For three months of the year—-tax season—-Don and his wife, Linda, move into an office above a jumbo slice shop in Adams Morgan. In the third-floor space, there’s a futon where they sleep at night. By day, it’s set up as a spot for clients to talk with Linda, who does the initial work on the computer before Don gets you your money back from the federal government (he has less luck with D.C., unfortunately).

Linda’s lovely and about to be 60. Don got there a few years back. When they’re not smelling pizza in the place they live and work, they’ve got a nice, big house near the Chesapeake in Virginia. When they’re not in either of those places, they’re at train shows (Don’s the collector; Linda likes the hotels) or traveling around Europe. It’s quite a life. This year, they’ve added a fat Jack Russell terrier to it and put him on a dry-food diet after finding him overfed fried chicken and other delights by Don’s recently deceased aunt.

Visiting this operation this time of year is a quaint and adorable experience for the client. Unless you’re white.

If you’re white, Don assumes you want to spend at least an hour and often more listening to him bloviate about how there are no “Americans” at MIT because American schools are bad and the kids aren’t smart enough to compete with the foreigners. MIT, he says, is instead filled with Persians. Or Indians.

Don, he’ll tell you, is fluent in several languages. He speaks Spanish in Spain and French in France and English in England—-“I like to travel four to six months out of the year, but I don’t go anywhere I don’t speak the language.” And although he has Spanish heritage, he says, he doesn’t trust the Hispanics. Several of his Hispanic clients, “I won’t say who,” are cheats.

He’s a little more careful about what he says about the Blacks. At least he was this year. I mean, he did vote for Obama, after all.

Today another client came in to talk to Don as I was finishing up with Linda. I noticed that Don got right to his taxes (a 10-minute process) instead of expounding at length on the non-Americans and the Hispanics. Then I noticed that the other client wasn’t white. This happened last year, too.

It won’t happen next year, though. Don works magic with the numbers and I am mercifully getting a refund. But I am, also mercifully, not going back. I can’t take any more of his ethnic BS and this year I finally let him know it.

So: Anyone know a good Persian who will do my taxes?

Flickr photo by Paul Keleher

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