Lifestyles of the Affluent and Illustrious - The Tax Beast
NEOPIA CENTRAL - Welcome to another edition of Lifestyles of the Affluent and
Illustrious, with me, Slamina83, as your reporter. Since it is nearly the end
of the Month of Collecting, I thought it would be appropriate for this week’s
article to feature an interview with a certain creature that first appeared during
this time of year, one that nearly all Neopians have seen in pictures and stories
but no one really knows that much about, none other than the…
No, not you! The Tax Beast!
Weewoos… anyway, the Tax Beast made his first appearance in Neopia two years
ago during this very Month of Collecting, visiting the homes of and sneak attacking
affluent Neopians to take 10% of their Neopoints. But, as I’ve said, no one
knows that much about him or how he lives. After all, the only times he’s ever
sighted are as he’s taxing, in the Battledome, and when someone happens to see
the green guy slip into his home somewhere in the Scary Cave. And that’s why
I thought that he would be an interesting individual to interview. I did so
a couple of weeks ago, but I must say that to an extent I regretted taking on
this task. I also realized why my fellow guild members were looking at me as
I left like I had lost my mind.
This was how it went:
I heard from residents of the Woods that he usually roams around the eastern
part of Woods during the evening, so I wandered through there, following reports
of sightings and ducking Batterflies and bands of rabid Meepits as I went. It
wasn’t long before I found him. He was hiding behind a Snakebush watching a
Cloud Shoyru that was passing by, holding his fabled money sack and snickering
I guess I should have approached him a little differently… when I walked up
behind him and tapped him on the shoulder, I startled him so badly that he yelped
and fell into the bush. The Shoyru saw him as a result and ran away. The Tax
Beast, quite furious, turned to me and yelled…
TB: You stupid human! I had been after that guy for months! Why I oughtta…
Whoa, hold it… I just wanted to interview you for a Neopian Times article.
TB: *calmed down* Oh, an NT article? I’ve wanted to be in one but I never thought
it would actually happen. Sure, I’ll be interviewed. But do it quickly, as I
haven’t much time on my hands.
…And some compensation for scaring me like that would be nice too.
I complied with his request. Then we both went over to a nearby wood picnic
table and took a seat opposite from each other. Then, the interview started.
Well, first of all, I would like to thank you in behalf of the Neopian Times
Appreciation Guild for…
TB: Yeah yeah yeah, I’m sure your guild is nice and literary and uses proper
grammar and stuff… just get on with it, I’ve got people to tax.
All right then, I’ll get to my first question: Where do you live?
TB: My lair is within the Scary Cave to the west of here, inside a former guild
hall. Not that glamorous or ‘illustrious’ as you say, but it’s the only place
someone like me can get. Here’s a picture of it if you’re interested.
He handed me a photo he happened to have of the inside of his home, which
appeared quite spacious and expensively furnished. It had a potpourri of different
types of furniture and, strangely, various paintings of Meridell scenes on the
TB: I don’t really spend that much time there though, as I’m always out around
in Neopia. But the people I’ve come across who wouldn’t pay my taxes sure had
some nice furniture, didn’t they?
Uh, right. Next question: What’s your schedule like?
TB: Well, I spend 12 hours a day collecting taxes…
TB: Yep, 12 hours. I try to tax as many Neopians as I can in one day, but not
everyone I want to get to lives in Neopia Central, so I have to travel from
world to world to get to the rest, which takes time. I probably only spend 8
of those hours actually taxing.
What part of the day do you go?
TB: No specific one… I change it around from time to time – sometimes I’m just
out during the day, and other times I do some nighttime taxation. Otherwise,
I would never get to those Neopians who only come out after midnight NST.
Most of the rest of my time I spend counting money and keeping records.
What do you do for entertainment?
TB: No time for that… well, besides the occasional Battledome challenge, which
isn’t all that entertaining to me since I usually lose.
What about spending time with friends?
TB: No time for that either. My only companion is that Gallion over there…
He pointed to a red and blue Gallion that I hadn’t noticed before sleeping
just a few feet away.
TB: …And even then, our relationship is mainly business – he guards my money
and flies me from place to place in exchange for food. *pause* Speaking of food,
I’m famished. I think it’s about time for dinner, and I need to keep to my schedule.
He jumped down from the table, took a rather large bag that was laying beside
the Gallion, and walked back.
TB: Since you’re here, you can have some.
The Tax Beast stood on top of his bench and started pulling items out of
the bag, which to my surprise, were all gourmet foods – everything from Mint
Shrimp to Le Sausage to Steak Surprise. I reached for a plate of Carrotberry
Smash near me as the Tax Beast was setting out the last of it when he looked
up angrily and banged his fist on the table with a force that nearly knocked
TB: That’s my stuff. This is yours.
