Last week sometime I got these complicated instructions and sample sheets to assist me apparently in putting together the documentation for the final accounting for the Tingle Family Trust. I should have known when I saw the word accounting that I was in trouble. I mean I can add and subtract and I did OK in math in school; usually I would get points for having the right idea (when you had to write your answers out, as they used to say) but I wasn’t very good at the detail part like making sure that one plus one equaled two.
Doing this stuff has given me a slightly better idea about what accountants do and a new found respect for that. Though I don’t know that I would have much respect for anybody who wanted to be an accountant. Fiddling with numbers suggested how much a person might fiddle around. I read somewhere about firms like Enron buying something or other that was projected to produce so and so much income in the coming years, and the accountants would figure what this income was supposed to be (even though they hadn’t gotten it yet) and claim it as part of assets on hand (though they really weren’t on hand at all) and those assets would be figured into the net worth of the company upon which other people based their gambling on the stock market.
Fiddling with these numbers was odd. Going over Joan’s checking account and finding bills for such things as her last month in the home where she was living, or for having her cremated, or having the dates carved on her tombstone back in SC. Or one for her last ride on earth—in an ambulance. It seems to me that they should give you some sort of discount for your last ride on earth. I think that would be a polite and human thing to do. Like, hey, that was her last ride on earth; we should give a discount. But no, we live in a capitalistic society. If the capitalists knew this was your last ride on earth, they would probably say, hey, this is going to be your last ride on earth, and if you want to take it we are going to charge you double. And you would probably pay it too, like they would have you over a barrel.
Or maybe you would say, screw it. I am going to die right here. I already took my last ride on earth.