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'Twas the Night Before Tax Day

by John Stephenson / /

Tomorrow is Tax Day, the date on which we are due to turn over an increasing share of our hard-earned income to the government. Right now, in homes across the country, taxpayers young and old are very stressed over their taxes, worrying about the long, burdensome process of itemizing, deducting, calculating, and paying what the government says they owe. I can only imagine the anxiety they feel. 

Whenever I'm stressed, I turn to humor to ease my troubles. So in honor of all taxpayers who are anxious right now, here is a little tax day humor, in the form of a parody of the classic Christmas poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," to relieve some of your stress. Enjoy!

'Twas the Night Before Tax Day
By Glen Davis

April 15, 2003

'Twas the night before Tax Day, when all through the nation
many creatures were stirring, due to procrastination.
The receipts were stuffed in a box without care,
in case of an audit, they all would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Each one an exemption-- Bless their sweet heads!
And Mama in her curlers, and I in my shorts,
had just settled our brains to file our reports.

When down in my stomach there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to take care of the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up--

After taking antacid I returned to my chore,
I can't afford to delay anymore.
When, what to my bleary eyes should appear,
but miniature fine print! Was it like this last year?

But with new motivation, so lively and quick,
" List your exemptions. Total, line six."
More rapid than eagles, the dependents they came,
I scribbled them down while I called them by name:

Now there's me and my spouse,
and our children... that's four.
I turned to my wife,
" Is it too late to have more?"

Filing Status? Married.
Social security numbers? A plethora!
Income on line seven:
" Wages, salaries, tips, etcetera."

And then, in a twinkling, I heard down the hall
the ticking and tocking from the clock on the wall.
The deadline approaches, increasing distress.
Can you spell "relief"? It's not "I-R-S"!

The stump of a pencil I held tight in my teeth.
It made me talk funny- "I thounded like thith."
But the task was so serious- So demanding and stressful
that it knotted my guts like a bowl full of pretzels.

Now drenched all in sweat from my head to my feet,
I can't let this daunt me! "Taxes!... Must... complete!"
Now where was I? Ah, yes-- I totaled the sum.
Amount from line 35: "Adjusted Gross Income".

Itemized deductions: How much and how many?!
" Attach Schedule A" or we won't receive any!
Taxable income? Whoa! That looks like a lot!
Oh, wait a minute... I misplaced that dot!

As crunch time approached I worked even faster.
Nearly spilling my coffee once, narrowly averting disaster.
I spoke not a word, but went back to my work,
and finished the forms amongst mayhem and murk.

And how 'bout all those forms: W2 and W4!
Not enough for you? Don't worry, there's more!
Form 1099 and Schedules A, B and C.
Not only 1040, but 1040-A and -EZ!

Add that line, subtract this one. Put that calculator to use.
Now divide by the square root of the hypotenuse!
Filing my own taxes! Would I live to regret it?
Instructions... deductions... "Earned Income Credit."

Hours of ciphering and scratching my head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
When finally finished, I was shocked. I was stunned.
I could hardly believe it! Can you say "REFUND"?!

I sprang to the car, to my wife gave a whistle,
Then away we both flew, like a self-guided missile.
Just a few blocks away-- Would we make it in time?
As we turned the corner, "Doh! Look at that line!"

But we finally mailed it, assuaging all fear,
Forgetting it for now, (only to repeat it next year!)
But a thought crossed my head, 'ere I tried not to mind it,
" Before I sealed it, did I remember to sign it?!"