On the Tax Ramifications of the Classification of Species
Stuck between Jack's fireplace and Dante's Inferno this afternoon, after our attempt to deceive the hearth inspector failed, and Jack, angry with Sean at his part in this additional and unnecessary expense, led the inspector straight to the Crimson Unicorn to make certain every hearth there was accounted for on the King's rolls, forgetting that he had left me pinned behind a bookcase I could not move alone, I had some opportunity to reconsider my tack in an ongoing feud with His Majesty's Customs Officials.
With a few colleagues from the Society I have been attempting to raise Atrophaneura dasarada in a hothouse, and our agent in the East returned recently with many fine larvae on its preferred meal: several bushes of Indigofera kirilowii. His Majesty's customs official down at the dock considers this Indigo and thus subject to a comically high excise tax. I explained, politely, that Indigofera kirilowii is not at all the useful Indigofera tinctora, and therefore is not subject to this tax. He explained, not at all politely, that
1) Indigo is Indigo;
2) I may pay him; or
3) I may go swive myself.
Our poor larvae, therefore, sit chomping on their bushes in a dockside warehouse while I dash between the Royal Society, soliciting funding for the tax, and the docks, where I beseech, cajole, threaten, and again beseech the customs official to see his gross taxonomical error. I have had success in neither so far, and I fear that His Majesty's Customs house will soon become the world's greatest lepidopterium.
Perhaps I can persuade Jack to vent his spleen at that damned official, to the advantage of my poor Atrophaneura dasarada.