He walked with the bag over to my side of the table and set in front of
me a slice of Snacking Bread and a low-calorie Crystal One soda. Then he waddled
back to his bench.
TB: What? I need this food more than you do.
Sigh… so, Tax Beast… um, TB… what is your real name anyway?
Oh…right. Um, how did you afford all this?
TB: I don’t pay for it… the Gourmet Club gives it to me for free in exchange
for not taxing their business.
Do you eat like this every day?
TB: Yes I do. The Gallion and I need the extra calories this kind of food provides
in order to spend all day taxing. Hmph… I can give King Skarl some credit in
that respect… he sure knew what he was doing when he gave me some of his food
to eat every day.
Wait a minute… King Skarl?
TB: Yeah… I guess you really don’t know that much about me, do you? I used
to collect the Marrow Tax for him… back when Meridell was wealthy, that is…
and he gave me all the gourmet foods I could eat.
Oh, so that’s why you have a Meridell theme in your home.
TB: Yep, and that reminds me… I want 10% of your Neopoints.
Huh? What for?
TB: Food tax. You didn’t really expect to get that food for free, did you?
I sighed and dropped the Neopoints into his extended bag. I didn’t think
it was worth getting eaten over 5,000 NPs. The Tax Beast then set it aside.
Why aren’t you in Meridell anymore?
TB: The orb that made the kingdom so wealthy was stolen. Everyone became poor.
The amount that I used to collect from the Meridell people was suddenly all
that they had to live on. I of course backed off on what I asked of them… it
was the only decent thing to do after all… but after a few times of returning
to the castle with only a handful of Neopoints, King Skarl got angry and banished
me from the castle and my job as royal tax collector.
From then on I was forced to fend for myself. I frequented Potato Counter for
a while, but Alton eventually caught me eating the potatoes instead of counting
them. At that point, I felt that I had no choice but to leave the only home
I had ever known, Meridell. *sniff* I wandered into Neopia Central a few days
later, hungry and holding only an empty potato sack and my pet Gallion, and
probably the only reason I survived there was because I found the Soup Faerie
and she was kind enough to give me a bowl of soup to eat everyday.
The Tax Beast started sobbing in his hands, but a few seconds later held
out his right hand toward me, rubbing his fingers together.
TB: *sniff* Sob story tax.
I grudgingly gave him the 4,500 Neopoints.
Why did you start taxing again?
TB: *suddenly looked up* Because I HATE rich Neopians. They go around buying
tons of expensive paintbrushes and Hidden Tower artifacts while poor Neopians
have to stand in line for Turnip Soup. They don’t give Neopians like us a second
glance and won’t back down on their high prices for goods for anything. I mean,
why can’t they just for once let someone have a Maraquan Paintbrush for 50,000
Neopoints? I would have given anything for revenge on King Skarl and people
like him when I came to Neopia Central. Then, one day about two years ago, I
had an idea. I went to the Lost Desert Calculator, and figured out that if I
taxed all wealthy Neopians a percentage of what they had as a type of ‘Money
Tree tax’ and did it repeatedly, then they would really take a beating in their
I’ve been around Neopia that long and I haven’t seen that much of a change.
TB: *calmed slightly* Yeah, it hasn’t gone exactly as planned. I neglected
to factor in a few things. First, unfortunately I can’t tax what they have in
the bank, which is where the bulk of their money usually is. Also, there are
over 80 million owners out there. I’ve been doing this for years and I still
haven’t gotten around to everyone. But I’m still going to push on. *pauses and
checks time* I’m not going to be able to talk any longer, because I need to
get back to work.
Okay, no problem… you’ve actually said more than enough. Thank you so much
for allowing me to interview you. This conclu…
TB: *looking at a list* Wait a minute, before you go, what was your name again?
TB: That’s what I thought… you’re on my list of people I haven’t taxed yet.
You owe me 35,971 Neopoints and 62 Neocents.
What? I’ve already given you more than that within the last few minutes! I’m
not paying it.
TB: I would hand it over if I were you.
Why? What happens if I don’t?
And that’s why I’m now being released from the Neopian Hospital. Oh well, at
least I learned a lot from this experience… like listening to your friends…
and was able to get some previously unknown information about the Tax Beast
to share in this article. This concludes another edition of Lifestyles of the
Affluent and Illustrious. Join us next time, when another guild member will
interview another famous Neopian.
… And I’ll interview the white Weewoo instead.