Test of Character

OK, there’s an existential crisis to be resolved.  There’s a potato chip bag to my left.  I didn’t open it, I found it in the kitchen.  It was about 1/6 full when I decided it was lonely and needed my attentions, and now there is an infant’s handful of crumbs in the bag.  I’m confronted with a decision that could yield minimal personal satisfaction but result in major domestic consequences.

If I rubber-band the bag now and put it back on the pantry, even with its paltry collection of crumbs, I can tell myself that I only ate a few, and my crime will go unnoticed for as long as it takes Mrs. Perils to open the bag expecting a substantial snack, which might get me through a day or more; or, I can eat all the rest of them and toss the bag in the trash, and be outed at daybreak.

An honest person would do the latter and face the consequences.  I’m a reasonably honest person, but I’ve been a CPA, and I’ve prepared tax returns, and I’ve developed a more nuanced relationship with the truth.

The bag is back on the pantry, rubber-banded and with enough air in its bellows to suggest that a satisfying snack awaits its next suitor.

You really want me to do your taxes.


  1. I did not realize others share this deeply embarrassing, but oddly satisfying, character flaw. As for taxes, your tax submittals must be poetry…suitable to be read in so many ways.

  2. Karla:

    As the person in the household who regularly finds the crumbs in the bag (being the person home during the day). That ranks up pretty high on the annoying list. You just get a tease and want more. I’d rather have a moment of “where did those chips go” and move on to something else. I can always add more chips to the grocery list for the next trip or even better would be is if the person who finished the chips would have already done so.

  3. Why didn’t you go out and buy a new bag ?

  4. Interesting, very interesting. What would Freud and Jung make of this, I wonder? The potato chip and the existential crisis of Shroedinger’s cat. Is the bag full or not full at the same time? A bag of potato chips is not just a bag of potato chips, it is a Warhol painting on the museum wall of conscience. LOL!

  5. Phil:

    Actually, John, you DON’T want me to do your taxes, it’s been too long since I’ve practiced or even attended an update.

    Cut me some slack, Karla, it could have gone either way, it really could have ;-0

    Teresa, we can’t go through life throwing money at our problems in hopes that they’ll go away.

    Damn it, Jim Robin, I’m an accountant, not a nuclear physicist. And the tenuous edifice of my conscience would collapse under the weight of any attachment.

  6. This made me laugh aloud.

  7. Phil:

    Thanks, Jo(e). High praise from you.

  8. I do the same thing. No judgement here.

    Taxes are a pain no matter who does them, so I suppose you can.

  9. Sonya:

    This makes me smile…and it also makes me want to blog again. I also want chips.

  10. Phil:

    Thanks, Sonya! There was a fresh potato chip delivery service in our area when I was a kid..Charlie Chips? Was it around when you were sentient?

    I chastise myself for not blogging more, it’s so satisfying.

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