Fizzbin – Boldly go where no tax code has gone before!

 

We all know the U.S. tax system in complex, arbitrary, unfair (especially to Americans abroad), a major contributor to the U.S. trade deficit and expensive.

It is so unprincipled and arbitrary, that it reminds me of the game of “Fizzbin“. Fizzbin was a game invented by Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek TV series. It was featured in the show “A piece of the action“. A description of “Fizzbin” from Wikipedia includes:

Fizzbin is a fictional card game created by Kirk in the Original Series episode “A Piece of the Action“. While being held hostage on Sigma Iota II with Spock and McCoy, he spontaneously invented a confusing card game to distract the henchmen guarding them.

The rules were intentionally very complex. Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer’s right, who gets seven. The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays. Kirk dealt the henchman two jacks, which are a “half-fizzbin.” When the henchman said he needs another jack, Kirk warned that a third jack is a “shralk” and is grounds for disqualification. With two jacks, one wants a king and a deuce, except at night, when one wants a queen and a four.

At this point, Kirk dealt a third jack, but to keep the ruse going, he ignored the disqualification rule he had just made up. He explained that, had a king been dealt instead of a jack, the player would get another card, except when it’s dark, in which case he’d have to give it back. The top hand is a “royal fizzbin,” but the odds of getting one are “astronomical”: when Kirk asked Spock what the odds are, Spock truthfully replied that he had never computed them.

Kirk called the last card a “kronk” and then purposely dealt a card such that it fell on the floor. As the henchman being taught reached down, Spock nerve-pinched him while Kirk and McCoy attacked the other guards, allowing the three to escape.

Once in Deep Space Nine, Quark mentioned the game as a way for him and Odo to while away the time while traveling on a runabout;[9] whether it had become a real game or if it had been a reference was never explained. Playable versions of the game have been invented, and it featured in the episode “Nantucket Sleighride” of the animated series Starcom.

 

 

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