Removing the Zap

by LF (8/18/99)

Did you ever feel like screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming until they strap you down onto a gurney and jab a needle in your arm? I'm there. I'm down to the last few weeks before I can maybe bail out of North Carolina, and everything's going to hell. You may have read about my recent near forest fire. I totaled my car last week. Haven't even gone shooting for seven weeks, the longest stretch in six years.

I'm pouring down way too much of the sauce (and that's saying a lot) to tamp down constant, relentless attacks of the whim-whams. That's half the reason I want to run away to write a novel -- gotta slap it onto paper before I turn into some miserable smelly wetbrain.

I'm almost out. I HAVE to get OUT!

. . .

I wish I'd never gotten interested in economics. I'm sure that I was an enormously cynical and depressed sort before reading Ludwig von Mises at the age of 24, but with his words in my head, the last dozen years have primed me to spit nails and push little old ladies in front of buses. Acquiring an understanding of market processes has ruined me for anything beyond the most perfunctory social interactions, because now I can SEE the poison pouring from those who wish to exert control over every fucking thing that can possibly be imagined.

People are surrounded by the damage that Humongous Government is causing every day, but they only COMPREHEND the slivers which directly impact 'em. So if Junior is moving his lips and struggling through the concepts contained in the funny pages in the morning paper, they'll probably call down to the school board and ask why a young man set to graduate and enter the work force or college can't suss out the musty gags that "Hagar the Horrible" has to offer.

And they'll be told that Junior has Attention Deficit Disorder. Or that he is Hyperactive. Or that he is Dyslexic. Or he is suffering from any one of ten thousand other bullshit maladies that the educationists have invented in order to cover their butts.

Did my saying that piss you off? Are you remembering kindly old Miss McGillicuddy, who introduced you to Byron and Browning? Guess what -- she's dead. The brainless ticket-punchers of the NEA now enjoy absolute control. No matter what happens, the whores on the other end of the line will NEVER admit that the See/Say method of teaching reading, which reduces all words to hieroglyphs (where "cat" is simply the picture-symbol for a cat) has imperiled any average kid's chances of landing a job as a dishwasher. Unfortunately, even soap boxes carry written instructions.

. . .

Here's a blistering-fresh atrocity. Remember that big stock package that I've been yowling about and counting on for more than a year now? Well, it turns out that there are two types of stock options: "incentive" and "non-qualified". The first are good. The second get treated as regular income by the IRS, so YOU GOTTA PAY TAXES ON THEM UP FRONT. So Uncle Suck gets his forty-two(!) pounds of flesh right out of my hide before I even receive the first hammy shareholder brochure.

So what happens if the stock price drops before I get around to selling it (and I get the feeling that a lot of people will be dumping out of the market before the end of the year)? I have two guesses:

  1. I eat the taxes assessed on the difference.

  2. I hire a tax lawyer, fill out a ream of forms, declare a capital loss, and MAYBE get something back. How much I don't know, but you can bet that the lucre (having been offered no clues as to how that's going to be handled) ladled into the Social Security scam will be off the table.

Given my 'druthers, I'd mound the ten grand I'd have to sacrifice into a pile, and toss in a lit match. Gee, could that money have been used to provide diptheria vaccinations for young children? Tough shit. Does some young lady desire a "free" abortion? I'll kick her in the stomach at no charge. Grandpa Billy needs subsidized butter? Not if I knock that crust of bread out of his trembling hands first.

Now I have to stick around in North Carolina until January of 2000 for tax purposes. And I'm not happy about that

Up the spout