April 7, 1965
Jocie Brooke reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. Do not, I repeat, do not get close to my father today. He is in the middle of doing taxes. The door on his office at the paper is closed and I don’t think even Zella would have the nerve to knock on it.
“Not even if the press breaks down,” Wes says.
“Not even if the building catches on fire,” I say.
“Not even if gypsies come in the office and steal all the papers off the counter without throwing the first dime in the dish,” Zella says.
That sounds a little crazy even for Zella. What would a gypsy want with a copy of the Hollyhill Banner? But she says when she was a girl, her parents were always warning her about gypsies. Then she looks at Wes like she thinks he might be from wherever gypsies come from instead of Jupiter and at me like she hopes it they do come in the offices, they’ll grab me instead of a copy of the Banner.
It was wild enough here last week without any gypsies showing up, after Dad put that piece in the paper about a Yenom Tree. You’d think people would figure out all that was a joke since it was April 1, but Zella says that some people think if it’s printed on paper, it has to be true.
She refused to answer the phones all that day and there were plenty of calls. Even those who knew it was just an April Fools joke called. Some to complain that a newspaper shouldn’t print foolishness and others to tell Dad how much fun they had with the story.
You truly cannot please all the people all the time. And old Abe was right that you can’t please some people any of the time. I know a certain woman whose name starts with “Z” that falls in that category. But Yenom. Hold it up in front of mirror. That’s money spelled backwards. And even if you didn’t figure that you, you surely could figure out that money does not grow on trees.
If it did, we’d try to raise one so that Dad wouldn’t have to worry about April 15 and taxes. He says he just can’t figure out why we owe taxes when money is scarce as hen’s teeth around here. He doesn’t want us to answer that and we’ve learned to keep quiet and leave that door shut until he has the tax form in the envelope, stamped and ready. Then he’ll be smiling again and saying how it’s a blessing to make enough money to need to pay taxes. But his smile will get bigger when Wes speaks up to ask, “Did you ever notice how you can put the and IRS and it spells theirs?”
Dad will laugh about that tomorrow. Today he has a tax form headache.