Friday, August 17, 2012

Almost Had a Freaking Heart Attack

Well, I almost just had a freaking heart attack--and I can tell you from the only one I had that that is not freaking fun. What happened was that Madeleina went to get the mail, at my behest, and came back with two letters, one for Chepa and one for me, from the IRS. I know those letters. Two years ago I got one that questioned something the tax person had done and when the IRS didn't agree with me--though they admitted they saw my point--it turned out the $3500 or so they wanted had become more than $5000 by the time it was done.

So I don't want any more of those letters. And I am meticulous. I do not even take my stinking charitable contributions--meager couple of hundred that they are--because I don't want the government saying that I got a tax break for contributing to a food bank or whatnot.
In other words, I know I'm clean. I earn my $32 grand a year, work my ass off both in the jungle and as a journalist, and sell my book these last two years. I pay my illustrator via breaks on trips to the jungle and I pay my designer out of the book royalties and I keep perfect records of what's paid out. In other words, my financial records are an open book--unlike one very freaking smarmy vulture capitalist running for president of the USA.
So seeing IRS letters so soon after paying off the $5 grand or so I had to pay, well, I nearly choked. I was verklempt or vaklempt, depending on which part of New York you were from. I couldn't breathe. I nearly drove Madeleina and myself, along with my 1998 Ford Ranger with 199,707 miles--that's the new truck folks; the other is a 1994 with just over 300,000, what do you expect when you're raising kids on $32 grand a year?--into a ditch.
Then I got home and realized that my friend Milan had sent me a small bottle of Sliv, homemade Serbian rotgut and I opened that and had a long pull before I opened the IRS letters.
And when I screwed up the courage to do that--it didn't take long, really, I hate waiting on bad news--the letters were not asking me for more money for a new problem. They were just explaining that I'd paid off the last debt and was now in the clear. As is Chepa.
So there you go. I'm glad I didn't go ahead and have that heart attack. That would have been a waste of pain for real.
So now Madeleina is at her high school marching band party, and she's intact. And I'm here having another pull of Sliv--wretched though it is--and thanking the gods in heaven/hell and all around us that the devil himself, in the guise of the IRS, didn't think to roast me again. HooYA!

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