"Highly sexed young men living on farms are always called Seth or Reuben" - Flora Poste played by Kate Beckinsale in Cold Comfort Farm
Today I did something I haven't done in fifteen years.
What was the occasion?
Well nothing sexy I can assure you.
I filled in an Australian tax return.
I decided to fill it in myself, though in Australia I'd always used an accountant, and I certainly do so here in the States as I have no idea as to what to do with the various forms with unfamiliar number-names.
So I went to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on-line to print off the forms. What joy! I only needed one.
It was so familiar. An Australian thing in my apartment! Memories flooded back. I felt quite weepy in a nice way.
"O no," I thought. "I am enamored by an ATO tax form. What is the world coming to? What am I becoming."
Tax returns for Individuals 2010". In America the tax forms are denoted by numbers which I can never remember. IT-150, IT-201, IT-201-ATT, IT-203, IT-203-ATT, IT-213 and so on to infinity. Unbelievable!
I looked at the top of my ATO Tax Form. Note that the headings are in lower case. And the off-beige background color. So elegant.
The only thing that was a little odd with the ATO form was the mail-to address, if you were not submitting on-line.
" ...mail your tax return in a business-sized envelope to:
Australian Taxation Office
GPO Box 9845
In your capital city
Do not replace the words in your capital city with the name of your capital city and its postcode – because of a special agreement we have with Australia Post, you do not need to do this."
But I even found that endearing. Though what the United States Postal System will make of it I hate to think. I can only hope they don't look at the address, but knowing New York and all the security regulations ...
Then I remembered. In Australia you pay the money after you've been assessed. No wonder our anthem starts off with, "Australians all let us rejoice"!!!
Then it was back to reality. I put on the telly and saw how BP has removed a containment cap on the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico in order that a better-fitting one can go on. Meanwhile, oil is now shooting freely from the riser.
I've been wondering the past few days about this tragedy - what happens to the space under the earth's crust where all this escaping oil used to be? Is there a vacuum? What will happen to the empty space that the departing oil leaves behind? What if the ocean gets sucked in to fill that empty space? Will we be able to walk to Cuba?
Scary stuff indeed!