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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Zolton Does Amazon: Taxed to the Max

Zolton Does Amazon: Taxed to the Max

I originally wrote this piece for MediaShower.com, for use on the late, great comedy site ZuG.com. Text and images published here with permission.

If there’s one thing I hate more about mid-April than our local proctologist’s annual “Colonoscopy 2-for-1 Blow-In” special, it’s Tax Day. Every April 15th, I scramble through overstuffed shoeboxes and unmarked envelopes, desperately cobbling together pay stubs and paperwork and WTF-2 forms in a vain attempt to keep the tax man at bay.

Then Uncle Sam shoves his hands down my pockets and yanks out my disposable income by the short and curly roots. And what can I do about it? All I’ve got is a four-year-old tax return and three Burger King lunch receipts. I’m cooked. Somehow, being lazy and disorganized and awful with money and numbers and planning has turned around to bite me in the ass. Who’d have thunk it?

Well, not this Tax Day, friends. This year, I got smart and brought in a little tax planning help from my friends at Amazon. Read on for my tax-beating tips — and my actual Amazon reviews of all the products listed — and maybe you’ll make it through tax season without being bent over on all fours, too.

Sadly, these tips don’t work on the ambidextrous neighborhood proctologist. I won’t be sitting down straight until the 4th of July. I’m telling you, that guy is a menace.

SentrySafe 6000 File Cabinet

My Amazon Review:

First, I had to get organized. So I bought this heavy-duty cabinet to store all my paperwork. This baby is fireproof, tipproof, burglarproof, and kickproof. Snakes can’t get in. It can hold its breath in a flood longer than you can. It’s not ticklish, and you can’t tunnel underneath it like in that movie with the guy who was in the other thing. It’s pretty much the perfect document storage system.

Unless you happen to lose the key — which I did within thirty seconds of putting all my papers into it. That’s when I figured out it’s also biteproof, punchproof, stab resistant, doesn’t short out if you whiz on it, and won’t open even when a grown exhausted man cries like a little girl beside it.

Did I mention humpproof? Yeah. That, too.

They should really put that stuff in the description. My tax prep is toast, but it’s one strong hunka cabinet.

Tax for the Self-Employed

My Amazon Review:

As a semi-pro freelance striped rugby shirt model, my tax situation can be somewhat … tricky. This book seemed like a great resource for navigating the choppy waters of my personal finance seas.

On the good side, the tips I found here saved me nearly two hundred dollars in tax breaks and job-related allowances. On the bad? The paperback cost just under sixteen thousand dollars.

I’ma be sporting a LOT of striped shirts to get this number paid off. I may even have to “layer.”

TurboTax Deluxe – 1996

My Amazon Review:

Clearly, I need all the state-of-the-art tax help I can get. And this “TurboTax” gizmo seems to be popular with the revenuer dodgers and fancy suits these days, so I gave it a whirl. I just failed to notice that this version is from sixteen freaking years ago, and therefore not as much help in tax prep as, say, a rusty abacus and a bonk on the head.

Still, I tried to get something out of the investment. And miserably failed. The CD-ROM in this thing only works on Windows 95, 98, or 2000. I’m running a household here, not an antique electronics store! My computer wasn’t even born when those systems gave up the ghost. The closest I could get to 1996 technology was my old toaster, so I tried shoving the CDs in there to see if they’d play. But no. The thing just sparked and smoked and tripped the breaker in the kitchen. I guess the toaster was a Mac.

Mmmmmm … smells like refund!

Traditional Banker’s Lamp

My Amazon Review:

After several setbacks, it was clear I’d have to do my taxes myself. So I wanted to look the part of amateur accountant. This attractive and sturdy green-shade lamp made just the statement on my desk that I wanted — somber and responsible, meticulous and diligent, capable and smart. With this lamp illuminating my home office desk, I knew I’d find a way to slog through my finances.

That was before I turned it on — and saw how it turned everything behind the shade an eerie luminous green. Five minutes later, I was running pantsless with it into the living room to show my wife:

“HEY HONEY — MY JUNK LOOKS LIKE FRANKENSTEIN!”

So as usual, we’ll be applying for an “extension”.

On the TAXES. Don’t be a hater.

Incredible Hulk or Kermit the Frog? Only the lamp — and my tax preparer — knows for sure.

Join in on the prank! Click the links to see each real-life Amazon review, then mark them as “helpful” so they rise to the top of the list on Amazon. Or click here to read and rate the entire library of Zolton reviews!

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