"Do you know where the nearest Internet cafe is?"

I've picked these two guys up on Swan Island, from the Coast Guard boat in drydock for repair. The two of them are young, fairly good-looking, and one is getting worried about getting his taxes in on time.

No cafes close by that I can think of, and tax preparers are all closed by now; these guys are seriously considering asking random people in bars to allow them to use a computer-any computer, anywhere-for $50. I laugh and say in that case, you can do it on mine.

So we head back to my apartment and I bring out the laptop. They bring out beers. My cats bring themselves out from under the furniture.

The tax preparation does not go so well, though. This guy, he's really nice, but definitely not a computer guy. So I sit down to have a go. The laptop goes back and forth for an hour or so, and at last it's done. They've finished their six pack and I've washed a sinkful of dishes and opened about three months' worth of mail, all with the meter running.

We get back in the cab and I take them to the White Eagle, where they give me $140 and their undying gratitude. But as I start to pull out, the poor guy who was so relieved to get the taxes done realizes he's left his bank card in the ATM. I run him back there, but it's gone.

We joke that it's karmic retribution for his luck in drawing a cab driver who would help him with his taxes two hours before the deadline. It still sucks, though.