I am not bragging, and you will know that from the rest of this post, but when I was a teenager, my teacher took me aside and said, " You tested near genius on the IQ test."
What she might have actually said was, "You tested near a genius on that test," because I was sitting next to a guy who always said he was smarter than I was, and today's experience with doing my income taxes pretty much made me feel like a dunce.
I lead a pretty simple life, but it still took me eight hours with my friend Turbo Tax for me to learn how many more thousands of dollars my Washington uncle wanted me to chip in for his spending spree.
I am not complaining because I really do feel privileged to live here and pay taxes, I just hate the fact that I don't have clue how to do it on my own. I'm sure if that same teacher is now using Turbo Tax to do her taxes that she is thinking "Well this little piece of software is a lot smarter than that Thuss lad was."
Sitting at my desk with my glassy eyes riveted to my computer screen, I realized that I had completely given over the control of my life to a programmed machine. I was asked so many question where my best response was, "Huh?" and my worst responses were a string of four letter words, until Turbo Tax went off and found the answer on its own from somewhere in the multiverse.
I had to assume it was the right answer, because I didn't want to insult its intelligence by questioning it's conclusions when I had no clue what the right answer was anyway. If it decided to get mad and stop helping me, I was going to have to leave the country because I could never successfully file on my own.
Going to another human to look for help would have been out of the question because they all use software too since nothing with a brain constructed using DNA could ever read and understand the fifty-six hundred page bible called the US Tax Code that Congress and the IRS constructed to keep you from understanding what you really owe.
At the very end Turbo Tax asked me if I wanted audit insurance, and I thought of myself sitting in an auditor's office on my own without TurboTax there to help me. I may not be a genius, but I'm sure smart enough to know that ain't going to happen.