April 15 - Happy Tax Day! Ergh. I hope that you all make the deadline. Fortunately, I'm married to someone who starts to freak out if our taxes haven't been completed by January 2nd, so no worries for me because ours were done months ago. I did, however, perform a related annual ritual today. For the last fifteen years or so, I've given a couple dozen assorted donuts to the folks at our local Post Office on every Tax Day. Why? I don't know. I just feel so sorry for them. They are, as a group, a great bunch of people who have always gone above and beyond for me when I've asked for their help (like when I produced those "Year of The Monkey" first day stamp covers, for example). When the panicked throng of last-minute filers begins to swamp the Post Office, it's so obviously stressful that I just feel compelled to try to help. Today's donuts were met with many smiles and...and after that, I left. I don't like standing around to accept the "thank you's" if I can help it. I do it to make their day a little better, not to have semi-strangers thanking me. In fact, I always make a point of saying "Thank you" myself as I pass the donuts over the counter. It's just a silly tradition, but I really enjoy it. It's one of the few ways that I feel I'm giving something back to my community. In a way, it's one of the things that I do to try to avoid becoming a jerk (yes, I'm back to the "jerk" thing). Not all jerks are bad, though. Some are just inconsiderate or pessimistic or even just poorly adjusted to social interaction. In many ways, Star Trek's emotionless Mr. Spock is a jerk (as are, then, all Vulcans...and, come to think of it, virtually all original series Trek characters as well), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Look at Wolverine. Almost always a jerk, he is nonetheless one of comicdom's most beloved superheroes. In fact, let me wrap up this entry with another famously heroic Comic Book Jerk of The Day - Han Solo!