Monday, June 13, 2011

Somebody Drop a Dime on This Guy

I've written before about our friend Lester, the world's greatest handyman and inter alia, the proprietor of the guerrilla redwood forest in Palookaville's fine urban park.

If anybody is his own man, Lester is. He's an independent contractor with a vengeance, working for whom and under such circumstances as he sees fit. He sends bills in his own meticulous block handwriting, on forms that bear the inscription "I sell labor!" A keen sense of self-worth; he is also a bit of an obsessive, which may not be a vice in a handyman. He'll work until doomsday--well, sundown--to get something right. More than once I've expected the veins in his temples to explode.

Something I didn't know, though it should hardly surprise me: Lester also keeps meticulous personal. Rccords. He says he has "spreadsheets" (but not on a computer--Lester has not the least curiosity about computers)--spreadsheets on which he records every penny that he spends, at work or on his own. He can compare month to month, year to year, for all I know day to day.

Apparently it is a family tradition. Lester gleefully recounts the story of the time when his mother was called in for a tax audit. The auditor admitted defeat and accepted her accounts down to the penny. If ever he gets audited, Lester said, he is ready.

I hadn't the heart to tell Lester that I don't think the IRS does audits in quite that way any more, but it did occur to me: nothing would please Lester more than a good tax audit. Then and only then could he prove he was really his mother's son. So, somebody drop a dime on this guy. Make his day.  

1 comment:

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

Lester reminds me of my mother-in-law. The IRS audited her every year, with substantial provocation but without success. She ultimately retired from work and work's associated outrageous deductions.

Understandably, the IRS stopped auditing her now-denuded Form 1040. She felt personally offended by this display of bureaucratic arrogance, treating her like worthless garbage just because she was an old lady on a fixed income. In revenge, she took to volunteer tax preparation for the AARP.