Death and Taxes

by Big Daddy Graham | Apr 14, 2015
Death and Taxes ?…From the pages of South Jersey Magazine…

Big Daddy Graham is a renowned stand-up comedian and overnight personality on SportsRadio 94WIP. Check out his new podcast, Big Daddy’s Classic Rock Throwdown, at

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Had Ol’ Ben been around today he clearly would have added that “the construction where 42 North connects with 295 North shall never be completed” as a certainty.

Because it never will. Ever!

So with tax season upon us it got me to thinking—which is always a bad thing— what else in life can we look at as a “certainty?” Here are a few that I hope you enjoy.

That no woman I live with shall ever turn off a light

There is a TV commercial for a home security system where you see a woman attempting to unlock her front door in the dark. The voiceover proclaims, “Never come home to a dark house again!”

The commercial is unrealistic because obviously the copywriter from the ad agency who created that spot never lived with a woman.

I, on the other hand, have lived with my wife and two daughters for 25 years and in that time span not one of them has ever turned off a single light. It’s like Charles Manson, even though he’s been in jail since 1969, is poised and ready to leap out of the hallway closet.

When I come home to an empty house, it takes me 10 minutes to turn off the lights that have been left on. Then there will be a night when I come home and everyone is asleep. I’ll be laying on the couch reading and I will hear this annoying, slightly clanging noise coming from somewhere in the house. It turns out it’s one bra in the dryer. Going around and around. Who’s running a full dryer cycle for one stinkin’ bra? And I can only assume this one bra has run through a full washer cycle. How dirty can breasts get?!

There shall always be one traffic light you never get

I never make the light at Routes 45 and 322 where the Harrison House Diner is located in Mullica Hill and I’ve never gotten the light at Route 70 and Springdale Road in Cherry Hill either. No matter what direction I’m coming from. How can that be? You see the light is still green, you speed up, and bam; it turns red. The next thing you know you are screaming and cursing at the light like it’s a rude talk show host. One day I will make those lights and I will pull over and throw a party.

Thou shall never get money in a birthday card ever again once you turn 15

What’s up with that? Is it some ancient law that I am unaware of? Even though it’s only a dollar bill, I continue to put money in the birthday cards of my wife and daughters and extended family. Now of course they also get a gift, it’s not like they’re only getting a buck. It’s the principal. You’re supposed to get money in a birthday card. It’s an automatic smile when you see that green.

I had an Aunt Helen who used to get these cards where you would slide a penny in these slots for every year you were turning. (Hallmark also made these cards to accommodate nickels and dimes and quarters, but Aunt Helen was a tightwad.) So when I turned 9, I got nine cents. Nine lousy pennies. Now granted, there was such a thing as penny candy in those days, but cut me a break. I had other older relatives giving me dollar bills and my Aunt Rose was always good for a five spot.

Listen to me. Put some cash in the card. I don’t care if the recipient is 49. They’ll flash those pearly whites, it’s a guarantee.

New Jersey shall always have a soft spot for diners

We live in Jersey. Aside from cheap gas that you don’t have to pump, what are we most renowned for? Diners! It kills me whenever I cruise by where Olga’s used to be.

What a landmark that was. Those doughnuts weighed 10 pounds and were awesome. And my wife and I never went to the former Ritz theater in Voorhees without going to the Country Club Diner afterwards and getting a ham and cheese omelet. (White toast, please, with grape jelly packets.) Now that’s history also. They should be made historical landmarks. I know we still have plenty of fantastic eateries, but c’mon, it’s heartbreaking.

When you call to complain about your cable bill you shall never get to speak to someone who actually speaks English

Look, I’m not an “ugly American.” I have absolutely nothing against anybody. But when I have a complaint it’s really frustrating when you can’t understand the person that you are trying to explain your problem to. I’m not creating an international crisis here, I just want to straighten out my bill.

It’s a nuisance enough that when you make the call a human being doesn’t pick up the phone to begin with. These companies should be able to hire an army’s worth of people to answer the phones with the amount of money they make off us. We are loyal customers who have been paying that bill for decades and how difficult would it be to treat us with a little respect? But no, you have to push an endless stream of menu numbers before you even get a real live person. If you get one at all. It used to be all I would have to do is push zero and a live employee would eventually pick up my line, but a lot of these rude companies have gotten hip to that.

So you’re not in a good mood to begin with when you finally get someone to talk to and when you can’t understand that person it just drives you up the wall. So let’s recap: They’re too cheap to hire anyone to pick up the phone to begin with and they follow that up with being too tight to hire an American that they would actually have to dole out the minimum wage to. Nice, eh?

Which makes me wonder, when someone in another country calls their cable company to pay a bill, do they get an American to discuss it with? I can just hear that conversation.

“You’re what? Calling to complain you can’t get your soccer game? I got your bleepin’ soccer game right here. Some nerve you got calling me, you bleepin’ knucklehead.”

Just saying.

So there are some other things in life that are as certain as death and taxes. Write me at with yours. Have fun!

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April, 2015).
For more info on South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To subscribe to South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To advertise in South Jersey Magazine, click here.

Article continues below


Author: Big Daddy Graham


Who’s Who in Health Care

Southern Charm


Hitting Her Stride

Top Dentists 2024

Making Moves

Living in the Moment

Best of the Shore 2024

Best of the Best 2024

IP Protection in an AI World

Should Joel Embiid be competing in the Olympics?

The Real Deal

Millville’s Droz Proves a Worthy No. 1 Candidate

The Impact of Inflation

Holy Spirit’s Callaghan gets MLS Head Coaching Job