As I’m Being Audited - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
As I’m Being Audited


On Friday, Dr. Bill Skinner, my wizard physician, gave me a flu shot with a needle that looked like a pneumatic hammer topped by the Chrysler Building. He did his usual fine job, but I have been woozy ever since. Dazzled.

That night, my pal Judah and I went down to Koreatown for barbecued beef. We sat next to a mixed-up group, mixed in every maddening way, a group that was competing to see if they could be the most noisy, infuriating neighbors in any restaurant. I really could see how people murder complete strangers.

Yesterday, I spent all day working on my 2016 taxes. I got an extension and so now I have to go through my checks for 2016, coding them as to charity, messenger, travel, medical, phone, and so forth. I write about 250 checks a month. That’s right, a month, so it’s a big job.

Plus, I’m being audited about my charitable gifts for 2015. The one-two punch of these IRS gambits has me reeling. When I get an audit notice — and I get a lot of them — it’s as if my head is being held under water for five minutes at a time, then allowed up for ten seconds, then dunked back under. This has been going on for months.

The combination of the IRS Blitz, plus my wife’s having been ill now for about six months, is really too much for a pitiful soul like me. This house is no longer a normal house. There are nurses everywhere and now, with the cruel heat, ants come in and attack everything they can find. The only thing I really enjoy is swimming in my pool and looking up at the clouds through the palm trees. It looks almost, well, prehistoric.

Last night, I went to a truly wonderful restaurant called Petit Four to get my wife some calves’ liver. She usually eats only Ensure. I don’t blame her. I love it a lot, too. It’s a sort of miracle food. I wonder what’s in it that makes it taste so great.

But the restaurant was a madhouse of heat, rushing around, shouted Farsi, staggeringly beautiful waitresses, and a long wait for what should have been pretty quick, and I was in a trance by the time I trudged to my Caddy.

After dinner, I watched a crazed movie with Klaus Kinski about slave trading in some long ago Portuguese colony. It was terrifying. The lives of the people in those colonies was horrifyingly cruel. Then when the slaves went to Brazil, or the USA, they were wildly mistreated. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But there were about three million slaves in 1861. What rights did they have? Or were they not considered men? Probably best not to think too much about that one. Amazingly amazing. (Notice how I love adverbs.)

Now, their descendants throw a ball and make 100,000 bucks an hour. America’s great.

This morning , I had a dream that there were prehistoric monster brontosauruses on our lawn. My feeble old dog, Julie, ran out to bark at them and clamber on their cast iron skins. In my dream, as I watched, my accountant, Michael Mesnick, CPA, called and — in the dream — told me that I absolutely had to get all my paperwork in for my audit right away. That was the worst part of the dream. Far worse than the brontosauruses. Government is scary.

That flu shot has me reeling.

Plus, what the heck is going on with Mr. Trump and Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and Senator Schumer? What kind of nut is Mr. Trump to sneer at his own party like this? Stupid question. Does he really think that Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Schumer have his back and that he can count on them when his pals get indicted and he gets impeached? Good luck.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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