Tuesday, 28 January 2014

How To Guide on making good first impressions: IRA and IRS; those are two organisations you don't want to get mixed up

I've been making attempts to talk to new people recently. I find that it keeps me from becoming a hermit quite effectively. Over the weekend, I was emailing a new person and he started asking questions about my book. Naturally, I got all excited and began to tell him all about it. The emails were going well, there was amusement and general chattiness. He then inquired about whether this was available on paperback, or just via ebook. I told him that, at the moment, it only existed on ebook because there was a lot of red tape involved in turning it into a paperback copy.

This is because the company that works with Amazon to publish books for self-publishing authors is an American company, and I am very much British. Due to this, there are all these forms that I need to fill in to do with ensuring that the taxes from the book are paid to England and not to America. I have to apply for stuff and answer questions I have no clue about and also fight that little part within me that shuts down and states "I can't be arsed" whenever anything too complicated or long winded presents itself to me.

Naturally, in my email, I did not go into this in so much detail. I simply explained that I had some work to do before I could make it into a paperback, which involved signing forms... and then went on to state that the organisation I needed to sort things out with, was the IRA...

I genuinely didn't think anything else of it. There had been a niggling thought in the back of my mind that I hadn't meant to use the initials IRA upon typing them, but I was 83% certain I did mean to use those initials, so just went ahead and sent it.

However, after this conversation, I was watching Sherlock: The Empty Hearse (yes, again, I know. It's reached obsessive, I don't need to be told). In a list of possible terrorists, John Watson mentions the IRA, in the context of the Irish IRA, who have been known to cause a spot of bother or two within our little island in terms of bombs and the such, particularly in my youth.

It was at this point that I paused my TV and allowed the penny to drop that I had, perhaps, not used the correct term in my previous email. It had been about half a day since I had sent this email, and needless to say, I had not received a reply from my new friend. I went back to the email, checked what I had written and saw confirmation on the fact that I had said the following words:

"Working at getting it into paperback, but it involves all sorts of things being worked out with the IRA and all that jazz."

Well shizzle. Suddenly the lack of response was completely understandable. Apparently if you do something as simple as exchange one little letter like an S for an A in the above context, you go from being a mildly interesting person who has written a book, to someone who is relying on the funding of this book by a terrorist organisation. Of all the impressions that I am trying to make or have tried to make in my past, this is not one that is high on my list.

I mean yes, I now have the added edge of being dangerous and exciting. But this also comes at the cost of possible incarceration when the police turn up at my door with hard evidence, in the form of an email, that I am affiliated with the IRA. Also, apparently the "bad-girl" impression was not what my new acquaintance liked, as I have not heard from him since.

I have considered emailing him back and correcting my mistake. However, I fear that this might come across as me desperately trying to cover my tracks. Especially as I have this nasty habit of, when apologising for a mistake, making myself sound even more suspicious than I had in the first place.

So far, it has been three days since I had sent the email. And I have yet to be dragged into a police station for questioning, so I am taking this to be a good thing. No news is good news, and all that. However, given that I wrote a post last week about possibly being involved in a Mafia organisation without realising it, I felt I should probably voice my mistake on this blog in case the email was reported and the police are building a case against me as we speak.

So, to be clear:

IRA; Irish Republican Army: An Irish organisation known for bombing things
IRS; International Revenue Service: An American organisation used for taxing things

The forms that I have been avoiding filling out for the past year are for the IRS, not the IRA. I have no known affiliations with the IRA, and am not currently in the process of using their organisation for the purpose of publishing and selling my book. If you buy it, you will not be funding the IRA. And, as it stands, there is no relation between my book and the IRS either... unless you live in America, possibly. I don't know. I've only just worked out the correct acronym, I'm not even going to pretend to know how the tax system works.

Peace out my lovelies.

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