Recession Theater Returns

Is somebody gonna call the cops?

There’s something about standing in your bedroom window, weeping buck naked while holding out an IRS audit letter that drives a killer performance. Last night I reprised my role as “Pathetic Husband” in Theater In The Open Window, a spontaneous performance art that occurs during my wife and my worst moments and with increasing regularity. For those audience members in the hot tub beneath our apartment, the window is no greater proscenium. “But they want ALL of my medical records…” I projected, flaccid though gripping the letter with great fortitude, “I had staph on my ass… the IRS is going to know about my ass staph.”

Performing naked makes one feel even more vulnerable and thus more susceptible to tears, though there is no greater tool in the method actor’s arsenal than looking at your name beneath a list of required documents and demands including, but not limited to, a three-hour interview which may or may not be a Segway into many three-hour interviews at the IRS building. Fear may be an actor’s greatest tool, but to those proud thespians who make young Hispanic children and their parents in the jacuzzi giggle and point there can be no greater muse than those who he is sharing the stage with. “Are you sure it’s an audit letter?” Spoke The Wife. Such an ear for comedic timing, that one.

“No honey, it’s a fucking Christmas letter from the IRS…” I said, extending the letter with gusto, “See where it says ‘Merry Christmas’? Capital A-U-D-I-T?” And the children outside laughed.

I staggered toward the shower, stage right, which had been my original direction prior to removing my clothes. The Wife burst forth with a shrill exclamation of, “Why are you taking this out on me!” As she threw both hands in the air.

And with The Husband’s last bit of dignity, I choked out two angry syllables before collapsing to the floor, curling into a fetal position, then seeing a large cardboard box, then trying to crawl inside the box to hide, then realizing only my torso could fit inside the box, and that my formerly staph-infected ass was probably sticking comically out the back.

“We can get a lawyer,” spake The Wife.

“Where are we going to get the fucking money for that?” I puzzled, retreating to the stage wall where I wept and moaned. It was a moment for the audience to reflect.

“They’re going to dissect me alive,” I said, referring to the three boxes of documents which were piled in the closet from previous years returns. “It doesn’t matter what you have, they’ll find something… they look for any excuse to rip you apart… They’ll take Roxy…” I trailed off, trying to pull our Cocker Spaniel close to my naked bosom as she struggled to get away. “C’mere Roxy… don’t let them take you…”



4 thoughts on “Recession Theater Returns

  1. First, do as the wife suggests and find a tax lawyer. Consult with them. They know the score and they have, like the IRS, heard and seen it all. Also, both they AND even the IRS, have a sense of compassion. I know the IRS doesn’t have that reputation, but they do feel. They merely have to enforce the laws written by the idiots in DC.

    I fouled up on a contracting gig a few years back and paid out $100 a month for over a year. They were very nice. Merely final in that whatever they select as the payment should you owe one, is final. No appeals. They are however, understanding. BTW, should you owe and later get a chance to pay in full ahead of schedule, DO SO. They really like that.

    Second, be honest and penitent. Wherever they inform you of a mistake, they are more often than not right. Go along with it with simple apology and show interest in understanding their point of view. Show respect and submission. The slightest hint of attitude is the door opener to the dark path of IRS terror.

    I remember the IRS of the 70s and 80s and this is not that IRS thankfully (at least, they don’t seize farms armed with automatic weapons anymore).

    Good luck. Been there, done that, had my t-shirt confiscated.

  2. Thanks guys…

    I spoke to an attorney yesterday who listened patiently for fifteen minutes while I explained my various fears and concerns and then informed me I didn’t need an attorney and should stop worrying. I felt better… much clearer. Then I came home and slept these last, oh… 12 hours.

    Wifey’s just mad because I cut her lines and changed her character tremendously.

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