Read To The End

536. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

When I was a kid I was baffled when the characters in children’s fables and stories opened their doors to the wolf. The little pig would peep through the spy hole and the wolf, not cleverly disguised as an old lady, would ask for a cup of sugar. I’d think, “Even I know a wolf when I see it. Don’t open the door!” And the little pig would always open the door. So did Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. “Oh! Another little pig goes down the hatch!” I’d say, closing the book. The pictures were always my favorite part even if the story seemed implausible.

9 months ago I received a letter from the IRS congratulating me on my random selection for an audit. The nice letter told me the audit was for instructional purposes only. “How nice.” I thought until my accountant screamed, “Don’t be like the little pig in the story. This is the wolf at your door.” Oh, how I wish I’d paid attention to the story! What did the pig do when it was eaten? How did the pig emerge whole and happy from the belly of the wolf? I closed the book too soon! I enjoyed the pictures but ignored the lesson. Is there a nice woodsman in my future that will recognize that the large bump in the antagonistic wolf’s belly is me – and cut me out of this dark chamber?

As I sit here in the belly of the wolf I’ve had plenty of time to ponder the national debt and also learn the patterns and practices of my wolf host. I’ve added together the hours my wolf has spent on this audit and have realized the poor thing is truly starving to death: not only has he not found in my meager account any delicious hidden food morsels but the amount of money he may or may not recoup from me will never come close to meeting his enormous energy output. My wolf is losing money, our money. Additionally, every time there is some communication I receive no less than 9 letters, each letter comprised of 3-5 sheets of paper with legalese (single spaced) – each telling me that we’ve communicated – something I already knew; I actually read the first wave and although my inner lawyer was thrilled with so much language used to say almost nothing, I was left wondering how brevity and sense-making escaped the tax collection arm of the government. And, best of all, I now have some concrete suggestions for how to solve our budgetary woes and still maintain social security, medicare, and host of other worthy social programs.

I told my story of woe to my pal Patricia the photographer and she rolled her eyes; she has been engaged in a prolonged battle with her IRS wolf who insists her daughter is not her daughter; she has a birth certificate and dna to back her claim – not to mention a daughter who looks just like her – and yet her audit also continues into perpetuity. Like me she, too, receives 9 letters of of 3-5 single spaced communication affirming that communication has occurred with each communication. How many people-hours does it take to manufacture so many duplicate letters? Artaud could not have written a play this absurd.

Even though I have learned the error of closing the fable book too soon, I’ve gleaned enough to know that the wolf always gets his due in the end (the pictures made that abundantly clear). It is the wolf’s greed and hubris that brings its demise and I take comfort from my dark belly chamber knowing that we must be very close to the inevitable end of this insipid fable.

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