by Carl Hiaasen
(Emergency revisions to conference-planning guidelines for the
To all state and regional
As a result of the critical government report about our agency's 2010 convention in Anaheim, Calif., the following changes are being implemented immediately.
1. Funds are hereby terminated for all future training videos, including but not limited to "Cupid Shuffle" line-dancing and "Star Trek" parodies.
This rule is retroactive, which means that, sadly, we are cancelling the "Game of Thrones" parody that is now in production at our Cincinnati office.
(I screened the rough cut of the video and it was impressive. The costuming was authentic, and I thought Herm from our 401(c) Task Force totally nailed it as Tyrion Lannister -- especially that British accent! Unfortunately, building a medieval castle on the set cost way more than all those puny tea party returns could ever bring in.)
Another casualty of the new spending rules is the multimedia dance video that was to be featured during our coming convention this August. The entire Birmingham office has been working out some smooth moves every afternoon (between audits) for nearly a year.
I'm told the choreography and exotic stagecraft put the Cupid Shufflers to shame. Unfortunately, because of the recent controversy, we won't get to see "Big Ira and the Itemizers" show off their Gangnam Style groove.
2. Funds are hereby terminated for the hiring of event planners for
As the inspector general noted, the agency spent more than
From now on, all convention planning will be done in-house by
Apparently even the phone numbers of hotels are available online, thereby eliminating the need for our agency to pay an outside contractor to find the numbers and dial them. Who knew?
3. Funds are hereby eliminated for so-called "scouting trips" to
Back in 2010, we dispatched 25 employees in the months before the big annual convention, at a cost of about
To simulate the tourist experience, a squad of our designated convention scouts went to Disneyland to navigate the intimidating labyrinths of Mickey's Toontown and Splash Mountain.
Others ventured to an Angels baseball game, where it's not uncommon for zestful visitors to become disoriented and require police escorts from the ballpark.
All scouting exercises were conducted in order to steer convention attendees away from local pitfalls. From now on, however, agency guidance will be limited to providing detailed street maps and portable Breathalyzers.
4. Funds are hereby eliminated for hiring outside speakers to address
In Anaheim the agency paid more than
One speaker who received
Maybe it wasn't the most penetrating or original idea, but many of our attendees remained totally alert during his presentation.
Another paid guest speed-painted portraits of six famous persons to dramatize the value of creative thinking. For the record, not one of the Kardashians was featured as a portrait subject, yet still the backlash has been intense.
The total cost of the Anaheim shindig was
In 2012 the agency spent only
Linda in our east Portland office has volunteered to present the keynote ("Re-Thinking Form 8949 -- Whither Short-Term Capital Assets?"). Afterward she'll be doing pencil sketches of your favorite family pet, so don't forget to bring snapshots!
Yours in service,
Acting IRS Commissioner (for now) Danny Werfel
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