Home > Life, Maybe there IS a God..., Pets, Weather > Hello, IRS? A Tornado Ate My Taxes!

Hello, IRS? A Tornado Ate My Taxes!

maybeThis is the call I almost had to make this morning:

“Hi, is this the IRS? Would you believe me if I told you that a tornado blew my taxes away?”  This is what I get for waiting until the last minute.

I drove Mama N’s car down to the mechanic this morning to get new brakes. I’d heard we were going to get some rain today, but as yet, it hadn’t happened. So I dropped off the car and headed down the road to get a key made at the hardware store and then to have some breakfast and kill time at McD’s.

It wasn’t until I was standing at the counter that I saw the color of the sky back up toward the mechanic. Slate gray is not a dark enough description. It had that indigo shade like nighttime just before the sun completely sets — only it was 8 in the morning.

Suddenly, the door behind me blew open and a guy with an armload of miscellaneous paper objects staggered in. “Did you see that??” he asked any of us that were in there. “I opened the hatchback on my car and a whole pile of papers flew across the street — I don’t even know what they were — but I hope they weren’t important!”

My blood turned to ice. My taxes were in the visor of the car waiting to be mailed! Did I put up the windows? I strained to look up the street but couldn’t see the car. Oh, please-please-please be working on it!

I realized I couldn’t do anything about it — I was stuck where I was. As I got my breakfast, the sky broke open with torrents of rain. Someone mentioned that there was a tornado WARNING — not just a WATCH — until 2 p.m.

I started to look around for places to hide. I saw a closet, the bathroom, even the legs of the benches that were bolted to the floor. I figured if the whole window blew in I wouldn’t be hit by the glass there. I started to think of the movie “Twister” and wished I’d put a belt on just in case.

I bantered with the paper guy — told him I had dibs on the utility closet — but I started to get a little nervous. How embarrassing would it be to die at McD’s? That’s totally not the last breakfast I want to have before I die!

But the wind finally slowed down and the rain stopped pounding so hard. Could I make a run for it? I picked up my tray and the paper guy said, “So, can I have the utility closet now?”

Tampa, being the lightning capital of the world, is not a place you want to challenge Mother Nature. She has no qualms about popping someone off at the beach or the golf course and it’s a really lousy way to go. I knew I was messing with fate by trying to get back to the mechanic but I had to make sure my taxes were still there.

Flicker-Flash-Boom-Crash! went the sky as I tried to figure out the least lightning-likely route. Yeah right. Home in my basement would be best. But I didn’t have that option here, nor is there a basement in any house in Florida.

So I put it out there, “If it’s my time, have at it, Mother!” and dodged puddles and open areas, one foot in front of the other, whistling a happy tune in my head. I waited in a low spot for the traffic clear, and then, with my hamstrings screaming from chalking a giant Easter bunny on my driveway the other day, I ran faster than I have in years!

I got to the garage, ripped open the door, and very calmly walked inside. I didn’t feel a need to share my terror with the other patrons. But my soaking shirt and hat belied my calm exterior. “WHEW!” I expelled the air I’d been holding. Then we all took a collective deep breath and thanked the Mother. So far so good.

But what about my taxes? I furtively peeked my head around to look through the window. There was the car up on the lift, and sticking out of the passenger side visor was the telltale envelope. YESSSS!!!! I never thought I’d be happy about sending my hard-earned money to the government, but on this day I was elated!

Several hours later, with new brakes in the car, and taxes in the post office mailbox, I pulled back into my neighborhood. There, running along the sidewalk was one of my pet sitting customer’s dogs, a Sharpei named Frisco. She is terrified of storms. She’ll rip her face off if she’s confined inside so they got a doggie door so she could get out into the fenced in back yard. Well, today, even that wasn’t big enough.

I tried for an hour to get her inside the fence to no avail. She only wanted to go in the front door. I had no key, so my only hope was the doggie door. Fat Savannah, one of the other Sharpeis, could fit through but as I got down on my knees and scoped it out, I had my doubts. I had to get Frisco inside. Hamstrings raging again, I got down and wiggled my head and shoulders through, sliding my face along the kitchen floor. (If anyone ever needs to know my size, my hips just make it through a medium-size doggie door — the vertical way).

I opened the front door and Frisco waltzed right in as though nothing had happened, kind of like me going through the door at the mechanic. But she was exhausted from her trauma and after I dried her off, she went over and curled up on the doggie bed in the front window.

2 p.m. has come and gone, and though it’s still blustery out, I think the worst is over. Trees are down in New Port Richey and pea-sized hail fell in Dunedin, but I don’t think there was an actual tornado anywhere — that I know of.

So Mother Nature gave me a bye this time, saving me from the tax man, AND letting me live long enough to help rescue one of my little dog buddies. I guess I’m feeling pretty blessed and wanted to let you all know it.

But it sure was exciting there for a while!

  1. April 15, 2009 at 2:51 am

    The only thing that would make this any funnier would be a photo of you going through the dog door. As you know, all we have here are blizzards and ice storms. They’re inconvenient, but they don’t pick you up, toss you around and throw you back down again. So if you decide evacuation is the way to go anytime, you, Mama N and the dogs are all welcome here.

  2. April 15, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Hey, the only reason I’m even telling you about the doggie door is the fact that there were no witnesses BUT the doggies!

  3. Kathi
    April 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Being the mother of the Freaky Frisco, I am certainly glad Ellen had an adventurous day. Hey Ellen, ever think about trying out for Cirque du Soleil??? Sounds like you can contortion with the best of ’em!

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