Much of Old Towns appeal as a tourist attraction depends on our fine restaurants. Restaurants are big business here, and people come from everywhere to have a meal and enjoy the historical ambience of the city.
However, as if you hadnt noticed, dining out in Alexandria means that you will be paying an additional 10 percent of your bill to the citys coffers.
Doubtless, you ask why a place like Alexandria needs you to pay a tax after dinner. After all, isnt part of the appeal of dining in Old Town that we do not have to pay D.C. taxes? Are we not the fun side of the Potomac?
Isnt the City just killing the goose that laid the golden egg? I think I can answer these questions. The reason we need a restaurant tax is that we are a very poor town. After all, as one friend from Pakistan observed to me, we have only one horse cart. Every decent Pakistani town has multiple horse carts.
Now we dont even have a proper horse; the horse has retired and has been replaced by a mule. Times are tough, indeed. So, until the City can rectify such embarrassing situations, because, you know, that is its job, we need you to pay a meal tax. Also, we need to rip off the rich tourists who come to our exotic and colorful eco-locale. It is a time-honored tradition all over the world.
OK, lets call it what it is: a luxury tax. After all, you eat all the time and probably want to lose weight, or not gain any, whereas in some parts of the world a little rice is cause for celebration.
Therefore, your restaurant meals are a luxury and you should be deterred from enjoying yourself after working like a dog all week while these things are going on in the world. Nevermind that the US (i.e., the American taxpayer) is already the largest provider of international aid in the world. Why should that free you from feeling guilty about having delicious food on your plate?
Finally, the City needs your 10 percent meal tax in order to redistribute your income to a number of unexpected visitors in town. You know, the ones who arent really students anymore and need us to provide a Tagalog speaking worker to translate their applications for food stamps. I am really not making this up.
Well, dont get me started, Im busy: I need to raid my jar of loose change so I can meet up with friends on King Street tonight. Otherwise, the Tagalog translator wont get paid.
Kiki Obadal is online at firstname.lastname@example.org.