I am sitting here hovering like a hawk over my M&T banking site waiting for my paycheck to be deposited into my account, because today is the day I finally, at long last, pay my City of Buffalo property taxes.
Render unto Byron Brown that which is Byron Brown's!
I am not poor. But ever since I met Leonard Pennario and began spending all that time in California, everything has been late. Scrambled. Hand to mouth. Sometime during the summer my city tax bill showed up and it got buried under a pile of Pennario's records, and I didn't find it until last week. Great going, me! Yay!
Now I owe interest. It keeps going up. It is like Monty Python's Stop That Film. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. It is also like "Gone With the Wind." I feel like Scarlett O'Hara having to pay the taxes on Tara. Ha, ha! Listen to me. If I had a dollar for every dumb movie or TV simile I could come up with for this situation, I would not be in this situation in the first place.
Today is the magic moment. Today is the opportunity to get these taxes settled. At some charmed point this afternoon, my paycheck goes into my account, and then I will have a few hours to get my taxes paid before it is October, and the interest goes up again.
Whoo-hoo! Please, paycheck, go into my account! Please, City of Buffalo Web site, work!
This day, this triumph, this gigantic fiscal victory, is the result of weeks of implementing cutbacks. See, I mention Byron Brown, now I am talking like him. I love the way Byron Brown talks.
The cutbacks remind me of something that has been confusing me. This big financial crisis we keep hearing about? Supposedly it is the worst since the Great Depression. But I do not see anyone else cutting back the way I have been.
I have the fashion aisle of Amvets to myself.
In the dried-bean section of Save-A-Lot, I forage alone.
I don't see people giving up their Tim Horton's coffee.
And just this morning, in the Wall Street Journal, the front page is all about how the markets are tumbling, how all of us are broke. But inside, there's this story about this successful entrepreneur. Her "aha" moment? "She realized there was no frozen organic baby food available for busy working parents in the U.S."
If people are shelling out for frozen organic baby food, how bad can things be?
I like Howard's solution: "We just have to figure out how to make more money."