Many years ago, I was a moonlighter. In addition to writing this column, I did a daily radio program. Also the pregame and postgame TV programs that accompanied out-of-town baseball games.
When people asked me, "When do you sleep?" I'd say, "On weekends."
Thomas Edison may have flourished on four hours of sleep a night, but I did not. Another problem was that moonlighting doesn't leave a man much time with his family. "I'll have the eggs soft-boiled today," used to be a long conversation.
Wives have a tendency to go into a is-this-all-there-is-to-it? snit when they're faced with this kind of existence.
They don't mind an increase in the family's disposable income, of course, and they do their fair share to dispose of it. The moonlighter also indulges himself in a greater number of foolish expenditures when the money is rolling in from more than one source.
And the net result of all of this is that on April 15 the moonlighter is often thunderstruck to discover that in addition to the sums already withheld from his various paychecks, he owes the IRS more money than he has in the bank. He must go out and borrow money to pay his taxes. He discovers, somewhat tardily, that he has been working for the IRS.
As has been noted here before, I am a slow learner. It took me several years to get the message. But once I did, I stopped moonlighting and - like a reformed drunkard - began preaching to others in an effort to persuade them to resist the lure of ther second pavcheck.
The other night, one of our newsmen was chided by a colleague for making a minor error. %Forgive me," said the transgressor, who works two jobs and on some days three. "I'm now on my 16th straight hour, and I'm a little foggy."
The preacher saw his chance to make propaganda and immediately butted into the conversation. "What are you going to do with all your money?" I asked.
With a sheepish grin, the moonlighter said, "Pay alimony, probably."
Very funny, ha ha, buta let me urge you to quit while you're ahead, pal. Many a true word has been uttered in jest. The only time it makes sense to work for the IRS is when you're actually on their payroll.