Thursday, April 1, 2010

Proceed With Caution

On April 1, 1998 the restaurant chain Burger King introduced the Whopper for Left-Handers. The primary difference in the Left-Handed Whopper and the regular Whopper was that it was designed for the condiments to drip out on the right side. Being left-handed, I couldn’t wait to try this new culinary delight. But then April 2nd rolled around, and everyone had a big laugh at the witty April Fools’ joke.

I was only kidding about wanting to try the Left-Handed Whopper. I’m really not that gullible. But seriously, several people did specifically request the new burger, as well as a good number of people actually ordering the “original” Whopper. Those are probably the same people responsible for the demise of New Coke, which itself was probably an April Fools’ joke gone terribly wrong.

When I heard laughter I got even more scared. The IRS is not only auditing me… they’re LAUGHING about it!

And just one year ago today - April 1, 2009 - Car and Driver Magazine announced on their website that President Barack Obama had pulled all government funding for NASCAR. I’ll bet you didn’t know your tax dollars went to finance the number one sport south of the Mason Dixon line! That prank had to be retracted with an apology after NASCAR fans raised a major ruckus.

Ahhh Yes, April Fools’ Day – arguably the most dreaded day of the year. On St. Patrick’s Day you might find a good sized bruise pinched on your arm if you forget to wear your green, but that’s nothing compared to the angst suffered from the perils of April Fools’ Day. Of course, the highest satisfaction one can experience in life is to pull off a great prank on a family member or (soon to be ex) friend. But if you find yourself on the butt end of that prank… well, then you understand how the day got its name.

I’ll never forget a phone call I received on April 1, 1981. I was summoned to the phone by a co-worker to take a personal call. “Mr. Kepler, this is Sam Tucker with the IRS. We need to schedule a time for you to come in for an audit.” I was stunned. I was horrified. I was petrified. See, I had just finished up a very hard year where I had done a lot of jobs for a general contractor, and to put it kindly, my records were… not entirely accurate. (Does anybody know the statute of limitations on tax fraud?)

I stammered and stuttered for several moments, then swallowed hard and asked, "What year?" The voice on the other end broke into laughter. Now, I told you earlier that I’m not a real gullible guy. Well, apparently that hasn’t always been the case, because when I heard that laughter I got even more scared. The IRS is not only auditing me… they’re LAUGHING about it!

Mercifully, Sam Tucker quickly confessed that his real name is Joe Kepler and he was just calling to take his brother to lunch. Whewwwwwwwwwww!

They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but it’s only been 29 years. I’ll get him back as soon as I cool down.

1 comment:

  1. I got e-mail announcing that I had resigned from my current position -why on earth will I do that - then I read to take a new position as President of Ghana. That's when I remembered what the day was. Needless to say I froze for a minute. Is this new pink slip?
    Good one 1st Reece.