Two and a half million people can be wrong: 2

February 1st, 2007

This guest blog comes to you courtesy of the Daily Express.

90 years old and STILL
paying his taxes...
THANK YOU for attempting to access the Beachcomber column, but you've caught
me at rather a bad moment. It's January 31, you see, and I've just gone to
do my tax returns and I may be some time.
It's all very well them asking me to subtract the lesser of box b47 and box
c23 from the sum (or difference, as appropriate, see Guidelines p.73
paragraph 5) of box b35 and a37 and enter "zero" if the result is negative,
which it always so I don't see why we went through all that rigmarole
anyway, but do these chaps at Inland Revenue appreciate how many bits of
paper I have to gather from around Beachcomber Towers just to work out what
figure is meant to go into box b47 in the first place?
Right, that's got all the bills and receipts together. Now for a bit of
organising. But first, I think, after all that scrambling I deserve a cup of
tea. I'll just pop to the kitchen and put the kettle on. 
Oh hello! Are you still there? The tea was most refreshing, and so was the
second cup. I'm ready now for some serious form-filling. Where was I? Oh
yes, box b47.
Wait a minute, I need the 2005 third quarter Sundry Ancillary Expenses file
for that box, and it's not here. It must be in the gazebo; I seem to
remember Mrs B using it to transport compost last year. Hang on. I'll go and
get it. 
Sorry to have been so long. It's amazing what you find in a gazebo. Do you
remember that armchair? The one with the broken leg? Well, I've mended it.
All it needed was a long enough nut and a bolt, and I found just the thing
in the Sundry Ancillary Expenses file. Must have dropped it there when I
went to try to mend the chair last Spring. It worked a treat, though I did
take some time finding the pliers. They were back in the West Wing where the
ex-Deputy Sommelier had taken them to tune the harpsichord - or so he said.
Anyway, the chair is now as stable as ever, though I had to repot a few
snails that had decided to make their home among its back netting. 
Right, back to the taxing affairs of the moment. Box b47.  Once I've got past
that, it'll all be plain sailing. Talking of sailing, I'm always reminded of
seafood, and if I'm not very much mistaken, there's a salmon in the fridge
that needs cooking, and all that chair-repairing has made me feel a bit
peckish.  I'll just look up some salmon recipes on the Internet and get back
to the tax in a moment.
Sorry if I've kept you waiting, but that was really delicious. Making one's
own puff pastry takes time, but it's well worth the effort. And that Rick
Stein really knows what he's talking about. I'd never have thought of adding
currants and stem ginger to the salmon, but it worked beautifully and went
so well with the Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut. 
Right. Box b47. I wonder what's on the television? I'll just look at the
guide to see if there's a good film I can look forward to when I've got this
form completed. I fancy I'll be in the mood for something tastefully
violent. Now where did I leave the TV guide? I'll just pop downstairs and
see if it's in the billiards room.
Did you see that shot? I potted the black off three cushions. Junior was
there and challenged me to a game. Well I could hardly disappoint the young
fellow. Oh my goodness, is that the time? I'll never get the tax done by
today's deadline. Still, it's given me a good idea: I think I'll write a
column about displacement activities.  

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