Vol. 339 No. 006
Happy Ides of March: According to a knowledgeable and respected Roman psychological historian, Pliny Schwartz, (not to be confused with his brother Ajax Schwartz, the head of the Roman IRS) we now know that home-made soup, preferably minestrone, will save you from most bad stuff the Ides may throw at you. I use a lot of potatoes in my own homemade soup. I mean, who doesn't like potatoes in their soup, including Mr. Ides of March? And who would prefer, say, turnips or rutabaga? (Even the words are terrifying. Say them aloud, you'll see what I mean.) I do hope all of you paid attention and thus survived the Ides, mostly unscathed.
Of course I don't have to remind you (but naturally I will) that your taxes are due in LESS than a month, so get your engine revved and do the math or use a tax person. Do you know about tax person species? They gestate during the winter and emerge in full bloom in February, to catch all those very virtuous, on-top-of-things sort of people. Like you. As for the procrastinators, the lackadaisical, the too busy, the absolute haters of the whole process, sorry, but you don't have a choice, get it together. (You could always choose jail time.) The trick to getting your butt in the chair is this: Think of tax time as Christmas on steroids. (I doubt, of course, that YOU rarely leave your gift buying until the last minute.) And don't forget deductions, they're like manna from Heaven, don't you think? I picture the IRS bosses sitting around a big conference table, smoking cigars, swilling bourbon and wondering why they're hated. Then one says, "You know, the early Roman IRS director, Ajax Schwatz, was really smart. He provided bread and circuses to keep the populace happy. So I'm thinking that we can do something like that too, like actually let them keep some of their own money. We'll call them deductions, maybe four of them. What do you think?" And the big bosses decided that this was a good con. "And if the idiots can figure out the very complicated tax codes that would be added to and revised each and every year, and actually quality for the precious three or four deductions, they could, yes, actually keep a little bit of their own money. I figure they earned it." Another said, "But not that much." And the Big Bosses congratulated each other and toasted Ajax Schwartz.
What a rant. Just tear it off and toss it. I'll go flagellate myself for spewing out a script for Reality TV.
Succulent Publishing News:
Last Thursday I sent off INSIDIOUS, the 20th FBI thriller (yep, that's right, count 'em, 20!) to my new editor at Simon and Schuster. I have to wait until Monday to hear what she thinks. She's read only three of my books, so, yep, bring out the fingernails and get ready to nibble. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed, please.
I'm working hard on THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, (hereafter known as TDT, but not to be confused with the condition brought on by abruptly stopping the abused intake of spirits.) Oh yes, TDT is the 4th thriller in the BRIT in the FBI series, co-written with J.T. Ellison. TDT has an extra dose of crazy, wild and magic. Picture this: (a teaser) -- Mike and Nicolas escape bad guys, riding a motorcycle down a long Etruscan tunnel, the tunnel is blocked but Nicholas and Mick shoot clips into it, weakening it, and they blast right through and go flying out over Lake Castiglione Del Lago. And what happens? You guys are going to love this.
Go taxes, and go Warriors -- 50 consecutive home game wins. So far --