The Ketchup Tax

About halfway through my eighth grade year the cafeteria began charging five cents for extra ketchup. Obviously the student body thought this was a crime against humanity and a number of friends recruited me to write an article about the injustice. I wrote up a topic during the morning classes which we then edited during lunch. You could almost feel an air of urgency and purpose around our lunch table not matched since the Philadelphia Convention. That night I ripped out a section of a paper grocery bag and wrote our feelings on it with an old fountain pen. The next day about fifteen of us signed the bottom and thumbtacked it to the cafeteria door, Martin Luther style. In our minds we were heroes! Our place in the history books was secured and we'd be admired by our classmates forever! We'd stared tyranny in its face and won!

Alas, signing the bottom of the document proved to be our undoing. We were rounded up and herded to the principles office where we were mercilessly interrogated. I half expected to be drawn and quartered, but the administration seemed satisfied with just a big speech. We were sent back to class and the five cent tax remained. :(

Below is the original transcript:

Complaints on the Ketchup Tax

           We the people of Lunch block A do compose this declaration to make known the injustices that befall us. Most notably: The Five Cent Tax for Extra Ketchup.

           When in the course of schoolyard events it becomes necessary for the powers that be to levy a five cent charge for ketchup, it is only just and right for those oppressed to rebel.

           Four score and seven days ago, we came to school hoping against the odds that the fries would be good; not cold, hard, or have the consistency of cardboard. The only way to make cafeteria fries edible is to use ketchup in bountiful amounts. I say, give us a New Deal! Tear down this wall of tyranny and give us ketchup, or give us Death!

Signatures of us brave schoolyard patriots