Taxed by life's spills

To: Commissioner B. Gordon Hufshutz
Internal Revenue Service
Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir:

I write seeking an extension on the filing deadline on my family’s personal income taxes. I had every intention of getting our tax return done on time, but Life interfered, and I’m afraid meeting the deadline is now impossible.

I had the best of intentions. I set aside a day, well ahead of April 15, to do the IRS paperwork for my home-based business. I woke early that day, put on my workout togs and prepared to get pumped up for a day of tax preparation. I paused in the kitchen for coffee, and was stricken by a series of calamitous events that distracted me from my taxpayer duties and ruined my whole morning.

It went like this:

I filled my giant thermal cup with coffee, then lifted the sleek Art Deco sugar canister to bring it closer so I could dump in my usual embarrassing amount of sugar. Some idiot (me, I think, after my previous cup) had left the screw-on lid loose, and the glass canister slipped from my hand. I tried to catch it, but the lid had come off in my hand, so my hand was full. Instead of catching the sugar canister, I clubbed it through the air. A plume of sugar flew across the room before the clear canister hit the tile floor and shattered into an estimated 4,703 shards of sugar-frosted glass.

Meanwhile, my elbow was busy knocking over my giant thermal mug.

Coffee cascaded along the countertop and off into the floor, where it mingled with the spilled sugar and instantly formed a slick glaze studded with broken glass.

I am ashamed to say that I screamed curse words at this point in the sequence of events, but a man can only take so much.

My wife came to my rescue. We moved electrical appliances out of harm’s way and began to clean up the coffee and the sugar and the glass. It was a big job. Getting sugar-glaze wet simply spreads it around. The floor gets stickier and stickier, until it’s like flypaper. It took half a roll of paper towels, two sweepings, several swabbings, one domestic dispute and 14 moppings, but after a mere four hours, the extremely clean floor was no longer hazardous to bare feet. Also, you could walk across it without squeaking.

After such a harrowing event, there was no way I could concentrate on tax paperwork. I’d already lost half a workday, and I spent the other half on the sofa, recovering from the trauma with doses of chocolate and Sportscenter.

My work schedule never recovered, and I remain behind on my business and household paperwork to this day. A six-month extension should give me time to locate all my receipts and file my tax return, assuming there isn’t another major spill around here.

Coffee and sugar and broken glass, all at the same time. Surely, Mr. Commissioner, such a “perfect storm” of spillage qualifies as an Act of God and should excuse my family from the April 15 deadline for tax filing.

I blame the sugar canister, which was destroyed in the incident and thereby duly punished. But please do not penalize us.

Thank you for understanding.


1 comment:

Celeste White said...

Oh my God, I'm exhausted! From empathizing AND from laughing! How do you do this?