Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's Yer Name?

A story on aother blog ( reminded me this morning of a an interesting event that happened to me a while back.

About ten years ago I got a call from the IRS. They informed me that I was to be audited for my taxes and to be sure to bring information for my bank accounts in Florida, the ones with the several hundred thousand dollars in cash deposited in them.

The problem was that I lived in the "Bush" in Alaska, in a house with no drinkable running water, heated by a woodstove. While I had been in Florida twice, once as a kid for Disney World, and once in the military for four days, I had never opened up an account there.

As it turns out, there are six Basil Sands in North America, at least that I could locate information on. My father an myself are in Alaska. Another father/son combo in Alberta. Another one was President of Bank of the Bahamas, and the fourth was a somewhat notorious drug and prostitution king-pin who'd been sent to prison in the early 70's, when I was in kindergarten.

The IRS had confused me and the last two and thought that since I lived in a cabin in the woods of Alaska I must be a run away criminal hiding out from "The Man".

It took while to convince them that I was born on the land I lived on, my grandparents had been pioneers in the area in the 1940's and had never done any drug dealing or bank embezzling. I did ask if I could have the money since it was in my name and had no other identifying factors. They said no.

So, since I have what I think is a pretty cool name for a writer, I have come to understand that there are definite downsides to having such an uncommon moniker. Especially when those who share it choose to live on the dark side.

Basil Sands

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