Creative Writing Student Uses Tax Form as Mad Libs Substitute

Ken Taro
3 min readApr 16, 2023
1040 Tax Form and the cover of a Mad Libs magazine

NEW YORK — New York University creative writing major Dino Mancini, a senior in his final semester, decided to turn in a capstone project like no other: a tax form disguised as a Mad Libs exercise.

“Taxes are bullshit,” grumbled Mancini. “Although to be honest, I don’t 100 percent know what a tax is or why they are collected at all. Either way, I know I’m paying for shit that I’m not getting back. Besides, this is going to be the best piece of art some audit nerd will ever read!”

Mancini’s professor, Dr. Asmarina Semhar, said she admired Mancini’s creativity, but disagreed that this was the way to go.

“Well, ‘creative’ is the first word in creative writing, the major,” admitted Dr. Semhar. “However, this is not the way to do this. But what the hell do I know? A banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120k. Maybe I’m the idiot.”

Mancini’s father, Sal, said he was not pleased that his son was majoring in creative writing or doing this for his senior capstone project.

“Creative writing? What the hell is he supposed to do with that? I suppose if he draws up some documents for my construction company where I pay nothing and get everything for free, that might be worth something. I’m sick of this soft generation though. There should be three majors in college, and three majors only: engineering, nursing, and accounting.”

Sal continued his rant as his face darkened to the shade of an overripe tomato, exposing random veins popping up like gnarled tree roots.

“My daughter was an art major. What’s with these useless majors? How will the world survive? Maybe she can paint a river and use that for clean drinking water,” chuckled Sal.

“Although, I will admit that one time she painted everything that was in the garage onto the outside garage door. I thought the door was open, so I drove straight forward and smashed right into her closed-door painting. I have to admit. That was a winner,” laughed Sal. Suddenly, Sal brought his right hand up to his chin as an idea seemed to cross his mind. “Come to think of it, pranks! Pranks should be the fourth major.”

Meanwhile, Mancini was excited to rebel against his father and used this as the motivation for doing these “Mad Taxes.” He first got the idea when he looked at a tax form and had no idea what he as looking at.

“Look, I’m a master of the written word. All I see on these forms are some boring jargon and sloppily-placed numbers written by some accounting geek,” criticized Mancini. “That’s where I come in. Any auditor who looks at mine will be in for a show. It’s not published, so I don’t want to give anything away yet.”

Mancini said he has even bigger plans for this health insurance application. However, he said the project was delayed because he was currently being audited by the IRS.

Remember, according to NerdWallet, taxes are due Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

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Ken Taro

Writer, satirist, and humorist. You can find my best work on my mom’s refrigerator.