How Would You Feel If
I sent my state income tax from in April 17th. No real reason other than I’m, by nature, a procrastinator. I didn’t owe any money. I had a refund due. I wasn’t planning to use the money for any particular thing so I wasn’t in any hurry. The amount I was getting back was about $1200. I figured it would be late July before I got it.
The end of July comes and no check. On August 8th, I called about it. I was told that my return had been received but not processed yet. Okay. Now it’s September 12th and still no return. Time to see what’s what. I called and got a human being on the line. That should have made things easier. Foolish me.
“Yes, sir, we did receive your return. I’m looking at the computer and it shows you owe $611. It shows no withholdings on your income.”
“Uh, I’m looking at my return and it shows $1880 in withholding. So does my W-2. Umm, doesn’t it strike you as strange that my employer didn’t withhold any money? Seems to me that would jump right out at you”, I said.
“Actually, sir, I’m not looking at your return or your W-2. I’m looking at the information keyed in.” She didn’t say what that meant and I didn’t ask. I just wanted my money.
“Well. It’s incorrect. Let me ask you a question. According to what your looking at, I owe you $611 in taxes. Right?”
“Yes, sir, that’s what it’s showing.” She said that like I was the stupid one.
“Let me ask another question. When were you planning to try and collect what appears as taxes owed? I don’t believe you were going to ignore it, though you seem to be doing just that.” yea, they’d do that.
“Sir, let me transfer you to a revenue supervisor.” Of course. It was probably just the clerk in the next cubicle. But it had a nice ring to it and who’d know? Great! Now I get to talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about and can get something done. Foolish me, again.
“Yes, sir, how can I help you?”, the voice said.
“Yea, my name is-”
“Yes, sir, I have all your information right in front of me.”
Then why ask?
“Well, I guess what I want to know is when I’m going to get my money.”
“What I’m looking at shows that no withholding was taken out-”
“Uh, excuse me. I’ve already been there with the other person. I had 1800 taken out and owe 600. leaving you owing me 1200 dollars. That pretty much sums it up.”
“Yes, sir, but the problem is that the withholding was never keyed in and, therefore, doesn’t show.”
“Well, I’m looking at a copy of my return and it shows. I also have a copy of my W-2’s and they show money taken out. How could you not see that if my copy is showing it?”, I asked.
“As I said, sir, it wasn’t keyed in. I have a notation on your file. I have 12 of these altogether.”
“Yes, sir. It says that the paper copy cannot be found and the return cannot be processed any further. I placed that on your file August 1st.”
“August 1st? I called on August 8th to see what was what. I was told the return was being processed. What do you mean can’t be found?”
“It’s lost. No, not really lost. It’s somewhere in this building but no one knows where.”
“Well, Christ lady! When were you going to notify me?”
“I don’t have a contact number for you.”
“You have my address!”
“Yes, sir, I do. But, think of this, sir. How would you feel if you got your mail and received a letter from the tax bureau saying that we lost your return and need you to send a copy of your return to us?”
“Huh? How do you think I felt going to my mailbox everyday and not seeing a check from you? What were you planning to do?”
“Wait until you contacted us, as you have today.”
“Okay, fine, whatever. What do I have to do?”
“I need to have a copy of the return, your W-2 and any 1099’s you sent in.”
“Fine. I’ll mail them to you. I’ll scan the forms into-”
“You have a scanner? Then you can just fax them to me and I’ll put a priority on your return.”
“Fax? I don’t have a fax. Most people don’t, you know.”
“Actually, most people do. You can e-mail them to me too.”
“Okay, I’ll do that. How do I keep this from happening next year?”
“Pray we hire smarter clerks.”
Yukyuk, N.Y. Is a small, rural, farming community in western New York. Every year they have a Harvest Festival. They’ve more or less been having it for three hundred years. The first one was after the first harvest. The settlers were so pleased, and surprised, at surviving their first year that they thought a celebration was in order. They, like the Pilgrims, decided to invite some of the local Native-American groups. Only the Mohicans showed up. The Hurons and the Iroquois were having a heated “discussion” and couldn’t make it, thanks just the same. The Mohicans were a peaceful sort and wanted to stay clear of the Hurons and the Iroquois. Very clear of them.
The Mohicans didn’t know what to expect, but what they got wasn’t it. They got cornbread, corn muffins, and corn on the cob. Corn? The Native-Americans grew that to trick the deer. They didn’t know until right now it could trick the whites. None of them would eat the stuff. Eat corn with the forests full of meat? Then came the steaming pots. Ah!! Now, this is more like it. Some venison stew. The ladies took the lids off and it was creamed corn. Creamed corn? That’s it, that’s really it. The Mohicans were out of there. They didn’t even care if they got caught in the middle of the dispute between the Hurons and the Iroquois. As long as they didn’t to eat corn. It gave them the runs.
