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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Writer's Life 3/20 - Taxes & Coffee

Most people probably wonder why government doesn't get taxes right the first time so that the annoying and time-consuming process of filing a return can be avoided. Gregory Bresiger answers this in an article in today's NY Post. In effect, the process provides government billions in an interest free loan. Even after returning a significant portion -- at zero percent interest -- it comes out way ahead. It's just one more issue that justifies cynicism about government.

I've reached the point in the manuscript I've been reworking where the protagonist visits New York. Here's an excerpt drawn from real life. I didn't witness the incident. A friend did, but it has stayed with me decades later. The main character is in his late 20's.
   On the long road back to the hotel, he passed Madison Square Garden. Suddenly a scream, followed by a police whistle, shattered the calm. Tom saw two youths approaching in full flight. He froze, afraid, but he was not their target. They streaked past him and across 8th Avenue, dodging traffic like fleet halfbacks eluding tacklers in the secondary. One had a purse tucked tightly into an armpit, like a football. An exhausted, overweight officer paused at the corner and waved disgustedly at the delinquents, signaling an end to the chase. He leaned against a parking meter, gasping. Presently the agitated cry of another male disrupted the stillness. The well-dressed man ran toward the cop and said: “Officer, my friend just collapsed in the street.”
   For a moment the panting, red-faced policeman stood bent at the waist, taking deep breaths, the gentleman anxiously awaiting action. “Get ‘im a cuppa cawfee,” the officer finally uttered between breaths, to the astonishment of the man.
   Tom hurried away, repressing laughter, bursting at the seams. It was the most absurdly funny incident he’d ever witnessed. He could hear the man and the cop arguing in the distance. “Get ‘im a cuppa cawfee,” he whispered to himself, chuckling, visualizing the plump figure mouthing the phrase. He was ignored by passersby, who he imagined were used to the sight of madmen laughing and talking to themselves on the street. How fortunate he’d been to have passed at that moment. The timing was perfect. He’d seen the entire farce unfold. At first he’d feared he would be assaulted, perhaps killed. Now he was afraid he would die laughing, despite the fact that a woman had been robbed and some poor soul might be near death in the road. He never ceased to be fascinated by life.

My thanks to the kind folks who purchased books today in Park Slope.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:


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