Thursday, April 7, 2011


Hello my fellow taxpayers! As I’m sure you are all aware, the deadline for filing your income tax returns is April 15th – exactly one week away. I don’t know about you, but I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to filling in forms – especially when their completion could result in my having to pay someone some money!
I had sold a good amount of books in 2010, as well as some mugs and t-shirts. I had been good and filed all my sales tax returns in a timely manner, but they were less confusing than the income tax return. I had downloaded the forms from the internet and had printed them out to study and work on. They were making my head hurt so I decided to seek help.
I went out into the yard and asked Malcolm if he knew anything about tax returns. He looked at me kind of puzzled and asked me if it was something to eat. I told him it had absolutely nothing to do with food in any way, which prompted Malcolm to say he didn’t know anything about anything that couldn’t be eaten. Huh? If I was this confused now, I figured he wouldn’t be any help with my taxes even if he did understand it.
It dawned on me that maybe Bobbi could be of some help seeing that she was one of my more intelligent friends. I couldn’t find her anywhere, so when I spied Corny just chillin’ in the big tree in our backyard I asked him if he had seen Bobbi. He said he hadn’t seen her but he would be glad to fly over the trees and give her a message – or tell her a knock knock joke – when he saw her. I suggested he stick to the message. I thanked him for his help and I went back inside.
It wasn’t long before Corny and Bobbi were knocking on the back door. I let them in and immediately ushered Bobbi to our spare bedroom/office. I sharpened a couple of pencils and we settled in to do our work…

I did great with the first part – my name and address. I wished I could have stopped there, but there were lots of boxes underneath that part that needed to be filled with numbers. Bobbi seemed as confused as I was and Corny was just having fun watching us struggle – he wasn’t willing to help – but he did like laughing at us.
I decided I needed to break down and borrow the book I had seen in Tristan’s room – “Taxes for Dummies.” I brought it into the office and started to read it. It still wasn’t making a whole lot of sense, but I figured it was because I wasn’t a dummy. Evidently, I needed the book “Taxes for Fashion Savvy Smart Felines.” I looked it up on the internet, but I couldn’t find such a title. Huh, was I the only Fashion Savvy Smart Feline out there?
Bobbi was getting frustrated too, and she threw in her pencil and declared herself tax deficient – what ever that meant. Corny was busy watching YouTube videos on the computer, just cackling with glee every time the panda sneezed or the kitten looked surprised. I feared none of us was going to be able to crack the secret to doing taxes so I needed to look elsewhere for help.

Who did I know that might understand all the complexities of mathematics? Then, an idea hit me. Preston! He was the animal most closely related to the human being – surely somewhere buried in that smarmy brain of his there was an understanding of mathematics. I sent Corny out on a mission – find Preston!
It took a couple of hours, but Corny did eventually return with Preston. Preston seemed pleased to see me, even if our last meeting was not pleasant for either one of us. I showed him the paperwork and made the computer and a calculator available to him.
He said he would be glad to help and he picked up the calculator and was just working away. I had high hopes that my taxes would be ready for filing in no time!
After about half an hour, I couldn’t help but notice that Preston hadn’t written anything down on the return. What had he been doing all this time? I figured the only thing to do was flat out ask him. When I did ask, he just giggled and turned the calculator around for me to see.

He had made a word with the numbers! While that was very clever, it was not getting my tax returns done. He was able to make several words – not all of them particularly nice. I became aggravated and told him if he couldn’t be of any help, he needed to leave. He didn’t waste much time dropping the calculator and heading out the back door.
By now Bobbi and Corny had lost all interest in taxes and were engaged in a rousing game of Boggle. Since Corny couldn’t spell, he did not do very well. Bobbi, on the other hand, was quite the Boggler. I’ll have to get her to challenge my Mom who just loves to Boggle!
I was getting a little anxious about the state of my tax returns, so I finally broke down and headed for a professional tax preparation firm, H & R Block. Since this was my first year having to file returns, I wasn’t sure what information I needed to bring with me, so I brought it all. We waited patiently in the lobby for the next available tax advisor. I was just about out of patience when my name was called and I was led to a nice lady’s desk. I said hello, introduced myself and plopped my box of receipts on her desk.
She must have been having a really bad day, because she took one look at my box of papers, put her head down in her arms and started crying.

Bobbi, Corny and I didn’t know what to do. I went back to the person at the front desk and told her what had happened. She called a supervisor, who seemed very embarrassed by the incident. The supervisor told me to leave my box of papers and they would do my return for me free of charge. Oh good, less strain on Mom’s magic plastic card! She told me they would call me when it was ready. I thanked her for her help and for the free tax return and we headed home.
I hope the return is done soon. I don’t like waiting until the last minute to finish things -though I know I wasn’t particularly early with this.
Hope you have a wonderful week! Make sure to file your tax returns before midnight
next Friday. And if a monkey named Preston knocks on you door and offers to help you with your tax returns, just so “no!”

Love & licks,

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