Breakfast and Taxes

By Marc Dion

May 1, 2017 4 min read

I like to go out for breakfast. I don't mean I like a nice dragon fruit smoothie and a banana, either. I like to go to diners.

I like ham and two eggs, over easy, home fries, toast and coffee. I like steak and eggs, too, or pancakes and link sausage, or eggs and corned beef hash, or French toast and bacon, not too crisp on the bacon. I like an omelet, too, usually ham and Swiss cheese, though I like a pulled pork omelet, too.

Breakfast is a good meal to like, since it's the cheapest sit-down meal you can eat in a restaurant. I'm lucky enough to live in a poor city, so breakfast, with unlimited coffee, can be mine for about $7. Though I might have to go up to $11 if I want the steak and eggs.

Until recently, the newspaper where I work as a columnist had me working a mix of day and night shifts. I usually worked two or three night shifts a week, the 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift. If I worked the night shift, I always went out for breakfast. Then, I'd go home and take a nap until it was time to report for work. Of course, I get the customary two days off a week, and I always go out to breakfast when I'm off work. That schedule lasted for about three years, and it allowed me to go out for breakfast four or five times a week.

Working people know that nothing on a job lasts forever. You master the French fry machine, and, bang, the boss puts you on the cash register. The paper moved me off the French fry machine, and I ended up working all days. With one stroke, three breakfasts a week vanished. Now I eat instant oatmeal at my desk.

I'm down to two breakfasts a week, and, if my wife is off on one of the days I'm off, sometimes I only get to go out for breakfast once. She's not a breakfast girl, unless she's in a nice hotel and it's room service and she can eat it in bed.

My wife keeps telling me the fall off in breakfast is good for me. I'm losing weight, too.

My weight's never been a real problem. At 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, I looked like most of the guys, slimmer than some.

It's been a year since I started the new schedule. The last time I went to the doctor, I was down eight pounds for the year. That was 11 months ago. My pants are loose now, and I'm thinking of going down a waist size. I can take off my old jeans without unbuttoning or unzipping. They slide off like a pat of butter slides off a stack of pancakes.

The hell of working for a living is not so much the work itself, it's having to give up so much control over your own life. That paycheck is a powerful thing. It can tell you where, when and what you eat, where you live, what you drive and, if the job is bad enough, when you die.

I thought about breakfast when President Donald Trump announced his new tax reform plan. I read it, and I've got kind of a grip on it, but I won't really know anything for sure until it becomes real law, and by that time, it might be too late.

With my luck, the paper will give me the night shifts back, but I won't have enough money to go out for breakfast.

To find out more about Marc Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion's latest book, "King of the World on $15 an Hour," is a collection of his best columns from 2014 and is available for Nook and Kindle.

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