PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Client(s) Again

In honor of tax season, I'm giving you our annual reprise of The Clients. Our waiting room can be a fascinating place to be.

I've always associated John Grisham with Oxford, MS. You know -- Ole Miss, antebellum homes, etc. He lived there for some time. Well, it turns out that one of his first law offices was right here in Southaven -- in the building that now houses our insurance agency. Mike says that, to honor the author, they have some Grisham movie posters on the walls. So, with no offense to Mr. Grisham and with names eliminated to protect absolutely everyone -- I present The Clients.

One of our recent tax clients was a fellow Mike says is legendary and has played with "everyone" including Rita Coolidge and for 15-20 years with Kris Kristofferson. He appeared in several Kristofferson movies including Honeysuckle Rose.

Speaking of movies, the former guitar player with Mike's band used to play in a jazz trio. They were hired back in the ‘90s to play in the rooftop party scene of The Firm, another Grisham book turned movie that was filmed here in Memphis. They were supposed to play three tunes so, being smart musician fellows, they sat down and wrote three songs which they used in the movie. Result -- they're still making a little money off that gig.

And speaking of movies again, there's our friend the seven-foot tall painter. Even with my limited vision, I always recognize him when he walks in the office door. He's the only client who has to duck. When Mike first hired him to do some office painting years ago, Mike looked around at the equipment and asked about the absence of ladders. Our friend explained that on indoor jobs, he just doesn't need them.

Anyway, when Grisham's Painted House was being filmed in Arkansas, our client's name came up and he was hired to paint sets (based on skill, not height). As a result, he's frequently hired by movie companies that are filming in the South.

Not a movie -- yet. A nice couple saw our ad in the paper and came in -- Hurricane Katrina survivors. They made it a point that they're not from The City, but from the bayou country. . . which was obvious from their familiar, heavy accents. They'd been on their own after the storm for several days when they made it to the airport in New Orleans. She told me that "they" kept putting the couple in different lines, and they never knew what the line was for anyway. After enough lines, they finally were able to board a plane. They'd gotten out with only the clothes they were wearing and didn't know where the plane was taking them. As it turned out, they were headed to East Tennessee and Al Gore was on board.

They eventually got themselves to the Memphis area where she had a relative, but they want desperately to go home. She said that it's too cold here and she can't find the food she wants in the grocery stores. He was a commercial fisherman and now works as a forklift driver in a warehouse. She said that 12 hours a day cooped up inside is driving him crazy. They're saving their money and hoping to get back down to the coast.(note: We haven’t heard from them since then, so I’m hoping that they’re happily back in bayou country.)

And finally. I promise this is true.

There was a visit from clients Mary and Joseph. Mike figured their taxes and the refund came to exactly $666. He said to himself, "No way I'm turning this in." Refigured, changed some numbers and came up with a much more divine refund for the two.

postscript: In addition to the blues and rock and jazz musicians and songwriters and casino employees and even clowns among our client base, last year we added our first rap artist. His stage name is Lil Wyte, and he was associated with Three 6 Mafia, a Memphis group with a national following and several awards. Patrick impressed us as an extremely nice, polite young man.

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