Sunday, April 11, 2010


I’m blaming it on the Patriot Act. My accountant was recommending to me that I file an extension on my federal taxes and submit them in October since I’m self-employed and the conventional wisdom in accounting is to recommend October filing for folks who have a greater chance of being audited. I was resisting. Wanted my taxes done and out of my house, out of my brain, out of my life. I hate taxes, finances, accounting. Blech. My accountant is my therapist and he’s very good at it. So in the middle of this conversation, he suggests abruptly, “Can you come into the office and sit down with me for a chat about this face-to-face?” I assure him that I’m comfortable with our phone conversation. Later, after I hung up, it suddenly dawned on me that he didn’t want to discuss it further on the phone. Why? I wondered. Then it hit me. My phone might be tapped. I thought that maybe accountants were told not to discuss certain things over the phone as a precaution, to protect themselves and clients, just in case the phone is tapped. Not likely, but what if. Just a precaution. All the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I couldn’t call him and ask him if he was worried my phone was tapped because what if it was tapped? Why would my phone be tapped? I have no idea. Was the FBI following my politics in my online writing? I flatter myself. I’m not that important. I called my accountant back and said, “I could come to your office tomorrow afternoon.” He said not to worry, never mind, he was satisfied with the phone conversation. Long pause. I confessed that I thought he was being careful in case my phone was tapped. He laughed his head off, “Amy, you are so cute,” he said. Cute? Nah. Paranoid. I am getting old, lived through too much, seen too many scary things. It could happen. Remember those librarians who refused to hand over information about patrons? Patriot Act. Watergate. I’m not that important. But what if I were?

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