Jon Dawson: A Tax Deduction prepares for her eighth-grade social

Jon Dawson: A Tax Deduction prepares for her eighth-grade social

The Tax Deductions a few minutes — or years — ago. Photo by Jon Dawson / Neuse News

A few minutes ago, our first-born was running around the house in a diaper, waving an empty ginger ale bottle over her head like a conductor's wand.

On Thursday, she'll attend her eighth-grade social.

Some of you may remember the flak Kathie Lee Gifford took in the 1990s for talking endlessly about her son Cody on television. I'm not sure the people who complained about it were normal viewers of her show with Regis Philbin, because the more she talked about Cody, the higher the ratings went.

Regis seemed to be annoyed by all the Cody talk, and let's face it, an annoyed Regis is an entertaining Regis.

There are a few people who wish I'd write about my two Tax Deductions every week — namely, their grandparents. It would be easy to do, but I consciously keep a governor on the kiddo columns because I don't want to overdo it. The money brought in on “Tax Deduction 1 & 2” T-shirts and bumper stickers is nothing to sneeze at, and I have a mortgage.

To further the Regis analogy, remember his hit show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" It was the top show on television, and ABC ruined it by cramming it on television multiple nights per week. Now the show exists somewhere in the ether of syndication, while a confused Regis roams the shopping malls of Connecticut asking strangers if they'd like to use a lifeline.

Since Tax Deduction # 1 is attending her eighth-grade social this week, a dress was required. Thankfully, The Wife is a great seamstress, which means TD#1 will have a beautiful dress for a price that won't eclipse the annual GDP of Mongolia.

She's going to the social with a gaggle of friends, and they'll be gathering for pictures beforehand. I'm already thinking of ways to embarrass her in front of her friends — although I've caught her giving me the wrong time and address three times, so my mere presence may be enough.

On the night of my eighth-grade social, I stayed home and listened to Deep Purple. I'm glad TD#1 is enjoying some of the social aspects of school, and I told her I'd be willing to be a chaperone at her social if the DJ agreed to play some Deep Purple.

Earlier today, I received a text from the DJ, who asked if Deep Purple was a limited edition flavor of Mountain Dew. Looks like I'll be home again during another social, listening to the new Deep Purple album.

I haven't grown misty of the passage of time yet, because TD#1 is a very entertaining teenager. Although she's more subdued than her younger sister (an 8-year-old with the drive of a hummingbird and the subtlety of a hand grenade), with each passing month TD#1 is proving to be just as goofy. 

It wasn't all that long ago I could look at her and for no reason say the word "waffles" and she'd laugh uncontrollably for several minutes. A few months ago, I hid behind the door of her room for five minutes waiting for her to finish brushing her teeth. When she finally walked into the room I jumped out from behind the door and she performed the entirety of Swan Lake in 3 seconds — a total freak-out.

Once The Wife finished TD#1's dress, it was placed with care into a giant garment bag and hung in a closet. When no one was looking, I replaced the dress with a shower curtain purchased from the Dollar Tree. My only hope is I get home in time on the day of the social to hear the screams.

Jon Dawson’s humor columns are published weekly by Neuse News. Contact Jon at and

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