Taxman! Get Bent!

Every single morning, I get in my car and drive in a straight line. My office is 12 miles due west from my home, and I mean that literally. I have found that since I don’t need to turn, I can lock the steering wheel into position by hooking a bungee cord to the door handle, leaving my hands free for sexting and cleaning out my purse. I found $1.87 in the lining yesterday – sweet!

It’s a fascinating route, watching the various ethnic signs change as the neighborhoods do. One block has six dog spas on it; a few miles later, the storefronts are encouraging to you to train your pet as an attack canine, making you wonder exactly what happened between those two locations. Even the graffiti is in different languages – apparently some of the Latin Kings have studied Polish.

One day I spotted a new addition to the parade route, a majestic figure on the sidewalk. It was the Statue of Liberty, an icon that is both inspirational and thrilling at the same time, a beloved representative of all the freedoms we hold so dear and yet sometimes forget to honor. Actually it was a dude with a beard wearing a Bears skull-cap with a crown of foam spikes on top and wrapped in twenty yards of lime green polyester, dancing as fast as he could because it was 12 degrees outside. He held a sign that promised “Free Coffee – Do Your Taxes Here!” This amazing marketing device comes from an organization known as Liberty Tax Service, a little business that anyone can franchise that advertises “Don’t have a tax background? That’s okay!”

Each week, more Statues appeared, showing up in front of Liberty Tax Services that I had never noticed before. There was one out there in February on the afternoon of an approaching blizzard, his verdigris robes frozen in place as the wind whipped his paper torch into shreds. On one stellar trip I actually counted five of them, about a mile apart, each of them dancing to their own beat as a way of bringing in the crowds, one of them lifting his lamp beside the Golden Nugget Pancake House.

They connect the dots along the path, proving that the wretched refuse yearning to be free exist in every neighborhood and could be rescued if they would only get their taxes done here and get some free coffee, too. It makes me sad to know that after this year’s tax deadline of April 18th, they’ll be gone. But since we all know that nothing is certain in life except for those two things, I’m sure that they will be back next January, dancing, beckoning, welcoming the tired and poor, the huddled masses yearning to pay less. Democracy doesn’t come cheap, you know, so get those checkbooks out and help support this utopian society where anyone can own a Liberty Tax Service, whether they have a tax background or not.

Just to keep it on topic – Best Tax Movie Ever: Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell as an IRS agent who discovers that someone else is narrating his life. Nothing about this will upset your stomach, except the possibility that you might have to send a check on Monday to Timothy Geithner.

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4 Comments

  1. Also, I really like that now when I post comments, I don’t seem to be you anymore.

  2. Hey–show some respect. At least those people have jobs.

    • I like to think that now that the Statue of Liberty gig is over, they will be hired as football mascots and ice show characters wearing big heads. Or if they can’t skate, I’m sure there’s a plushie role in a porno film they could audition for!


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