I spoke too soon—about a few things.
In a February post I pined for the old American Comedy Awards, but took solace in the fact that Comedy Central would be starting a new comedy award program in April.
Then a few weeks ago, I gloated about having finished my taxes three weeks early.
As these sentiments came back to me yesterday, I ended up eating my words.
First, I suddenly remembered that, in addition to federal and state income taxes, I had to file state personal property taxes for my business. The form is only six pages long, but it causes me more heartburn than anything I do all year. I do this one myself, rather than rely on a tax preparer, because it should be relatively simple. I work in an eight-by-ten-foot home office, with very few assets and, but for a few printer cartridges, purchased nothing in the past year.
Still, factoring in dread and recovery on either end, filling out the form takes me several hours, and I had put it off until the last weekend day before April 15.
I got psyched up by promising myself that, if I finished filling out the ugly tax form Sunday afternoon, I would treat myself to an evening enjoying Comedy Central’s first annual Comedy Awards.
So I plowed through several pages of instructions, and tackled the analysis of the original cost of my assets by year of acquisition, a balance sheet breakdown of the value of furniture, fixtures and equipment, accumulated depreciation, depreciation per year for the last five years and the net book value. I filled out a form for the disposal of machinery (a deceased computer). I wrote a check for $300, a “filing fee” that is charged simply for the privilege of being sent a tax bill. Then I took two Extra Strength Tums.
The process was tedious and gut-wrenching. I sweated, groaned, clenched, cramped and did a year’s worth of cursing, but I got it done. It was time to curl up in front of the Comedy Awards.
I was beyond psyched. After all, the nation’s great comedic pioneers and geniuses were behind the creation of this new event: Stephen Colbert, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Seth MacFarlane, Conan O’Brien, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Phil Rosenthal, George Schlatter, Jon Stewart and Lily Tomlin, among others.
The joke was on me. It was the worst awards program I’d ever seen, bar none, and this includes the TV Land Awards, the Teen Choice Awards and every other low budget, low talent competition in modern television.
I had more fun doing my taxes.
One bright spot – Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig won Best Actress. It almost made the misery worth enduring. Almost.