If Death and Taxes Are the Options, I Will Take the Former Every Time

I cannot wait until tomorrow.

Because I get to figure my General Sales Tax.


The only thing I would rather do than that is carve out my eyeballs with a rusty Swiss army knife.

Because I just love dealing with money.

By which I mean, auuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I do not have a healthy relationship with money.

And I have very, very bad childhood memories of my Mom and Dad sitting around a kitchen table littered with piles of bills and bank statements and check books and red ink.

Threats and recriminations. Fear and loathing.

That was my training in money management.

Oh, and there was that bookkeeping course in high school.

I had seldom attended and done exactly none of the homework. Then the teacher advised I was about to flunk, as in get an “F”, which was totally unknown territory for an honor student.

So in one weekend I finished the entire semester’s project, took it with me to play basketball in the gym, and then forgot it, so the janitors swept it away.

Yep, that was awesome.

University Rigor

When I was a journalism student at university, I had a rigorous money management policy that revolved around the belief that, if you didn’t physically open your bank statements, your checking account could never actually be overdrawn.

This policy worked well until the FBI agents kicked in my door and dragged me off to debtors prison.

Well, what actually happened would be I’d take a fat stack of unopened bank statements to my older sister’s house every six months or so. She would say, “Billy, Billy, Billy…”, shake her head in disbelief, and then spend hours doing God only knows what to figure and cypher and keep me out of prison.

And then she’d cook me her amazing, incredible spaghetti.

That spaghetti is the ONLY positive association I have ever had with money.

The only way I have gotten financially ahead is that, from 1982 onwards, I never actually saw my money.

In Singapore, I saved heaps, because of the wonderful Central Provident Fund. Back then, your employer had to contribute 22% of your salary, and you contributed 23%. Or maybe it was the other way.

Anyhoo, the money stayed in your CPF account until you retired or, like this white boy, took it with you when you buggered off back to America.

GM Finance

At which point I got married, and the GM Finance became solely responsible for all fiduciary matters in excess of $9.99.

And, although I like to complain, which you will know already, unless you are new here, this system has worked reasonably well.

The only hiccup has been when the dreaded GST is due, and the GM Finance, twice a year, has felt compelled to do it while making sure I knew exactly how hideously horrific it was.

And now, filled with a lifetime of financial foreboding, I am faced with a tomorrow that will be filled with me figuring my GST.

Because the GM Finance is up to HERE with end-of-semester university work, and even I am smarter than to fuss about this, at all.

Admittedly, I am not a total GST virgin.

I was forced at gunpoint to do part of the GST last time, in a trial run.

While it did stress me out, it wasn’t that hideous.

And it didn’t take that much time if you relied more on gut feel and guesstimation than going all Jethro Bodine, “naught, naught, naught, carry your naught,” and actually adding up all those numbers and stuff.

So, if I start at 9 a.m. tomorrow, I should be able to get everything done by, at the latest, maybe 9.30 a.m.

At least that’s my plan.

And my prayer.

Lord have mercy…

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2 Responses to “If Death and Taxes Are the Options, I Will Take the Former Every Time”

  1. Lillian L. says:

    You sooo did not get done in thirty minutes…I KNOW YOU!

    Even so, in your honor–ahem–I made spaghetti for supper. Smell the garlic on my breath?

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