USA Today listed some weird state tax laws. The one that got me was the New York tax which imposes an 8-cent tax to all “altered” bagels, whether it’s sliced, toasted or served with butter or cream cheese. It stated that a cut bagel crosses the line and becomes a prepared food for consumption, which is taxable.

If I ever plan a trip to New York I’ll be sure to bring along packets of butter and cream cheese. The packet contents would survive walking around New York on a cold day with refrigerator temperatures, but I don’t think they’d survive 90 degree temperatures. After hours of sightseeing you stop at the bagel shop where you order a plain bagel. You whip out your 2 inch knife (which luckily for you is now allowed on planes) and cut open your bagel. You reach in your pocket for the butter and cream cheese packets. You go to spread them on the bagel and out comes soup. Walking around all day in the heat and humidity has caused your butter and cheese to melt. You decide against ordering a toasted bagel with cream cheese as your mate ordered one toasted with cream cheese on one half and butter on the other half, plus lox. You can’t afford such an extravagance with a mate who’s bleeding you dry.

On our trips to my grandmother’s my mother and I would stop at the neighborhood bagel factory and buy some. The smell of freshly baked bagels was enough to have us crazy with hunger by the time we got to her apartment. Once there we would alter the bagel and pop one in the toaster. The bagel would pop up only so high as it always got stuck in the toaster. So, we’d unplug the toaster to avoid electrocution while we fought to remove it with knives and forks. Bye the time we finally got the bagel out it was a shell of its former self, shrunken and disfigured. It was a blob of gluten waiting to attack our digestive system.  We covered it in artery clogging cream cheese and dove into it. Even though we loved it, it would not have seemed right to place a tax on something so hideous.

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