Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Being a smart aleck with the IRS won't work out quite like it did for Mr. Sedgwick Slick, the phantom of folklore. Sedgwick, a handsome young man, appeared for his IRS audit with his buddy, Barney. Introductions proceeded. Alears introduced herself as the auditor.

After reviewing Sedgwick's records and considering information received from an informant, Alears confronted the good-looking Sedgwick. "Hmmm... Mr. Slick, I'm sorry, but it's plain to me that you're living well beyond the income you've reported on your return. Looks to me like you owe at least four grand in additional taxes for the income you have omitted."

Sedgwick answered, "Please, call me Sedgwick. Gambling's my game. I never lose when I make a bet. Let's say I had a good year."

Alears gave Sedgwick a skeptical stare.

"I see you doubt me," said Sedgwick. "I'll show you, if you want."

Alears asked, "What's on your mind?" She was, after all, an auditor, curious and inquisitive by nature.

Sedgwick smiled broadly at Barney, and then told Alears, "I'll wager 2,000 bucks against what you say that I owe that I can bite my own eye."

Alears wondered what the catch was, but said, "That's not possible. You're on." If she lost, she could adjust her report even though it wouldn't be right.

Sedgwick Slick removed a glass eye, slipped it into his mouth, and parted his lips, revealing the eyeball resting between his teeth.

Alears swore under her breath.

"Double or nothing?" Sedgwick said. "I'll bet I can do the same thing with my other eye."

Clearly, Sedgwick Slick wasn't blind. Alears needed to get out of this predicament. "You're on," she said, deciding that such a feat was impossible.

Sedgwick popped the artificial eye back into its socket. Then he removed a set of dentures, taking them in both of his hands, and manipulating them to nibble at his seeing eye.

Alears almost swallowed her own tongue. Now she was in real trouble. This whole thing had put her job at risk, and she felt horrible about her ethical lapses. She felt sick to her stomach.

"Okay, okay," Sedgwick said. "I see that I've upset you. I didn't want to do that. I'll go double or nothing with you again. This time I'll bet you $1,000 I can stand here" --- he slapped her desktop --- "and take a whiz into your waste paper basket over there by the door and never get a drop anywhere in between."

Alears had no idea what to do. She analyzed the situation as only an IRS auditor could. Her job was at risk. This crook was about to get away without paying his taxes. And there was no way on earth Sedgwick Slick could pull this one off.

"Okay," she said. At the very worst, she figured, if someone noticed the spectacle she could claim Sedgwick Slick was entirely insane. People audited by the IRS often acted in very strange and crazy ways.

So Sedgwick jumped onto her desk, quickly aimed, and let loose. He utterly missed, getting it all over. Sedgwick grinned.

Alears smiled, too. Thank goodness, she thought. Then she noticed Sedgwick's friend, Barney. He had turned green and looked ready to vomit.

"You okay?" Alears asked.

"No," Barney said. "Before we got here, I made a bet with Sedge. He bet me $20,000 that he could take a tinkle on your desk and you'd be happy about it!"

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