“Did you know Kelly Kabot wrote a book?”
“Wait . . . who is Kelly Kabot?” I racked my brain.
Kit and I were sitting in Starbucks at a table by the window. It was my lunch break, her late-morning whatever.
“You know her; she’s that blowsy blond who lives on Elmore.”
“Blowsy? Do people still say ‘blowsy’? Does she actually wear blouses?”
“I said ‘blowsy,’ not ‘blousy.’ And no, she wears very tight T-shirts, usually with a picture of Bon Jovi or Kurt Cobain, or one of those other dead rockers.”
“Well, Bon Jovi is not dead, and I don’t know who this Kelly is, so . . . But good for her. Writing a book sounds amazing. Did you read it?”
“No, Val, I didn’t read it. Why would I read it? I just happen to know because of my new job.” Kit put down her Starbucks and flashed me some air quotes, presumably meant to be around “new job.” “She’s got more so-called deductions than she has tacky T-shirts. She could have rewritten the Dead Sea Scrolls with all the printer ink she’s bought.”
I didn’t know how long the Scrolls actually were, and I’m pretty sure Kit didn’t either. But apparently, her new job had made her an authority on all tax write-offs, literary related or otherwise. “So, how’s it going?” I asked.
Kit’s husband, who heads a CPA firm, was having problems during the busiest time of the year for accountants. His nemesis was the flu sweeping across Chicagoland, and more specifically, his office, keeping over half his staff at home. In a bid to keep his head above water, he had enlisted his wife to help with simple tasks like filing.
“It’s fascinating, Val. Did you know the Jensens file separately? Why would they do that? I’m thinking a divorce is looming. Bill Jensen went to Vegas three times last year.” She stopped briefly to take a sip of her latte. “And Sandra Pinkerton claims she runs a dog-grooming business.” Again the air quotes were flashed in front of me.
“Well, I can see Sandra running a dog-grooming business. Doesn’t she have like ten dogs?”
“Dachshunds, Val. Dachshunds. Short hair. I don’t think there’s much grooming going on, although she might wanna take some scissors to that moustache of her husband’s. Only Tom Selleck should have that much hair growing below his nose.”
“So how do you know all this?”
“Taxes, Val. An accountant knows all the secrets. We’re kinda like doctors. Only not as well paid, of course—”
“Welllllll, like a doctor, shouldn’t all the info you have remain confidential?”
“It is. I’m telling only you, and you’re nothing.”
“Thanks for that.”
“I mean, you’re Switzerland.”
“Would you want Switzerland to know you had a yeast infection?”
Kit waved my words away. “What are they gonna do? Blab to Austria?”
We finished our coffee, and I rose from the table, gathering my purse and coat. “I gotta get back to work. I’ll see you later.”
“Right.” Kit rose too, wrapping her deep-purple pashmina around her shoulders. “I gotta go to the office as well. Listen, bring your tax stuff over tonight, and I’ll do them for you. No charge.”
I leaned over to give her a hug. Across the street I could see an Office Depot looming—my personal tax haven, where I could purchase TurboTax. The Turbo people know how to keep their mouths shut.
“Thanks, but I’m good.”