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Visit from the taxman

Jimmy lived in a beautiful sixteen-bedroomed mansion out in the country. The house stood in 200 acres of prime land and included a huge garage for his three Rolls-Royces and three Mercedes limousines. His paddock saw the daily training of his string of prime racehorses and show jumpers. His indoor swimming pool was of Olympic proportions and the main house included a full-sized cinema, a disco, and gym equipped with every possible modern machine and gadget.

To his door one morning came a gentleman dressed in a sober dark grey suit and wielding a briefcase.

'Ah, Mr Malloy, I'm from the Inland Revenue and would like to ask you one or two questions about your mobile fish and chip shop.'

'What sort of questions?' challenged Malloy.

'Well, for instance,' said the taxman, 'for the last five years your annual returns have never exceeded £5,000 and a couple of times the figure was less than £3,000.'

'That's true,' replied Jimmy. 'So what's the problem?'

'Well, you see,' said the man from the Revenue, 'we can't reconcile those figures with the life you lead.'

'Oh, I see,' beamed Malloy. 'You're talking about my wealthy lifestyle and huge assets. Well let me explain. It has nothing to do with the chip shop. You see, years ago I took up landscape gardening and whilst working on a site I began digging a drainage trench. My spade suddenly struck something hard and when I revealed the obstacle it was a chest full of treasure. Gold coins, jewels, trinkets and so on. Hence my wealth!'

'What a story,' said the taxman. 'Have you any proof of this?'

'Well,' said Malloy, 'I've got this house, these cars, these horses ...'


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