So the other day, I was sitting with my laptop on the Boulevard, minding my own business while shopping online for Christmas gifts for Norm and Sally and Matt Lamanna and Barney (Play-Doh, diamonds, coal and botulism, respectively) when AIP’s president suddenly appears in front of me and he is pacing up and down the sidewalk, clearly worried about something, so being the kind and caring dinosaur I am, I asked him if he was okay:
Rex: WOULD YOU CUT IT OUT?! That muttering and pacing and muttering and pacing. I’m trying to shop here.
George: Sorry. I’m very worried.
Rex: Yeah, join the club. Did you know you can’t just buy botulism online? Is this not 2009?!
George: The mayor is trying to tax the students. I’m very worried.
Rex: You already mentioned. Why don’t you just eat him?
George: It doesn’t work that way, Rex. He’s going to tax our students 1% of their tuition. Taxing education! Whoever heard of such a thing?
Rex: Not me. You want ME to eat him?
Rex: What good is owning a monstrous killer death lizard if you never let him help you?
George: NO! You will not harm the Mayor. Final answer.
Rex: Stretch him a little bit?
George: No! We will deal with this in council chambers and through lobbying and through the courts.
Rex: Ok. How about I just pick him up, swing him around like a Terrible Towel, and then fling him into the river for a swim? He might actually enjoy that.
George: Rex …
Rex: You humans are no fun.
George: Anyway, I’m so worried–
Rex: YOU SAID!
George: Our students already pay their fair share. They live here and work here and spend their money here and that means they’re already paying taxes and bearing some of the burden. Why burden them further?
Rex: Oooh! Look! Amazon.com has the Play-Doh Barber Shop on sale. Norm would play with that for DAYS.
George: –This is like being punished for choosing to be educated in the City of Pittsburgh. It doesn’t make any sense.
Rex: Know what else doesn’t make any sense? How freaking expensive coal is. Geez. I might need to sell another piece of art.
George: –is a short-term solution that abandons ethics and logic and will generate long-term damage to the higher education community in Pittsburgh. I’m frustrated beyond belief.
Rex: Are you SURE I can’t just stretch him a little?
George: NO! I will call Norm.
Rex: Go ahead. If he tranqs me, he’s getting coal, too.
George: I’m going back in now. Thanks for letting me talk it out. Behave.
Rex: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Promise.
Then after he left I started tiptoeing up to Grant Street but someone tipped Norm off because I lost consciousness around Cherry Way.
SOMEONE isn’t getting real Play-Doh for Christmas.
Despite Rex’s best intentions the river probably isn’t the best way to influence City Council and the Mayor’s Office. If you would like to oppose this tax you can email your City Council Member from the city’s website.