Saturday, January 20, 2007

Snakes and Taxes

(Disclaimer!!! I have some really smart people who read my blog. Way smarter than I am. I want to make clear that this story is mostly true. The un-mostly true part was changed to protect the situation of the character involved. Names, amounts, and certain details are complete and utter lies. The person who the character is based upon has complete and utter control over what is in the story. If he/she wants it to come most certainly will come down. All details were hashed out over a pizza at a secret unnamed location in Hartford, TN(since Bubba had closed the damn kitchen at the BCD&M, depriving us of our Chez Burgers) before publishing. I wouldn't dream of outing someone without their permission since that would be tacky and common. Also, I have nothing but the utmost respect for our valiant men and women in pinstripes fighting on the frontlines of The War on Taxes. Also, do not try this at home. I tell you, it won't work. This is the sort of hapless event that can only be accomplished by a professional six foot nine naked gay man.)

He was sleeping on the sofa when the phone rang. His hand groped out from the blanket covering him and felt through the detritus of cigarettes, keys, matches, rolling papers and pistol on the coffee table until he finally found the hand-set, hit "talk" and dragged it to his ear.

"Mr. Smith?" A precise voice asked.

"Uh...yeah?" His voice was raspy from too many cheap cigarettes. He indulged in a morning smoker's cough.

"This is Mrs. Althea Johnson with the IRS. I'm calling about the 2,500 dollars you owe us."

It was shortly after this that he began to cry.

Friend Scott is six foot nine, handsome and charming. He speaks and behaves like he should be hanging out with the Camden Cup crowd. He has that congenial manner that certain well-bred Southern men exhibit that is a little bit cultured, a little bit momma's boy and a little bit bad boy. He tells great stories and if you are a Southern woman, you laugh, but are not quite sure if you believe him. Because as a Southern know the kind of man he is.

I'm afraid, however, that Friend Scott has gone quite native up here in the mountains. He has eschewed the chinos and polo shirts that are his birthright for flannel and overalls.

When Friend Scott "came out" to me a few months ago, I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you. After all, the first time I met him, he was outside Food City in Newport, on his way home from a Garden Club meeting. Also, during our friendship, he has exhibited an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Brit comedy, Absolutely Fabulous, and every John Waters film ever made. He grows roses.

I mean...who'd a thunk it?

Yes, I seem to have found the only gay hillbilly on the mountain to be my buddy. He's actually quite good company and has a knack for getting himself into situations that can only be described as extremely gonzo.

Last year, Friend Scott got a letter from the IRS. He brings it over for me to look at since I am supposedly "the smart one". He is indeed being audited because they are questioning his claim that he has a son by his cousin who he is claiming as a dependent. I question this as well.

"Well, she told me he was mine."

I look at Friend Scott in all of his six foot nine gayness. I'm imagining that there were large amounts of recreational drugs and alcohol involved. And unconsciousness. There had to be unconsciousness. I really don't want to know more.

I've not met the cousin involved. I have heard of her by reputation. Evidently, the cousin and her mother often get into altercations with each other over men. Friend Scott tells me the mother is very homely. "Butt ugly", I believe were his exact words. Once the mother moved in on one of the cousin's boyfriends as the boyfriend was passed out drunk. The boyfriend awoke to the mother applying "oral pleasure" to his...uh..."member". The boyfriend was most distressed since the mother had failed to take her snuff out of her mouth.

I now have this image and concept burned indelibly into my brain. Thanks, Scott.

I advise Friend Scott that he needs a lawyer. Actually, I think Friend Scott should have a lawyer surgically grafted onto his left earlobe. But he can't afford one.

So now, Friend Scott owes the IRS a buttload of money. And you know how accommodating our friendly IRS folks are.

It is already mid-morning on the day Mrs. Althea Johnson, IRS agent, calls.

He sits up and wraps the blanket around his waist. He's not wearing any clothes.

"Yes, ma'am. I've been meaning to call y'all." He says, trying to get his wits about him and stalling for time.

"Mr. Smith, when can we expect payment of this amount? With interest and penalties, it will come to a sum of just over 8,000 dollars."

Scott is desperate. He's actually crying now. It is fairly clear that Mrs. Johnson is not responding to the charm and good looks he is trying to project through the phone connection.

He stands. The blanket falls in a puddle on the floor. He begins to pace, naked, about the room as Mrs. Johnson drones on about penalties and charges.

"Isn't there something we can work out?" He sobs into the phone.

Scott picks up his pistol on the coffee table and grips it, swinging it back and forth with his free hand. Looking out the front door he sees a big black snake crawling on the porch.

Mrs. Johnson continues to say mean, hateful IRS things to him.

Scott points the pistol at the snake and shoots it. It's quite a loud pistol to go off so close to the phone.

When he realizes what he's done, he drops the phone in a panic.

Mrs. Althea Johnson's voice can be just barely heard from the phone on the floor.

"Mr. Smith?! Mr. Smith, are you alrig...." The line disconnects leaving the ghost of her voice hanging in the air.

"Oh, Shit."

Scott pulls some shorts on and puts the phone back on the coffee table with the pistol. He stares at the phone. He seriously considers shooting the phone with the pistol.

Mrs. Althea Johnson, IRS agent, didn't sound like someone who was just going to go away.

What to do....what to do? Shit...what to do...

He lights a cigarette and tries to think.

A siren is heard coming up the road. This is unusual here.

