Friday, April 23, 2010

Deadlines and Numbats

This week I got a request to explain the term deadlines. You may think this term really needs no explanation. It seems pretty obvious if you just look at the word. Dead means not alive and lines are places you stand if you have too much time on your hands and you need to waste some. So, deadlines are wastes of time that will take your life or make you want to take someone else’s life.

There, now that we have cleared that up…what, you still don’t understand? Okay, let me try again. Deadlines are arbitrary numbers derived from complicated equations, illegal substances (or large amounts of legal substances), Magic 8 Balls, and dice. The resulting numbers usually refer to dates that have already passed or will pass long before anyone remembers what the dates were for.

Speaking of deadlines, someone this week told me I should check out numbats, since they differ from wombats by only two letters. Who new there were so many ‘mbat animals out there. Anyway, they come from Australia too. They look like a mish-mash of a squirrel, a kangaroo, a mouse, an anteater, and a zebra and their tongues can stretch out to half the length of their bodies.

In any case, they are slow movers, probably because their bodies cannot figure out what they are actually supposed to be, which brings me back to deadlines. I bet they don’t actually have any. Maybe we should take some lessons from these little marsupials; slow down to eat the termites every now and again. Sure it’s gross, but it must be relaxing, because you don’t see numbats running helter skelter.

I would like to leave you with an important bit of information you may need if you enjoy the rigors of passive activities and get paid for them.

"Passive activity income does not include the following: Income for an activity that is not a passive activity."
--IRS form 8583, Passive Activity Loss Limitation

I am not sure exactly what passive activity is, but I bet it has something to do with the exercise pills that trick your body into thinking you are exercising while you are sitting on the couch watching Lost and wondering when in the world you are ever going to get any answers about what in the world is going on, and how many cans of Wild Cherry Pepsi you can drink before you actually have to get up and do something about it (the unbearable pressure in your bladder that feels much worse when you stand up and try to hobble to the bathroom without wetting yourself along the way). Such is the life of the passive activist.

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