Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Some years ago I was teaching a late afternoon accounting class at San Jose City College. There was one chapter about income taxes and the IRS, and in covering the material, I made some pretty snide remarks about said Internal Revenue Service (Eternal Revenue) (Infernal Revenue).

I made it a practice to get to the classroom about 20 minutes early so I could set up equipment and check over my lecture notes. At the session following Taxes, one young lady student arrived shortly after I did, and we started chatting. “Are you coming from work?” I asked. Yes, her employer let her leave early for the class. “That’s nice,” I said. “Who do you work for?” Her response: “The IRS”, she said with a perfectly straight face.

Gulp. Aaarrghh. Glmmphh... And I tried to make some sort of apology for the remarks I’d made the previous session. “Oh, no”, she said. “What you said was correct.”

Talk about getting let off the hook... Or, getting the scoop right from the horse’s mouth!



When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But somehow, I always had something else to take care of first--the truck, the car, fishing--always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a few minutes. When I came out again I handed her a toothbrush. "When you finish cutting the grass," I said, "you might as well sweep the sidewalk."

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.


  1. Re the greenness (and you do live in a very nice, leafy neighborhood), one thing that always strikes me when I go home is how bluegreen it is back East, whereas California has more of a yellowy cast to it all.

    That, and, Californians don't believe you when you say you grew up with 150' tulip poplars in the backyard, but, we did.

  2. By training members of the Infernal Revenue Service, weren't you colluding with the enemy? (Just kidding, your student sounded like a nice person.)