The IRS is being investigated and heads are rolling since word leaked that the agency was applying extra scrutiny to certain groups’ applications for tax-free 501(c)(4) status. I got a glimpse of the added work that some were being forced to go through.
Dear organization applying for 501(c)(4) status:
In order to keep your 501(c)(4) status, we have a few straightforward requests.
For groups with “Tea Party” in their name or something Constitution-related in their mission:
Please send us a notarized copy of Form 27(b) and attach straw, spun into gold.
Please return a signed copy of this form along with three millet seeds picked out of a heap of lentils, located over the glass sea east of the sun and west of the moon and guarded by a three-headed troll. (Upon completion of Form 478(b), we can send you instructions for defeating the troll, but only if the form is notarized during a full moon.)
To expedite completion of this form, you can sign Form 37(b)4, Part D, giving us your first-born child in perpetuity, but the notarization process must take place during an electrical storm.
Sign, notarize and write the first 3,094 digits of pi on the back of this form. Alternatively, you can name your second child “George W. Bush’s Presidency Was a Mistake” and “Ronald Reagan? More Like Satan Satan” and bypass Forms AA-MM, but you still must complete the remaining 17 forms to the best of your ability.
Append, along with records of all bodily functions performed by volunteers for your organization during the past fiscal year, 16 signed copies of Form 17B-c4, one folded neatly into an origami swan.
Have you ever lusted in your heart? Provide a detailed confession below. Your husband or wife will need to sign this.
Include six completed Saturday New York Times crossword puzzles, with video footage of you completing them without Googling anything.
Staple non-blurry photo of a yeti to the back of Form 3-4-32-7.
Append Form 97.1F-(m/jj) with detailed, logical explanation of string theory.
Did Sophie make the right choice? Explain, in Braille, on the back of Form 8-9hh.
After completing Form A7, explain ending of “Inception” verbally to Carol in the Cincinnati office, who just doesn’t get it.
Correctly complete six Cosmo quizzes (Are You Uptight, Cool as a Cucumber, or Everyone’s Doormat?) and include results as an addendum to Form 371b.
Maintain a stable, no-drama friends-with-benefits relationship for a full year. Include eight signed affidavits from both participants.
Include recording of the sound of one hand clapping with completed Forms 99-bbb through 101-aag.
All of these forms must be delivered by pigeon to a gap eight inches wide that opens in an enchanted rock in the Toledo office between 3:30 and 3:32 p.m. on Feb. 29, if you are pure in heart and whisper the password. The password is on Page 930 of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past,” but it is visible only to people who have read all six volumes. Afterward, take the pigeon home and teach it how to love.
Truly understand the musical contributions of Prince. Include six doves with Form 93as93as93 that will testify for you.
Photocopy your driver’s license eight times. Burn all copies. Photocopy it six more times and mail Joe Biden your favorite. Enclose his response with Form F945.
Fax this to us. NOTE: We do not have a fax machine. Be creative about getting us one!
Fix sexism. Bring us six pieces of the glass ceiling, folded in a manila envelope signed and dated by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Call this number and stay on hold for eight hours. Do not hang up or wander off or the clock will reset.
Attach detailed description of exactly what Meat Loaf won’t do for love to the left corner of Form 1579.
Call 202-555-893[smudge] with any questions.
For groups Without “Tea Party” or “Constitution” in their names:
Please draw a picture of a spider.
Here are three wines. Taste and compare them. If you like, drop Carol a note to say which was your favorite. But no pressure, obviously.
Did you enjoy the chocolates we sent? Good. This wasn’t a question, I’m just checking in.
Draw a picture of something that makes you happy.
How great is President Obama? (A) Great. (B) Just super! (Either answer is acceptable.)
Here is a blank page. Write your name really big.
Sign this form and mail it back for a free phone!
Make a dreamcatcher! Or don’t. Just thought you might have fun.
Alexandra Petri is a columnist for The Washington Post.