As the country's lawmakers stumble towards the fiscal cliff, rich people are scrambling to take advantage of the current capital gains rate of 15% that is their God-given right. If Congress doesn't broker a deal before January 1, the top tax rate paid on sold investments could rise to 23.8%, which some scientists say would plunge the nation into a world in which people watched Blossom unironically and still thought of Apple products as being hideously uncool (a.k.a. 1993).

The Times gives us a peek into how dreadful the lives of attorneys, real estate brokers, and other rich-people remoras have been since being under the gun of The Great Deadline.

Dolly Lenz, vice chairman of Douglas Elliman, found herself doing inventory at a wine cellar at 1 a.m. one night earlier this month at a $30 million co-op apartment on Central Park West, before the movers came to collect the 355 bottles. The apartment closing was at 8 the following morning.

“It was a bit of an oversight by the owners, who forgot they had all that wine,” Ms. Lenz said. The wine might have been more valuable than the apartment, she half-joked (three pieces of art in the apartment were valued at a total of $51 million, she said).

Lawyers are benefiting, too. Sandor Krauss, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, had 16 closings scheduled for this week and said he was on pace to do as many as 70 closings this month—triple the volume he did last December. “This will be the biggest December of my career,” he said.

Take heed, America: do you know where your priceless wine collection is? Oh right, in this paper bag.

For a more sobering look at what the fiscal cliff could mean for non job-creating taxpayers (Spoiler: we're all gonna be paying a bit more regardless of income or job-creating ability) take a look at this video made by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Now you can actually yell to your family, "No I can't cram olives into the Festive Gouda Ball, I'm watching a video about taxes!"

Fiscal Cliff: How Much Would Taxes Rise in 2013? from Urban Institute on Vimeo.