No way. NO WAY!”

“Way,” Henry replied solemnly.

Which is when I bolted out of bed, turned on my computer and headed to the Amazon website, where I have at least 20 things in my shopping cart, and about double that on my wish list.

As I prepared to make a purchase, to see if Henry was right, I took one look at the total, which included the estimated tax, in bright, bold numbers, and screamed.


Henry, seeing my pain, put a paw on my shoulder and said,

“Look at it this way, Cook. At least now you’ll be contributing to a good cause, helping the state balance its budget.” He flashed his best smile at me.

“Henry, ever hear of the old adage, ‘Kill the messenger’?”

Which is when, Henry jumped off my bed and hightailed it downstairs, retreating as quickly as he had appeared, leaving me to begin my 16 stages of grief.

  1. First, I cried.
  2. Then, I sobbed.
  3. My sobs soon turned into giggles which just as quickly turned into maniacal laughter, while a nervous tic developed in my eye.
  4. I climbed the walls and injured my tailbone when I landed on the floor.
  5. I suffered a nosebleed.
  6. I tore my hair out.
  7. I then scrapbooked my Amazon invoices from past purchases, where the tax line item still said, “zero.”
  8. And, I devoured a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, not noticing I was eating a flavor I didn’t like.
  9. I reflected on the old days when I could make any purchase and not think about the tax.
  10. I buried my head in my pillow while holding a printed version of my Amazon wish list.
  11. I belted out the lyrics from a song by Bad Finger, “I CAN’T LIVE, IF LIVING IS WITHOUT YOU…”
  12. I then watched a marathon of The Brady Bunch and cried for the Brady kids who lived in a time when shopping online didn’t exist.
  13. I listened to the song, “Free Ride,” by the Edgar Winter Group and cried when it was over.
  14. I watched a documentary about the Amazons and got another nosebleed, when I realized it wasn’t about the online retailer.
  15. I wrote a letter to Jeff Bezos and begged him to give me one more tax-free day.
  16. And finally, acceptance. I tried to accept the new tax charge, but instead fell back to square one, thus starting my stages of grief all over again.

And here, I was hoping California would legalize marijuana and get their much-needed tax revenue that way. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. That bill didn’t pass the electoral vote.

Amazon, it was a good ride, but now it’s over, and I have a feeling my life will never be the same again.

How about you? Have you ever had something you’ve secretly enjoyed, taken away?

56 thoughts on “Say it Ain’t So!

  1. Monica, why couldn’t they just legalize the weed? hee hee! Roxy and I are awestruck by how clever Sir Henry is! We love him! He looks quite debonair in that photo of his. Roxy would like him to know that she thinks he’s quite photogenic as well! Lady, how I love it when Henry posts! I love it when you post too, but Henry…he’s such a character! Hugs to you and Sir Henry! I hope you’re holding up after your daughter’s departure. I can only imagine how sad it was to say goodbye! 😦

    • Bella, how will we ever get these two kids together. For Henry, it was love at first sight. He thinks Roxy’s the cats’s pajamas! But seriously, Henry’s on notice as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure that deep down he takes glee in my misery about the tax. 😉

    • Thanks, Bassa. I’m sorry to tell you, by the way, that WordPress has been marking your comments as spam. I just discovered quite a few! I don’t know how to tell it that you’re not spam, so I’ll check my spam folder more often. I’ll let Henry know you liked this post, too.

  2. Beautifully humorous! Your dog is a riot! He has such a way of delivering news, doesn’t he? I enjoyed this post. I always enjoy your posts. I’ll have to make a note of the grieving process should Godiva ever stop making my favorite ice cream parlor truffles. Oh dear! I’ll need more than legalized marijuana to get me out of that funk! 🙂

    • Thank you, Somer Empress. I’m glad you got a kick out my “pain.” And yes, Henry makes the perfect messenger. He’s got just the panache needed to carry it off. 😉 My grieving process, btw, can come quite handy in a number of circumstances. You can even try it when you don’t need it. Heh-heh.

  3. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays

  4. It was nice to find online bargains. I’m sure I’ll still shop online for the convenience of it, but maybe this will be the push I need to get into the “shop local” habit.

    • Yeah. Shary, a lot of the incentive for online shopping seems to be diminished if not gone. We’ll see. I’m sure I’ll be buying something there again soon. But for now, I’m still grieving.

  5. Just popped over from Dockfam and so glad I did. Love your site – you are hilarious. Sorry you are going through these rather outrageous stages of grief. I see you didn’t deal with Henry’s “accident” during that entire process 🙂 Sorry, thought I’d best remind you that you have some cleaning up to do.
    PS – I had a Cavalier King Charles – he was an incredible and fantastic dog and I miss him terribly. So nice to find a site with a Cavalier in.

