Seek professional help

“Are you out of your mind?”

As a matter of fact, yes. I take a combination of medications to keep my mood “stable,” and insure that I don’t hide in a clock tower with a fifth of Vodka and a high powered rifle. A person would have to be crazy to practice do-it-yourself psychiatry, which often turns out to be the case. Trust me, nobody is going to care that your ink blot looks like an aerial photo of Abe Vigoda’s left testicle unless you pay them enough to build their own space shuttle.

Since IRS agents a) don’t provide you with ink blots during an audit, and b) are notoriously lacking in anything resembling a sense of humor, taxes are also a situation where do-it-yourself can have disastrous results. For several weeks now I’ve been mired down in forms, circulars, and schedules, trying to make sense of the 1650, 1125-A, M-3, and V-8. I swear, the instructions for the 1650 say, “This will take two geological eras, anti-hallucinogens, and faith in a higher power to complete.” This is what I’ve got so far.

I stubbornly refused to consider shelling out money for somebody else to prepare my returns, until yesterday. I pulled an all-nighter and went through three pink gum erasers and a case of Red Bull before conceding defeat. Still buzzing with artificial stimulants and performance enhancers, I walked into the office of a CPA with a rather unfortunate last name, evocative of body odor and old socks. In the time it took me to apologize for my questionable skills on Quickbooks, he had amortized three loans and balanced the national budget.

Before I left, $600 poorer, he commended me on my passable accounting skills. At least I’m finally able to crawl out from under a stack of papers that would crush a lesser person’s skull (mine is extra thick). Is it too much to ask for a world where tax instructions are not written in ancient Sanskrit? It galls me that the idiot bureaucrats who write the tax code are being paid to give Joe Taxpayer an ulcer. (Report medical expenses on schedule H). Maybe someday they’ll print an illustrated instruction booklet, complete with a picture of IRS agents with rubber hoses performing a tax audit on some hapless small business owner. I hope it comes with ink blots.