Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tax time

Our tax accountant works in a big old house. Walking into the house in like walking into the pages of a John Grisham novel. The first thing you notice is the pungent smell of cigarette smoke. Even with the screen door open the place reeks of it. The floor is covered with a dirty yellow-brown shag carpet that doesn’t look like it’s been touched by a steam cleaner, or even a vacuum, in over a decade. The walls are a dirty yellow and brown, and a thick layer of dust and cobwebs coat the ceiling.

We sit on old dirty chairs that have seen better days and wait for our turn with the accountant. The choice of chairs is a sad sight - all have been torn and more then one looks like something has been spilled on it. You can’t help but glance around the room while you wait. There are cheesy signs on the walls and the secretary’s desk. There is an old claw toy machine that just doesn’t fit in. And there are two little puppies that run by- rescued from certain death at a local pound.

We sit and slowly get our nicotine fix for the year. When we are finally called back to the accountant’s office, Jody and I have to cover our mouths and try to suppress the laughter. Her desk and floor are completely covered with files and paperwork. Her computer keyboard is covered with a film of grey yuck that amazes even Jody. The walls have pictures of friends and relatives that look like they date back to the 80’s. The place hasn’t seen a dust rag in the three years we’ve been going there.

Our accountant’s hair has changed from the fake black it was last year to a dirty blond. It’s held in it’s majestic up do by a couple of gaudy hair clips. She is wearing at least 3 necklaces and every finger on both hands is adorned with large diamond rings. She uses a magnifying glass to read the numbers on our records and confesses part way though our visit that something is wrong with her right eye and the digits seem to be repeating themselves. Jody gives me that look and I have to bite my lip to keep myself from laughing.

So why do go to this place to get our taxes done? First of all, our accountant always gets us a great return. She’ll play with the numbers to make sure we are maximizing our deductions and expenses. Second, it’s worth the money just to see if the same bucket of candy that has been there for the last two years is still there. It was. I didn’t see it (and I must admit I was a tad disappointed) but Jody later confided he saw it sitting next to the wall beside his chair. Is it sad that I look forward to our yearly trip to the tax accountant? Sad, but incredibly amusing.

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