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Drawing the party line
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“Is this Mrs. Lambert?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“Ma’am, this is Jerry Weaver from the IRS. Do you have a few minutes to speak with me?”

“I suppose.”

I’d hate to go to jail for saying “No.”

“We need to go over a few items from your latest tax return.”

Uh oh.

“OK, Mr. Weaver. What information do you need?”

“It says here that you make $1,200 a year. Is that correct?”

“Or less. But in general, yes.”

“And I see that you took deductions for your office expenses?”

“Correct. Did I not take enough?”

“Very funny, Mrs. Lambert. Is your office space inside your home?”

“It is. All eight square feet of it.”

“And is your computer used specifically for the purpose of your employment?”

“Um...yeah. With the occasional foray onto YouTube for entertainment purposes. Like, when I feel the need for a Jerry Lewis outtake...”

“I see. And it says here you deducted paper and printing supplies also. Is that correct?”


“How much paper do you typically use in a month?”

“Well, it depends. If what I’ve printed is not to my liking, I flip it over and use the other side. I ain’t wastin’, I’m just sayin’...but probably 20 sheets a month.”

The line got quiet.

“You also deducted part of your Internet charge. The IRS doesn’t allow that.”
“Seriously? Why not? That’s how I manage my business!”

“Well. OK. I’ll grant you that. I’ll give you five dollars toward your internet fees.”

“Hey Mr. I being audited or what?”

“Yes ma’am. I should have made myself clear. When your husband submitted the paperwork, all kinds of red flags went up because of your income.”

“MY income? My small little pittance of an income drew red flags from the IRS? Why?”

“Well, Mrs. Lambert, it was all the deductions you took.”

Good thing ol’ Hubs wasn’t around for me to collar. He must’ve been out scrounging through one of his buckets.

I laughed.

“You ain’t got bigger fish to fry, Mr. Weaver?”

“Yes ma’am, we do. But yours was so blatantly obvious we had to investigate.”

“Think I’m working hard to rip off the IRS, do you?”

“It’s been done before, ma’am.”

Suddenly it dawned on me. I felt like I was talking to Joe Friday from “Dragnet.”

“So...folks like ExxonMobil don’t really send up any red flags with the IRS. Guys like that jackanape Tim Geithner slide under the radar ... but yet, here is little ol’ me sittin’ in my little cubbyhole making just enough money to take my kid to the movies on a Sunday and you’re breathin’ down my neck because I deducted paper and Internet fees?”

Again the line got quiet.

“Yes ma’am...,” came the response.

“Hmm,” I said back, “Wonder what will happen to me if I mark that I don’t have health insurance and can’t afford the penalty.”

“Oh don’t you worry about that, Mrs. Lambert,” came the rapid-fire response, “We’ll just take that out of your paycheck every month.”

“What if I decide to quit working. What then?”

No response.

“Hello...are you there, Jerr?”

“Mrs. Lambert...” he started slowly...


“Are you trying to insinuate that you will stop working so you don’t have to pay taxes?”

“Yeah. Pretty much.”

Suddenly in the background I could hear laughing and clapping and hoots and hollers.

Mr. Weaver shouted into the phone, “Congratulations, Mrs. Lambert! You’ve just joined the Democratic Party! Can we count on your vote in 2012?”

“Only if you let me deduct Internet expenses.”

“Done deal! Welcome aboard! Bye bye now!”


Now I know what it feels like to sell your soul to the debbil....