The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: April, 1983

This story is not about the mountain nor its people, crafts or past. It is however something we found humorous and thought you might enjoy reading about. It is a fine example of government efficiency at work.

Recently Don Baker, owner of the Mountain House Restaurant at Meadows of Dan, requested from the Internal Revenue Service copies of IRS Form 4070A. This is a pamphlet which measures three inches wide by six inches long and contains 52 pages for waitresses to record their tips for tax reporting purposes.

Don had called the IRS and requested 20 of the pamphlets about a month ago. The IRS promptly sent him one. He then called the IRS back and asked for twenty copies again. The IRS promptly sent him one more. Thinking perhaps the number 20 was jinxed, he called them back and this time requested fifteen copies. That was about a week ago.

Don was at the Post Office this morning when I was and today he has all the copies of Form 4070A that he will ever need. In the mornings mail he received fifteen large cardboard boxes each containing 900 copies of this elusive pamphlet. Each box weighed 45 pounds.

Well, Don has less than ten waitresses and since each pamphlet provides space for recording tips for one year, it would appear Uncle Sam is really optimistic about Don’s growth potential or his longevity one. According to my calculations, this supply should get him through until the year 2118.

We’re sure the IRS just made a simple human error (which the Federal Bureaucracy seems noted for) but I really wished for my camera this morning so the look on Don’s face could have been captured for posterity. There he stood in the little Meadows of Dan Post Office looking across fifteen boxes of Form 4070A with a look on his face that “you would’ve had to see to appreciate.”