In my History of Western Civilization class yesterday my instructor was giving a lecture on the Victorian Era. A return to church, a rise in evangelicalism (his word, not mine; I find it clumsy), attacks on sexual immorality and masturbation, that sort of thing. A girl in class tentatively raised her hand. The professor called on her.
“How can they tax that?” She asked.
The instructor didn’t know what she meant. “Tax what?”
“You know, masturbation. How does the government tax something like that?”
We all turned to look at her and everyone was completely silent. She reiterated “You said a tax on masturbation.”
Suddenly everyone burst into laughter and our professor said “No, attacks, like they attacked sexual immorality and masturbation.” The poor girl’s face was practically purple.
It took about five minutes for everyone to compose themselves. She thought it was funny, too, though; no one was laughing maliciously. It didn’t help to regain composure that the obnoxious kid next to me said “If our government instituted a tax like that, we’d have a budget surplus!”
To which I responded “And all because of you!”