Ghost Tax (The Glass House 19/10/05)

A village council in India has fined two men $830 for keeping a pet ghost. It’s a ghost tax. A bit like the GST on petrol excise.

The ghost has now become too expensive to keep, and the men reluctantly let it go to haunt a more affluent home.

The council came around, issued the men with the fine, and then clamped the ghost and towed it to the local ghost pound. / the nearest ghost town.

They were accused of owning a ghost after one of their wives died. As her husband said, “Well that bitch sure didn’t go to Heaven!”

“We would have got rid of it earlier,” they said. “But we were hooked on all the free ‘BOO’s.”

A pet ghost is much cheaper than a normal pet: you don’t have to feed them, clean them, or even believe in them.

But it’s hard to take them for a walk – they always want to go through the walls.

And it’s annoying cleaning up all their ectoplasm.

The $830 had to cover the cost of cleaning up all the ectoplasm.

The council was alerted to the haunting by a neighbour who had to get an exorcist for her goldfish. “I’ve never heard Goldie say such nasty things!”

The ghost had passed unnoticed by the villagers until one night when the village was mysteriously visited by… Whoopi Goldberg. oooOOOOOoooo.

The ghost has been confirmed by the council ouija board, the town astrologer and Casper the Friendly Ghost. (He’s often brought in as a third witness in legal quandaries like these.)

It could have been worse. You’re fined $830 for a ghost, but it’s over $2000 for vampires, and owning an abominable snowman can land you a lengthy prison term.

Under Indian law, ghosts attract a fine of $830, goblins cost you $200, and you could be up for over a grand if you own the Loch Ness Monster.

The Ghostbusters are said to be rapt. “It’s been a long time since Ghostbusters 2,” said Dan Aykroyd. “And I’ve always wanted to go to India!”

“That ghost looked just like his wife – scary! May our 8-armed skull-wearing sword-wielding Lord of Death protect us from her evil nagging!”

“That ghost looked just like his wife! Our 8-armed skull-wearing sword-wielding Lord of Death told us she was evil!”

Lucky they’ve got Madame Zodiac as mayor! The village didn’t even know it had a ghost problem!

The council is determined to stamp out all these ghosts; they’ve made over 100 grand in paranormal activities this quarter!

Critics have accused the council of revenue raising, pulling over suspected haunted cars with their Boos Bus.

The guys charged were pissed off. “I haven’t even got a bloody ghost,” said one. “I thought they were here about the were-monkey.”

The $830 didn’t go very far paying council expenses though. In fact it just disappeared… ooooOOOOOoooooo…

The government hasn’t brought in laws against the undead here – they don’t want to have to fine Philip Ruddock.

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