Diary

Happy Tax Day. Now cough it up chump.

Paid mine two weeks ago. Got a refund. $2,200. WOO HOO!!!!
I always feel like a load has been lifted off my shoulders after I file.
I’m good for a whole year now. I got my whole life ahead of me.
I ain’t going to jail and no one is going to seize my bank account.
I’m free.
I took that stupid envelope filled with all my financial secrets and threw it in the draw on top of all those that came before it. It’s like a milestone to me.
I can look back through the stack and tell you my life story by the tax returns I have filed.
Last three years….? They were a little lean brother if you know what I mean. I had to tighten my belt so hard I think I fractured my hip.

Uh hoh boy…it was rough let me tell ya’.
Every nickle I made just passed through my hands like water. Every time I took some money out of the bank the teller would ask me if I wanted an envelope and I would always say the same thing.
“No thanks. I’m just the delivery boy. This money will be gone in about ten minutes.”
My bank account looked like Stalingrad in 1943.
Every time my balance peaked it’s head up some sniper from Bank of America would take a shot at it.
The enemy was at the gate.
I would lie in bed at night staring at the ceiling.
I wasn’t dreaming of hot brazilian girls anymore.
I was wondering how much money I had in change in the shoe box on the floor.
The CoinStar machine whacked you for 9% at the supermarket to turn it in.
Bleepin’ thieves.
Screw them. My bank across town had one and they charged nothing for customers.
It didn’t take the paperclips, the canadian quarters or the lint.
I didn’t think that was fair. It may not have been much but there was some value there and I wanted it.

Those years have changed me into a different person. No more sitting at the bar ordering dirty Grey Goose martinis with my prime rib. I had to downgrade to domestic drafts and the fish taco. Thank god the extra guacamole was free.
I learned to go to that big building with all the food in it and push that wire basket thing with wheels on it.
I learned to shop. Actually I was forced to shop.
I hate going to the supermarket.
I’m convinced that everyone there is conspiring against me to block my cart in every single freakin’ aisle I stroll down.
It doesn’t matter what I’m looking at.
I could be standing in front of the hemorrhoid cream and a crowd would break out.
All of a sudden everyone would be camping out in front of the Preparation H like there was someone doing card tricks there. They were fascinated. I would be trapped.
“Excuse me please lady with the huge butt…can I get by…”
But I grew strong. I got mean. I learned to save. To scrimp. To claw and scratch for every little nickel.
I was a lean mean saving machine.
I actually had to start looking at the prices instead of just tossing things in the cart like it was a game show shopping spree.
Stuff is expensive.
Two-ply toilet paper costs a fortune. I had to go with the one -ply and fold it over myself at home. A little extra work mind you but times were tough.
What did I need quilted for…? I wasn’t making a bed spread.
No more name brands either. I couldn’t buy the cookies with the Keebler elves anymore. I had to get the ones with a little midget on the front. Erving I think his name was.
Steak….? Puhlease. The giant box of frozen hamburger patties suits me just fine now.
I have really come to know the limits and capabilities of the George Foreman grill.

I had to give up the fancy Boars Head cold cuts too.
Now I just buy ham that comes in a box labeled HAMM.
It has at least 10% ham products in it or they couldn’t call it HAMM.
I spend the money I saved on extra mustard.
You almost can’t tell the difference.
It’s real good with CHEEZ.
I was in survival mode. I had to be.
No more Dunkin’ Donuts either. It costs a fortune to buy their coffee.
I make coffee at home for like two cents a cup instead blowing all my dough there like I was John J. Jerkefeller. I also discovered that you can actually get donuts somewhere else. The food building place had them. Who knew….? It was called the BA-KER-REY or something like that. I don’t know. I don’t speak spanish.
I also gave up the bottled water and learned to love the taste of chlorine.
It’s not so bad and I think my teeth are getting whiter. My lips too.

Had to cut back on the primo cable as well.
Goodbye HBO.
Goodbye Showtime and Cinemax. I miss you all.
I travel light now. Fox News ,FX and Family Guy are all I need.
I slashed my cell phone bill with an axe. I dropped ATT and went to the Straight Talk phone.
I save $60 buckeroos every month now for the same airtime. That buys a lot of canned domestic beer and macaroni and cheese. The cornerstones of a nutritious breakfast.
No more take out. No more subs. No more $25 pizzas with roasted red peppers and grilled chicken and goat cheese.
The stove is now my new best friend.
You would not believe how many ways there are to cook a .25 cent pack of Ramen noodles.
You can throw in a piece of chicken or some frozen vegetables. A little bit of chopped ham maybe. It’s good.
I don’t care what Seinfeld says. Soup is a meal if you have the inner strength to make it so.
No new sneakers either. Some new laces maybe and I throw the damn things in the wash machine.
Good as new.
I have discovered the beauty of WALMART. I love that place. Everything is ten bucks
New pants. Ten bucks.
New Jacket. Ten bucks.
Big screen TV. Ten bucks.
I drive fifteen miles to shop there.
I have evolved.
I’ve learned to adapt. To survive. To thrive even on the barest minimum.
I am Captain Coin Squeezer now. My new super abilities allow me to squeeze two pennies together and come up with a nickel.
I can make three big meals for like two dollars.
I can take a paper plate and use the damn thing five times in a row.
I’m not throwing it out over a few crumbs. I just blow on it and put it back on the pile.
I can keep the same twenty dollars in my pocket for at least a week and not spend one single nickle.
My wallet is tighter than a bear trap now.
I have achieved economic perfection.

This year my personal recession will come to an end.
I’m gonna’ be OK.
I have survived the worst of it.
When my refund comes I am going to my favorite bar and ordering a steak so friggin’ big the bartender is going to need to wear an arm sling to bring it over.
I will soak my liver in the alcoholicky goodness of a delicious dirty martini and I will not care about the bill.
I’ve earned it.
Good luck and have a happy tax day.
NeoKong.