I watched the news, heard the rumors, looked to the heavens for signs, and then the announcement came:
Rebate Checks will be issued in May!!
I was excited, elated, jumping up and down, ‘cuz the end of all my problems, all our problems were here, and soon, in my mailbox would be the end to all the economic downturn of the last few months as The Bush Administration announced free money for everybody with no strings attached.
Could it be real, I wondered?
I started planning the things I could buy like a new television because my old one will be obsolete come February.
I could pay the interest on my late bills.
I could now afford the high cost of food.
Or I might fill half a gas tank.
Whatever it went for, I was glad the money was coming. The news said the first checks would arrive around May 8th, so I put off paying my cell phone bill. I figured I could count on money from Uncle George.
Well, May 8th came and went as there was no money in my mailbox.
So did the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, and still no check.
Somewhere in between, they raised the cost of stamps, and I wanted to call the post office to see if they put enough money on my check’s envelope. But I forgot that I didn’t pay my phone bill.
The 14th came and I got worried. There was still no lil’ brown envelope in my mailbox.
So, I looked in my neighbor’s box. No check there, either. But there were tons advertisements for places that would offer me deals to cash my non-arriving check. Free groceries, free service charges and free pre-paid credit cards if I was to give them my whole check.
I then proceeded to knocked on my neighbor’s door and inquire about their check. They were having the same luck. I asked to use their phone to call friends and family, but I remembered that they were on my phone plan and their phones were off, too.
So, I went to work (the only other place I knew that gave money) and asked my co-workers have they saw this check.
Again, a round of negatives.
I was perplexed. Uncle George promised me some money, so where was it?
I decided to go to the source and used my valuable work time to go on the internet and visit the IRS website. It was there that I learned to my disappointment that these checks are on a system of release based on my last numbers of my social security number and would be doled out over the next few months.
I was confused, hurt, and without phone service. I couldn’t understand how my government couldn’t afford to pay me at the same time as everyone else. Was my government broke? Were we now on a system of communism?
I could see vouchers for bread and toilet paper in my future.
Eventually after some searching on the IRS website, I found out that my check might not get to me until the end of June. Also, there was a handy calculator on there to tell me just how much I might get which turns out to about 300 dollars.
Which, by the end of June, will be worth about a half tank of gas.
Thanks Uncle George, I’m not feeling very stimulated.