My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Do Not Mess With Me


(So – did NO ONE look at the horse cake photo I posted? Or, did you think it was so horrible a job you couldn’t even bring yourself to lie and post a “cute cake” note? I did not add the bridle and reins because I couldn’t find the right kind of licorice in time and since it turned out decent, I stopped with the icing while I was ahead. He’s a free-range pony. And, I took the photo before ruining his good looks with candles. So, leave me a note and pretend you liked him. Huh? I’d do the same for you.)

You would think that after almost six years of being a mother, I’d get used to abrupt change of plans, of heading in one direction only to be spun around on my toes and pointed into another. While I like change – especially at work because, damn, this place is in some serious need of some – if it’s good change, I do not think fast or on my feet. I like changes that I can plan for. Ha ha ha.

Here’s how the morning was supposed to go: Dusty was going to stay home and have a Dusty ‘n Daddy day. She was going to sleep late (which was good because her nose bleed last night required a bit of mopping up and none of us really got to sleep until midnight). I was going to take Red to daycare. Only one sandwich to make, less sunscreen to apply, etc. The routine would occur at a more leisurely pace.

Here’s how the morning actually went: Red woke up with pink eye. Which meant she could not go to school. I took my shower and then listened to my husband gripe (he handles change much worse than I do) about having both kids all day (boo hoo!). I woke up Dusty (not an easy task) and offered her the choice between school (swimming! Bike riding!) or being home with daddy and Red (not a good combo). She chose home but that was vetoed because of Red’s deadly contagion so Dusty had fifteen minutes to get up, get dressed, brush her teeth, etc. This is a child who can go into the bathroom and not emerge for 20 minutes or more. I don’t know what the hell she does in there. I am not a bathroom lingerer. Fortunately, after we wiped her clean of more crusty nose blood, she was able to dress quickly while I made her (and not Red) a sandwich, packed up her swim things, clean nap sheet and blanket, bike, blah blah blah, and we were on our way, breakfast in hand (bagel avec le crème fromage – are you impressed by my bad French?). I was only 10 minutes later to work than I normally am. Go me! And Red was left home with grumbling, unshowered daddy who had planned to mow the ranch this morning (life’s a bitch). Instead his parting words were, “The opposite of the day I’d planned; I’m against it.”


And of course yesterday just sucked and I was in a piss-poor mood all day. So, working with that anger and channeling it into something useful, I wrote the following letter to the City of Richmond in response to a Delinquent Tax Notice. I was instructed to send my money to them – post haste – at a collections agency in Atlanta. (!!) I. Don’t. Think. So.

* * * * * *

July 6, 2006

Beaverdam, VA

City of Richmond
“Delinquent Collections” Unit – (Motto: “Harassing the Innocent for 400 Years”)
Richmond, VA

To Whom It May Concern:

Where do I even begin? It boggles the mind to receive such obnoxious and blatantly WRONG tax bills from the city of my birth. I mean, is this the City’s secret way of bolstering its revenue? By putting ex-residents’ names in a box and pulling a couple out every month and insisting they owe personal property tax? For a randomly selected year?

Well, I have bad news for the City of Richmond. It’s all well and good for you to claim I owe you tax on a car I owned for the year 2003. Unfortunately for the City, I did not, nor did my car, reside in the City in 2003. In fact, this bill has so enraged me, I may NEVER move back into the City. Why deal with incompetence at this level when I can choose to live in a well-run, clean, and safer county which will also better educate my children? You tell me.

Please pay CLOSE ATTENTION here: From January 1, 2003 until mid-June 2003, I lived in the COUNTY OF HENXXX. I bought a house IN THE COUNTY OF HENXXX in June 2002. I paid the COUNTY OF HENXXX personal property tax for the second half of 2002 and the first half of 2003. Proof of this is enclosed.

Then, I MOVED TO HANXXXX COUNTY in June 2003. As you can see from the address on the bill you so irrationally sent me, not to mention the address at the heading of this letter, I still live there. As you can also see from the other enclosed attachment, I paid the COUNTY OF HANXXXX the personal property tax THEY (not the CITY) were owed for the second half of 2003.

For the record – I was born and raised in Richmond. I attended John B. Cary School, Henderson Middle School, and Open High School. I continued my education at VCU and lived and worked in the City for a total of thirty-six years until the rise in real estate assessments forced me to move to a place in which I could afford to raise my children. Here is more proof that regardless of the fact that I have ALWAYS paid my taxes (to the proper authorities, including Richmond), no good deed or good citizen goes unpunished. Thanks for that.


Former (and Proud of it) Resident of Richmond Since 2002,


cc: Mayor L. Douglas Wilder; Manoli Loupassi, Richmond City Council President

Enclosures: 2003 Tax Receipts from Counties of HenXXX and HanXXXX.

* * * *

The letters go in the mail today. As soon as I’m done here. Y’all have a good weekend!


9:10 a.m. ::
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