A marker, a crayon, and a tax form

You gotta love the federal government. Yeah, the same people who insist we warn our children that peanut butter may contain peanuts, because the gunk was processed in a facility which may process peanuts. This is the same group of wonderful people who insist a cigarette package be labelled with a warning, but who require no warning label on a fifth of Jack Daniels. Here in West-by God-Virginia, my state government does not provide many of the same services the federal government does, it makes do on much less- our label budget is dwarfed by the federal label pool. You could say that West Virginia is “leaner” and “not necessarily meaner.”

This may explain why West Virginia tax filing instructions do not resemble the federal tax jungle, especially the instructions for non e-filers. One is instructed to make letters and numbers similarly to the non-electronic letters and numbers insisted by the federal bureau of tax instructions for cyber-challenged individuals (FBTICCI, or Fabuticci). And one is reminded of this and of that, just like the federal tax instructions. However, it is the next series of statements that separate the men from the boys (down in Washington). For there in plain black and white one reads that you should not write with “colored pencils, or markers…” and one must “place it within the lines.”

Creative people rarely like to color within the lines, and some even resort to strange tools to do their work (like the artist who uses a trowel to layer-paint his works with icing-splotches). I suppose we Mountaineers are more colorful folk, which is why we tend to use crayons and markers on our tax forms. Besides, there’s too much white space, not enough expression…

Somewhere scattered among the people of towns like Bergoo, War, and Pickle Street, our artists are gathering their colored pencils, sharpening them, ready to show the state just how creative we are. For at the heart of all West Virginians, we have an independent streak, an expressiveness few can match. We post our tax forms on the walls of our schools, cover our refrigerators with IT-140 art, and bathe in the aura of fine spring art showings where our works compete against the greatest artists of the east. We are simply a culture within a culture within a…trying to express ourselves…

Well, actually, we just like to color. Is there any law against that?

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