Archive for Thursday, July 3, 2008

IRS spins Karmic wheel

July 3, 2008

The letter I got from the IRS in the mail Monday looked like a check. It was about 7 seven inches long and 3 inches wide and tear-off perforated edges on both ends. It even said "Stimulus check."

But it wasn't my much-anticipated personal boost to our slumping economy. It was merely a notice informing me my stimulus was coming. On closer inspection, this cruel joke was mentioned on the envelope, but in much smaller script than the "Stimulus check." (I assume stimulus was chosen for the program because the word "surge" was already appropriated for other proposes.)

But the notice was reassuring since I was worried Uncle Sam had somehow overlooked me. All my family and friends seemed to have already been stimulated. Before that the only indication I had the IRS was aware of me was the fact the check I sent April 15 to make things square between us was cashed in early May.

The notice asked what I had to do to get the check before informing that I had to do nothing. That's good, because I'm pretty sure I can do that.

The note told me to expect the check in less than a week. Somewhat dampening the optimism of that statement was a directive to call such and such a number if the check didn't arrive in the next six weeks.

I had plans on just how I was going to stimulate. I was going to buy a new camera (I'm always thinking of my readers).

But that was before I gave into an impulse to start exploring back roads. The particular back roads I had in mind were paved, but somehow I lost the pavement and found myself on more and more questionable roads until I was up to my axles in mud.

By some miracle, I didn't get stuck. But scraping the underside of my heretofore dependable Civic through the mud, and ripping CV boots away while packing the joints with muck, turned out to be not in the car's longterm interest.

So it's in the shop where the mechanic says he might get to it in a couple of weeks. And that's fine considering the estimate and the tardy IRS. "$300 to $350," the mechanic said, and I'm was thinking that's not too bad to get the old gas-sipping workhorse back on the road for a few years right up to the point he added, "Per axle."

So in some kind of karmic exchange the stimulus package will bail me out of my own stupidity. I suppose I should be happy, but I kind of feel like a kid who got clothes for Christmas.

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