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Happy Easter, Kiss My Keister

April 13, 2007

By Alice 

I’m not the biggest fan of Easter. It isn’t just the scary bunny sitting in the Marc Jacobs window having pictures taken with children, as if s/he were Christmas and s/he were Macy’s Santa Claus that turns me off to the holiday. It isn’t the boiled eggs overdose, nor is it the pastels, Sunday hats, new dresses, or useless baskets that are prominent from Good Friday through Monday that makes me gag and want to wear black. It is the taxes that hover over the holiday like a dark and gloomy cloud that creates the spoiler.

How can I possibly enjoy a holiday when I know that sooner or later I’ve got to write a big fat check to the government(s), State and Federal? Please don’t bother getting started on the, “I should change my independents, or itemize, or use your accountant rather than mine”, or any other advice you might have to offer because your advice comes exactly one year too late and I’m not sure right now is the best time for a “you should have” talk. Give me, at the very least, a week, and then maybe I’ll be up for it, but no promises.

When I think of the word resurrection I think of my lovely Vacation Fund that I’ve spent all year, since last April’s tax time, donating to, that has finally resurrected itself into a sizeable vacation amount, say Italy, Costa Rica, possibly France, definitely not all three, but wouldn’t that be cool?

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But it isn’t wonderful! It isn’t wonderful because this vacation fund will find itself into the hands of the State of California and the Federal Government by midnight tonight. (I know I have until Monday, but sometimes it is better to get the unfortunate over with quickly, rip the band aid from the wound so to speak.)

There is a somewhat famous criminal defense lawyer here in San Francisco named Tony Serra, who I find rather intriguing.

J. Tony Serra – the ponytailed, pot-smoking criminal defense attorney famous for fighting the government and celebrated in the 1989 film “True Believer” – listened as a gallery of some of the Bay Area’s most respected lawyers honored him.

He was praised as a humanist who practiced law out of love and saved the government “millions of dollars” with back-to-back pro bono cases, funded from his threadbare pocket. He was a “warrior” with a “touch of sainthood,” “a national treasure” and a “hero.”

. . . The 70-year-old Serra has represented – with mixed results – Black Panther leader Huey Newton, the Hells Angels, Symbionese Liberation Army soldier turned soccer mom Sara Jane Olson, and hundreds of murderers and drug dealers driven to the fringes, he says, by sociopolitical forces. He has won honors as one of the nation’s best trial attorneys, earned the respect of adversaries and riled some judges with his hippie ways and overburdened schedule.

Tony has never paid taxes and he has made it clear that he never will. In August of last year he was sentenced to 10 months in jail, I believe for the third time, but don’t quote me on that.

Dozens of the region’s top lawyers weighed in, arguing that the aging Serra, who recently had both hips replaced, be spared prison and given a more creative sentence – working for free, for example, at the San Francisco public defender’s office. Attorneys spanning several generations credited Serra for influencing their commitment to represent the downtrodden.

. . . As they compromised their ideals to make mortgage payments and bolster retirement plans, older colleagues noted, Serra lived the “informal vow of poverty” he took in the heyday of Haight-Ashbury, driving $500 cars, wearing Goodwill suits hemmed with staples or electrical tape, and making his home – for $411 a month – in the cramped North Beach apartment he has occupied for three decades. (He has no savings and no health insurance. As for the money he earns, he says, he plows it into the cases he takes for free.)

I’d love to simply not pay taxes. However, I’m not sure I can afford to spend 10 months in jail, nor do I have the Tony Serra / Robin Hood background to defend myself for non-payment of taxes. There are some luxuries the rich are afforded, such as choosing to live as paupers, jail time (I know that sounds odd) for not paying taxes, and purchasing free range meat, that I am not.

So what does all of this have to do with the topic resurrection? Nothing really. My point quite simply is that when you say “Easter,” I say “taxes.” When you say “resurrection,” I say “vacation fund.” Then I cry.

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5 comments

  1. You know, Alice, you really should have itemized. And changed your number of dependents claimed. And used a different accountant . . .


  2. The only thing I have ever raised my voice about in our marriage is taxes. Our accountant should be shot…and then resurrected.


  3. CA, that just made me laugh right out loud…


  4. Well you know Alice… there’s nothing quite like the tax credit and dependent deduction that having a little munchkin brings along. Just thought I’d mention it ; )


  5. Good point Marc, childbirth is clearly the most cost effective way to go about obtaining a tax credit! I’ll begin exploring in vetro tomorrow.

    And Kaimi, even as I wrote my blog, I thought to myself, I bet Mr. Kaimi will be the first person to push my buttons! Nicely done.



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