Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Taxman Not Quite Cometh

Nice of April 15 to get the opportunity to share the pain this year; right? Think of the burden of being a date on the calendar that is universally reviled, year after year. But for perhaps the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, no tax-paying man or woman in these United States leaps from bed on the morning of April 15 and exclaims, "Yippee! Time to mail in the check to pay my taxes!" Talk about a bum rap. April 15 did not lobby or campaign to become "Tax Day". What day in its right mind would want to get slapped with that label?

By comparison, February 2 got off easy. Groundhog Day is Christmas for crying out loud when measured next to Tax Day. Six more weeks of winter? If you live in Southern California, any of our southwestern states or southern Florida, you give not one's ass about six more weeks of winter. Hell, if you live in Texas or Florida and a groundhog pops its head out of a hole in your lawn, you are more likely than not to shoot the damn thing than check to see if it can see its own shadow. And in Florida, if you can argue with a straight face that the little fat bastard charged at you, then you might be able to escape culpability entirely.

Not this year baby. This year, April 15 is taking it easy. No pressure on 0415. Nope, not in the '12 edition. It is a feet up on the ottoman, cold one in one hand, TV remote in the other kind of day for him. This is not the year in which he channels his inner Harry Truman. This time around, the buck does not stop here. This time, he gladly passes it to his neighbor and watches with a wicked grin as April 16 endures the slings and arrows of people nationwide.

Had I paid more attention to the way the calendar broke this year, I might have actually tried to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Not that I consider running in marathons to be fun and not that I think running in Boston would be anything other than a complete ball-breaking experience. The course for the New Jersey Marathon is pancake flat and by race's end last year I wanted to hurl myself over the Boardwalk railing and onto the sand of the beach in Long Branch just so I could crawl out into the ocean and drown myself. Arguably the most famous - or infamous I reckon - portion of the course in Boston is "Heartbreak Hill". As a runner whose brains were beaten in last year - and shall likely be again three Sundays from today - on the "Kick My Ass Flats of Deal", there is nothing about Heartbreak Hill that sounds even remotely inviting.

Except perhaps this year. For while I am not entirely sure I think that an argument could be made that a taxpayer who dies while running the Boston Marathon during the morning of Tax Day is relieved of his obligation to have his tax return stamped, postmarked and en route to the IRS by midnight of Tax Day. Death has to be worth a sixty-day extension at least. Right?

So, here is to hoping that 0415 enjoys his respite today. Next year he is back wearing the bullseye hat and being the target of much anger from all corners of the nation. If he can just hang in for four more years, another vacation is coming his way in 2017. And before you shed a tear for April 16 and it being the recipient of the stick's shit end just five years up the road, weep not. He shall not be the one adorned in the pork chop suit trying to navigate his way through the lion's den.... might want to save a Kleenex though for the 17th. That poor bastard has no idea what is coming.


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