Have you ever wondered how the town spends your tax dollars? Here is one way they are doing it.

On snowy days, your money is used to pay for the street plow to come by and plow your road. Then after a little while, it is used to pay for the sidewalk plow to plow the sidewalk. Then, it is used to pay the street plow to plow the street a little more, gaining an inch or two, while completely filling in the sidewalk again. After all, in order to go 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, the road needs to be as wide as possible.
Then, your money is used to pay the sidewalk plow again to clear the sidewalk. Then …
You get the point. This goes on 4 or 5 times a day. Unfortunately, every time the sidewalk is plowed, I lose a chunk of my front lawn, along with the occasional sprinkler head.

We understand – these are difficult times, and snow plow operators need to make a bit of extra money. After all, it is for a Greater Good. The cost-benefit ratio can be expressed as a mathematical equation, using the following symbols:

The full equation has my tax payments on one side, and the combined results on the other – the plow operators need to get paid (the cost of gas, equipment maintenance, etc. is lumped in there as well), the Greater Good is the clean sidewalk, and, well, yes, there is a bit of collateral damage to my lawn, which we cannot ignore.

Since the plow operators’ pay is not a direct benefit to me and does not really concern me all that much, I am going to remove the first term on the right-hand side of my equation, but only with your permission.

Unfortunately, this equation changes again when we try to use the sidewalk after the sidewalk plow has come by one last time (the sidewalk plow operator always seems to win the plow war, having the last word). At that point, it turns out that the sidewalk is not really walkable. This means, we can eliminate the 2nd term on the right-hand side as well. The equation therefore is reduced to the following:

In other words, the town uses my tax dollars to destroy my front lawn.

Wait a minute, there has to be an error in my math somewhere …