Walk around town this weekend and through Monday, and you’ll hear a strange clickety-clack sound coming from many Homer businesses and homes. Lights will glow from upstairs garrets, a shadow on the window shade of someone hunched over a computer and keyboard. You might hear wretched moaning and cursing. Do not stand by open windows lest you get hit by calculators or file boxes hurled out into the dark.
Holy long form 1099, Betsterioids! That’s right: It’s tax season, the last weekend to file your annual tribute to the smooth functioning machine we call the United States Government.
Oh yeah, you might be one of the early birds who filed promptly in early February right after receiving all those W-2s and other forms. Maybe you grabbed a discount tax software program on sale after Christmas. Maybe you had already started filling out your 1040 before you got your tax forms, just to be prepared.
But not the Betster. Yours truly probably has good company among many reluctant citizens. Why file early and give Uncle Sam the use of your hard earned dollars longer than you have to? As Reuben Call used to say, “Slow down. What’s the rush? Why hurry?”
Here at the End of the Road where we’ve come to enjoy a life of leisure, we extend that life choice to our great and glorious government. Think about all those times you’ve waited in line to enjoy some important government service, like a new passport or getting screened by TSA. It only seems fitting that we pay the courtesy back.
Not that some overworked, underpaid cranky IRS agent really cares. As long as you file on time and your tax return is not a work of fiction, they will be happy. Did you attach all the receipts? Sign the form? Enclose your check? Sign the check? See, that’s all you have to do to make America great again.
So get those taxes done and bask in the warm feeling that you’re doing your share to keep the roads open, our borders safe, our service members well fed and equipped, and our wildlife refuges properly managed. Other than voting and serving your country, there is nothing more patriotic than paying taxes. Hurrah!
Meanwhile, take a break from all that stress, perhaps with these Best Bets:
BEST FOR A GOOD “CLAWS” BET: Who doesn’t love cat videos? If you’re feeling down and blue, just do a Google search on “cat” and “Roomba” and you’ll get 160,000 videos, any one of which is guaranteed to cheer you up. That’s why you just have to go to CatVideoFest at 6 p.m. tonight at the Homer Theatre, a compilation of the funniest ever cat videos. Bring a stuffed cat toy and you get $1 off a popcorn-soda combo. Cat ears are $1. Admission is $9 or $12 and benefits Alaska Mindful Paws.
BEST MEMORABLE READING BET: University of Alaska Press literary artists Mar Ka and Monica Devine team up for a reading starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Kachemak Bay Campus commons. They both have written memoirs, but from different perspectives and voices.
BEST AND SO IT BEGINS BET: Full disclaimer: our own Megan Pacer has teamed up with KBBI reporter Renee Gross and editor Michael Armstrong’s sister, Helen Armstrong, to start Homer’s own Spit Takes. An ongoing storytelling series, the first of these events starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Alibi Bar & Café. The theme is “Beginnings.” Arrive at 7 p.m. to get a table, drinks and food.
BEST GET ALONG LITTLE DOGIES BET: All right, Pilgrim. Wrassle up some words, plunk them down on the page, and hoof it over to Alice’s Champagne Palace at 5 p.m. Saturday for the 12th annual Cowboy Cabaret. Fancy yourself a poet? Got a tune to sing? Sign up to entertain the masses. It’s all for a good cause, the Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association, a fancy way of sayin’ “folks who like horses.” A silent and live auction fundraiser supports the Cottonwood Horse Park.
BEST LEARN LONG AND PROSPER BET: From teenage geniuses to honored elders, the Friends of the Homer Public Library once again demonstrates it’s never too early or too late to keep on learning with its Celebration of Lifelong Learning. The big bash starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Homer Public Library. Admission is $35 and supports Friends programs.