During every crisis, what surfaces like flowers in a garden or weeds in my backyard? Scams. And this pandemic is no exception - particularly concerning the Economic Impact Payments that I discussed last week.
The IRS wants you to take extra care during this time and to remember the IRS isn't going to call asking you to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster. And don’t open or click on attachments in surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Go to IRS.gov for the most up-to-date information. Be diligent and if it seems suspicious, it probably is.
The Economic Impact Payments should start going out this week. And if you want to know the status of your payment, the IRS has set up a portal called “Get My Payment” which will go live on April 17th. You can find “Get My Payment” by going to IRS.gov, and then clicking on “Get Info on Economic Impact Payment”. From there scroll down to “Get My Payment”. The federal government tends to over promise and under deliver. But because it is herculean task to set up this new payment system, be patient if it takes longer than you hoped.
For those who barely scrape by on Social Security, the Economic Impact Payment is a life saver. But for those of us who are doing okay – or better, consider donating some of the payment to your favorite non-profit. I know several non-profits had to cancel their fundraising events which they depend on to carry out their missions. For example, the Center and Meals-on-Wheels are both losing thousands of dollars because Thursday and Saturday night bingo have been canceled. So consider giving a little extra to your favorite non-profit or your church so when these difficult times pass, they can continue doing their important work.
My wife and I usually don’t eat out much, but during this pandemic when the restaurants that have remained open are struggling, we have decided to start ordering takeout twice a week from our favorite local restaurants. I don’t know any local restaurant that does not help support the community - and now they need our support. If you have your favorite restaurant or have always wanted to try out a different restaurant’s menu, this is the time to skip the cooking. Because as Jack often said, “Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it”.
I imagine most of you have been around long enough to know that bleach is an excellent disinfectant. But to be fully effective you should follow these steps. Start by cleaning the surface with soap and water. Then spray or wipe the surface with a bleach solution and let stand for 10 minutes before rinsing and drying the surface. What I didn’t know is that the bleach solution (I use one teaspoon per eight ounces of water) starts to lose its effectiveness after 24 hours, so change the solution every day.
The mail order company headquartered in Chicago Illinois that offered customers a wider selection of products than the local general store was named Sears and Roebuck and Company. I received only two correct answers from Rhonda Spies and Barbara Cadwell who are both winners of a quilt raffle ticket.
Norman Lear produced several groundbreaking television series in the 70’s. This one which premiered in 1972 (That is almost a half a century ago!) was about a family whose father never could keep an opinion to himself, but didn’t want to hear anyone else’s - especially his wife’s. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this top rated television series where the main character would tell anyone who talked too long to “stifle”? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the name of the actor who played the son-in-law called “meathead” because he was “dead from the neck up”.
Here’s a memory joke with a twist from the book Die Laughing: Killer Jokes for Newly Old Folks by William Novak.
A man walks into a pharmacy. “I’m looking for some acetylsalicylic”, he tells the druggist.
“You mean aspirin?”
“Thank you! I can never remember the word.”
Well, it’s been another week, driving around town with the windows down. Until we meet again, remember you are not alone during these strange times.
“The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.” Demetri Martin