Fun with Number$

I do not like to handle money. Maybe that’s because I worked in a bank for 10 years and had to balance my cash drawer every night before I could go home. Actually, before anyone could go home, which made it all the worse when I came up short or over — all those people patiently waiting for me to find my error while I counted all the pennies, nickels and dimes for the umpteenth time. It wasn’t unusual to stay an hour past quitting time just to find a few cents. And believe me, to a bank, over is just as bad as short. The day I quit I swore I would never handle money again.

My husband handles our household finances. The only account I take an interest in (pun intended)  is my savings account, in which I deposit the teeny-tiny checks I get from book sales. I like to watch things grow. Some day I may have saved enough to purchase a postage stamp.

So when our writers’ club treasurer announced that she did not want to be re-elected for a another term we had a problem. It seemed no one else wanted the job either. Everyone looked studiously at the ceiling or their shoes when the president begged for a volunteer.

Do you remember the movie, Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”? (It was 1964, so you probably don’t.) Anyway, Peter Sellers’ character kept involuntarily raising his arm in a Nazi salute and he kept trying to bat it back down with his other hand as if it weren’t connected to his body at all.

That’s how I felt when my arm slowly rose in the air. There was a collective sigh of relief. And I went home with a carload of canceled checks, old deposit tickets, filled-up check books, tax returns and other stuff I haven’t looked at yet.

So now I spend one morning a month switching from my right brain to my left brain and going over the statements, writing checks to pay bills, transferring funds, making deposits and the whole ghastly business of keeping our accounts balanced. We have to pay quarterly sales tax on our  anthologies. Tax forms have to be filed, even though we are a non-profit. Or is it not-for-profit, I can never remember.

See, even thinking about it makes me split an infinitive.

So that is why I don’t complain too much when my books don’t go viral and sell a gazillion copies. Think of all the extra math I’d have to do. Taxes! Shelters! Annuities! Investments!

It boggles my mind.

Excuse me. Someone just mentioned that I could hire an accountant if I were making that much money.


As Miss Emily Litella* would say, “Never mind!”

*As portrayed by the late Gilda Radner on Saturday Night Live.


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