Guess what I’m working on this afternoon? To encapsulate my mood on the task before me, none could come closer to a more accurate description than my favourite Robertson Davies, pardon me Samuel Marchbanks.
FromThe Diary of Samuel Marchbanks:
Week 17, Saturday
Having averted my face from it for several weeks, I tackled the problem of Income Tax today. People of a mathematical turn of mind tell me that the forms are very simple if you attack them logically, but I am incapable of attacking an Income Tax form logically, or even coolly. Whatever my Better Self may say about citizenship and duty, my Worser Self remains convinced that it is a wicked shame that the government should take a big chunk of my earnings away from me, without so much as telling me what the money is to be used for. I know about the Baby Bonus, of course, but whose baby specifically, am I bonussing with my money? Probably a damp, sour-smelling baby which I should hate if I met it face to face. Whose Old Age Pensions am I paying?* Probably those of some lifelong prohibitionists, if the truth were known! People to whom I would not give a used paper handkerchief if I met them in the street are picking my pockets by means of this iniquitous Income Tax! The whole thing puts me into such a passion that I am incapable of adding and subtracting correctly. Clutching hands seem to snatch at me out of the paper until I scream and scream and scream.
* Ed. note (Robertson Davies, editor) Marchbanks has himself been an Old Age Pensioner for many years, and a recipient of the publication Especially for Seniors (circulation 810,980) distributed free by the Government of Ontario. Lifelong journalist that he is, Marchbanks attempted to contribute to this magazine, but after the rejection of two deeply-pondered articles–Make Friends With Your Bladder, and Rocking-Chair Sex for the Over-Eighties, he gave up in discouragement