    • I’m so glad you stopped by and liked what you saw. The door’s always open and you’re welcome back anytime! And thanks for the reminder re Henry. Luckily, he was just “kidding” about the accident (you know how cavalier Cavaliers can be), and all’s well. I’m still getting used to the tax. But, if there’s something I know, it’s that I’m fully capable of singlehandedly turning the California economy around because if there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s shopping! 😉

  6. Love this conversation with Henry!! I’ve nominated you for the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award” . For details, just visit my most recent post. I will understand if you do not participate, I just wanted to show my appreciation for what you do!! Have a great day!

    • Thanks, Valentine. Henry knew what he was doing, for sure. He just didn’t bank on me taking the old, kill the messenger adage to heart. Let’s just say, I know he’s around here somewhere, but he’s gone into hiding…for now… 😉

  7. Poor Monica. I heard about this on the news, but had trouble believing it. So it’s true, huh? Sigh. I commend your restraint in not taking it out on poor Sir Henry, who used that as an opportune time to add fuel to the fire and “mess” on the floor!

    • Believe it or not, Henry didn’t actually have an accident. He only said it to help cushion the news about Amazon, thinking I wouldn’t take it as bad if it was tempered with other bad news. Of course, he was wrong. The little fiend! 😉

  8. OMG, this is hilarious, Monica! Really, this is brilliantly funny–even more so, since your dog’s name is “Henry.” Our older and larger dog is “Ralph.” Gotta take dogs with names like this more seriously, right? Or maybe not. I LOVED this post!

    • Thanks, Kathy. Henry is wise beyond his years, but what he lacks is tact. The good news is, he was lying about having an accident. He was just trying to make me feel better about the bad news re Amazon. 😉

  9. I’m a bit ticked with Amazon right now. We bought a book. The wrong thing came and now we’re in a loop. Amazon acknowledged they sent the wrong thing. Then they told us to contact a local tech (that was nice) who can remove the bugger for $28.95 (say what? You made the mistake.). All I want to do is talk to a human because our kindle is “tanked” until this thing, whatever it is, is removed. I think you vented with a bit more humor than me.

  10. I’m considering a kindle (don’t scream) for the first time in my life, mostly to avoid the shipping and handling which is like a tax. I guess we all have to find new ways to cut back and then they will find new things to tax, and the circle goes on and on.

  11. Hello Monica.

    I know what’s been taken from me that I miss and that’s youth.

    I am not as fast as I used to be, mind you perhaps I was not that fast in the first place.

    Here in the UK we have a tax called VAT (value added tax) though how putting tax on adds value I have never been able to get my head round.

    I order stuff from Amazon on a regular basis and the ship a lot from the Channel Islands which does not have VAT, so it’s cheaper and as long as its under £16 in value ther is no import duty. I have also ordered from Amazon in the States in the past DVD’s and not paid import duty.

    You have my sympathy with high taxes our VAT level for most things is currently 20 percent which is a fair addition.

    Have a great week.

  12. I didn’t use to pay shipping with Amazon and now, not only do I but it seems so astronomical since it was free before. I don’t shop with them as I used to, which is silly because I’ll pay shipping when ordering from other shops. Maybe it’s resentment. Disappointment. Or spoiled.

    You had me cracking up on number 3. And that Henry sure has a sense of humor. Gotta love him.

    • I long ago signed up for Prime, so I never have to worry about shipping costs and I get everything delivered practically overnight. It’s worth every penny! But I don’t know why it sticks in my craw having to pay the dreaded tax. Sigh.

    • Imelda, it’s bad. Real bad. California has one of the highest tax rates, and it is set to go up again this fall, if a new bill is passed during the elections (and frankly, it must pass in order to save this state from tanking). Tut tut, it’s a grim day for all Amazon fanatics like myself. 😦

  13. Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Monica. I am annoyed, horrified and rushed to the computer myself to see if my just ordered vitamins and pre-ordered book were going to be charged a sales tax. Hopefully not. So sad that California wants to tax us loyalists. I will not be shopping at Amazon for a while, well, maybe not that long of a while. I need to get a few more things.

    • Oh, MM, I’m afraid you’re going to find you’ve been taxed. I never thought I’d see this day. What are we to do?? The thing of it is, when all is said and done, you can’t beat the convenience of having stuff delivered right to your door. But, from now on, the tax man will be waiting right next to you when your next book arrives. He’s the one who’ll be gleefully laughing all the way to the bank!

      • I never thought I would see the day, either. You’re right though, I will probably use Amazon again, well, many times. Every time I do, I will cringe, as that tax amount appears next to my total. It will be worse when I know the tax man is doing exactly what you say he is… laughing all the way to the bank that is.

  14. LOL thanks for amusing me at the end of a hard day. And to answer your question, I dearly miss Starbucks’ special hot chocolate (not sure how they called it, but it was thicker and more like a dessert). *tear*

    • Glad you can take pleasure in my grief, Anne. 😉

      It’s a sad day, indeed. Worse than when General Mills decided to discontinue my favorite bran of cereal. Sigh. Sorry to hear about what Starbucks did to you. Talk about a knife in the back.

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