As they were leaving one of the braves was heard to comment, “Idjits, nint-tuk heha dumasses.” None of the settlers understood Mohican and , since all the Mohicans were laughing, took it as a good sign. The Mohicans hurried back to the village to get at the deer steaks. Creamed corn?
The settlers didn’t have much respect for the Mohicans. In fact, killed most of them off. Eventually, they did sign a peace treaty with the last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper. “Filthy brutes, can’t even speak the King’s English.” Being Dutch, neither could they.
The Civil War took a lot of the young men away. When the survivors returned, they took up plowing and slopping the pigs, and tramping through the manure. They remembered the fear and the pain of war. They decided to hell with this. They’d go west, where most of them ended up as pig farmers in Iowa.
The Industrial Revolution about put the finishing touch on Yukyuk. The younger men went to work in the factories. They’d write home and tell the old folks how, “they had the goodest boss in the world. He just cut the workday to 14 hours. Don’t know what to do with all this free time.”
Didn’t matter what they wrote since the old folks were illiterate anyway. That included the postmaster. He gave out the mail on a first come , first serve basis.
“Hey, Jeb, ya got a letter from your boy here.”
“Huh?”, Jeb would ask, “my boy can’t write.”
“That’s fine there, Jeb, cause you can’t read no how.”
It was the Great Depression that really set them up. At first, it was terrible for them like everyone else. Of course, they had the corn. Three meals a day, seven days a week. The cobs made good toilet paper. Well, not good so much as usable. Then came the New Deal. Roosevelt was going to pay them not to grow corn. Nah, even politicians can’t be that dumb.
Oh, yes they can. And are. And remain so to this day. Vote Democrat and get paid not to grow. Vote Republican and get paid not to grow. Isn’t America great? They still have the Harvest Fest in Yukyuk, N.Y. They have to buy the corn now. As for the Hurons and the Iroquois ? They have a casino and they don’t have to work either. But, they won’t touch corn.
Homer- Heaven or Hell?
Homer was starting to think that this being dead wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Yes, there was no pain, no worries, and no problems. There also was nothing to do but wait. He didn’t even have any old magazines to read. He thought it would be some sort of instant judgment event. Instead, he was given a number. His number was 273,417,943. When he asked how long the wait was the reply was, “There is no time here. That’s why it’s called eternity.” Why, that could mean anything, anything at all.
Great. Nothing to read and no clock. Just a room full if people sitting and waiting. A big room and a lot of people. No one doing anything except sitting and waiting. That is, the people. The angels were fluttering around and playing harps. His guardian angel, who he now knew was named Micah, was sitting beside him looking nervous.
“Gee, Micah, why would you look nervous. You’re already in.”
“Well, Homer, you were my assignment and I am curious as to what happens to you. You going to Hell wouldn’t make me look very good. I do have my pride, you know.”
“You think I’m going to Hell?” That wasn’t a comforting thought from his guardian angel.
“I don’t think anything. I’m an angel. We don’t think. It’s not our job. Where you go is up to God.”
Homer walked over to St. Peter and asked him how long he had to wait. “God will be with you in a moment. Of course, his moments can last forever,if you know what I mean. I had to wait until I thought I’d scream. I always had that problem. Jesus was always on me about screaming about things. Oh, you already know that from the bible. You have read the bible, right?”
“Uh, oh yea. Hey, my nose just doubled in size. What the -”
“No, no. See, some of the fairy tales are real. Tell a lie here and your nose grows. Believe me, God will be looking good and hard at that nose of yours.”
Homer noticed that some of the angels were ugly and being snubbed by the ones in white. Must be the demons taking a last shot. Homer thought that death was the last shot. Then Micah told him that it was but the demons didn’t believe that.
“You know, they aren’t too smart. Not like us. They picked a losing side to be on. I wouldn’t want to have to hand you over to them. I would, but I wouldn’t want to.” Another comforting thought. That made Homer feel a lot better right there. His own guardian angel was undecided. You’d think he’d know. Maybe he does and doesn’t want to hurt Homer’s feelings. On the other hand, the demons were really going to hurt Homer’s feeling if that’s where he ended up.
Homer wondered for a moment if this wasn’t some sort of near death experience. Maybe he’d wake up in a hospital bed to the surprise and delight of the doctors and his family. Well, the doctors. His family wasn’t all that fond of him.
Nah, he was dead. Real dead. Walking into an airplane propeller does that to you. No, Homer had been sliced and diced and pureed. He should have been buried in a bottle instead of a coffin. That witch he was married to didn’t waste any money on his funeral that’s for sure. She was a heartless-.
Micah looked at Homer hard, real hard. Uh, Homer thought, better cool it. This guy might turn him in. Honesty and all that. Besides, if the wait was too long she might just show up here. Wouldn’t that be just fine and dandy. Then he’d never escape her.
“Say, Micah”, Homer asked. “How many people have you guarded.”
“Hmm, never kept count. I’d say it must be hundreds. Yea, at least.”
“What percentage of them made it to Heaven?”
“All of them. ....So far”
Oh, so far.