Tax like an Egyptian Hometown Girl Elizabette Guecamburu
by Elizabette Guecamburu for the Patterson Irrigator
Feb 16, 2012 | 1130 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like — spring?

With the unseasonably warm and dry weather making even the Sahara feel temperate, it’s starting to seem a whole lot more like spring than winter. Trees are beginning to bud, and hordes of birds are flying north.

Nature isn’t the only one confused — I’m not sure whether to wear my fuzzy winter boots or my plaid Converse sneakers. Normally, this would be an easy decision. Winter means fuzzy boots. The rest of the year? Plaid sneakers. But, with the highs well into the 60s, my feet are just as confused as the squawking birds flying above my house.

Like me, you might be tempted into preparing for spring already. Perhaps by stocking up on seeds for the garden or discarding your New Year’s diet resolution by buying bushels of chocolate candy eggs before they get picked over by other shoppers.

But, there is something even more important that requires our attention this season. To some, I know, nothing seems as important as eating milk chocolate bunnies, but, trust me, there is something.

Tax day.

Please don’t throw that candy egg at me — I really don’t mean to burst your bubble.

OK, maybe I do.

But, honestly, tax season is approaching fast. Even though it’s February, you should begin thinking about it, at least. Start gathering receipts, adding up deductions and unearthing the old calculator that gathers dust in the drawer the other 11 months of the year.

And, for goodness’ sake, give your accountant a call. Don’t wait until the last minute. Like you, they have no desire to stay up all night to make sure you’ve accounted for every prescription and gallon of gas or determine whether you can count your hamster as a dependent.

Before you start complaining about taxes, you should really be thankful we aren’t ancient Egyptians. In ancient Egypt, folks who couldn’t pay their taxes would be forced into slavery, building the giant pyramids still standing today. In fact, the old Egyptian word for “labor” means the same thing as “taxes.”

It was not a pleasant existence. Rather than suffering the long, drawn-out death of hunger and exhaustion, you were a lucky Egyptian slave to be killed instantly by an enormous slab of falling rock.

That should make you feel better about your income tax deductions. Better than being crushed by a huge piece of limestone, right?

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” When discussing those poor ancient Egyptians, perhaps Mr. Franklin wouldn’t mind me rephrasing his famous words: In this world, nothing is certain but death from taxes.

• Elizabette Guecamburu, a volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is a writer and a native Patterson resident. She can be reached at

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