Two of his cousins get out of the sheriff's patrol car. It is not unusual that they are his cousins. You can't spit in Cocke county without hitting one of Scott's cousins.

"Hey, Scott! You okay, buddy?" The shorter of the two asks. "We got a call from some damn IRS lady that you done shot yourself."

Scott explains that he was talking with the IRS lady when a great big snake crawled across the porch and he shot it. He got disconnected when he dropped the phone fumbling around with the pistol.

They all laughed in the way Southern men do when they know they are in the middle of what will later be a great story.

Scott explains to Mrs. Althea Johnson, IRS agent, what actually happened when she called back.

I'm thinking Mrs. Johnson is a Southern woman, because she has been very accommodating with Friend Scott since the gun shot incident.

I don't think she actually believes there was a snake.


  1. Kelley Bell said...
    I love your profile description!

    Gently raised...liberal and I own a gun.


    I don't know you, but I love you already.

    Blog for Choice!
    Chris said...
    Um...I don't know if I should bring this up, but do you know if Simone ever saw a sea snake while scuba diving?
    Maridmitch said...
    I prepared taxes for 20 years and your friend Scott is in a royal mess here. From your description it sounds like this tax problem covers multiple years and likely stems from two different people (Scott and the dependent's mother) claiming the same person with the same SS number on two different returns. There may be problems with two people claiming the earned income credit for the same person. The interest and penalties can easily eclipse the original tax bill. Depending on which states Scott lived in, there may be state income tax issues as well.
    Tennessee does not tax earned income so if he was a TN resident, that possible tax liability should not be an issue. Shooting snakes off front porches will not get the IRS off your case, sorry to say.

    Scott needs to get some professional tax help ASAP. The IRS can freeze all his money accounts, for starters.
    Anne Johnson said...
    You should try to find a copy of the play "You Can't Take It With You" for a solution to the problem. Well, not seriously a solution, but at least a chuckle over it.

    Served that IRS lady right. She probably peed her pants. I know I would if I were in her place. But I'd starve and go blind before I'd work for the IRS.

    Not that they would have me, given my ability to do math.
    kaliblue said...
    I'm so tickled I found your blog from over at Dew on the Kudzu's. I feel bad for your friend Scott, but I found your descriptive writing of the situation to be hysterical. You see I know of folks like him. I'm right down below you in Maryville. I'm going to link you if you don't mind. I have the need to read more of your wonderful stories and life happenings:-).
    Rosie said...
    Thanks, Kelley.

    Chris, I remember more her encounters with Moray eels than sea snakes.

    Maridmitch...I believe he actually filed jointly with the cousin. This may be even more damning. Funny thing...the cousin may be trying the same thing with another man this year. So, hopefully that will draw the IRS' ire towards her. I agree that this is serious business indeed. And that is why I suggested a good tax attorney. Since Scott has no seizable assets, the IRS is working with him. They evidently recognize a turnip when they see one.
    Anonymous said...

    I know you are a good person at heart. But I feel uneasy about the amount of information you have placed online about Scott's tax situation. Even the IRS agent's name, unless you changed it. Also the amount of money he owes. And your reply to me gives further information. An unscrupulous person could take the info you've given out and find Scott pretty easily.

    Any person Scott hires to help him in this instance would feel the same. Confidentiality is important.

    If you can, I recommend you remove this post from you blog ASAP.
    Rosie said...
    Hey Meridmitch...

    A great deal of information has been changed in this post to protect Scott and his situation....including the agent's name and amounts involved and other details. Everything here was fully discussed with Scott, in fact, he asked me to write the story for him. I will bring your concerns and advice to Scott and if he agrees, I will certainly remove the post.
    Rosie said...
    Also, Maridmitch...if you give me a way to contact you...I'll be happy to talk to you in a more private forum. I just didn't have a way to do so.
    Maridmitch said...
    Thanks, Rosie,

    You've put my mind at ease with your followup comments.

    I hope Scott can get this tax matter resolved with the IRS.

    The IRS does make mistakes too. So proper documentation from Scott is a must.

    I will take off my tax preparer hat now. smile

    Your story is terrific, by the way!
    Anonymous said...
    This story is about me Rosie and I did talk about this over pizza in hartford and have talked about this before but me being a turnip was not talked about. This story could only have been written by rosie and made to be funny for my sake I laughed my ass off reading this . I hope not to many hillbillys have a PC or a mac to read this because they will know who it is righjt away but the hell with them if they don't like me for who Iam there lost not mine I have rosie to write about me and to make me look good and funny and my storys have been told from family members so I'm not lying....Thanks rosie your a hoot!!!!!!!
    Anonymous said...
    What sorta pistol y'all find handy round those parts? Myself, I prefer a High Velocity round with a goodly amount of barrel: up around 6". Don't like revolvers much anymore, so it puts a cramp in the range (oops!) of choice: not many .44 Magnum semi-auto, so that'd put ya down in the .357 Sig ballpark. Course, them as would say the .44's a little much for snakes, though not for bear, so you'd need another one or two if you wanted to save the rattles or such.


    The Pacifist in the Other Hartford
    SDS. said... was a .44. It were handy.
    Anonymous said...
    That often decides it.

    Anonymous said...

    If that's really, I have to say I sure like Rosie's story, and I really like your summary of the incident. It's a pleasure to see you here.

    Housewife said...
    Clearly Scott's mom is a talented woman

    A cock and a mouthful of snuff

    Holy Shit...

    Please don't ever stop writing.

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