by Ginger DiRocco

The following was written by an anonymous individual to one of the countless non-profit and charitable organizations, some legitimate and some not, which bombard our mailboxes incessantly with requests for contributions:

Dear Sirs: In response to your request that I send a check to you, I wish I could, but the present condition of my bank account makes it impossible. My shattered financial condition is due to federal laws, state laws, city laws, corporation laws, liquor laws, mother-in-laws, in-laws and outlaws.

Because of all these laws, I am compelled to pay a business tax, an amusement tax, a sales tax, a school tax, a real estate tax, a head tax, a foot tax, a gas tax, a liquor tax and, of course, an income tax. I also must buy a business license, car license, truck license and dog license.

I am required to contribute to every charitable, fraternal and maternal organization which the genius of man is capable of creating for the purpose of extracting as much money as possible from every person, living or dead, who has a mailbox and a city address.

I am told that for my own safety, I am compelled to carry life insurance, property insurance, liability insurance, burglary insurance, tornado insurance, accident insurance, termite insurance, unemployment insurance, old age insurance, fire insurance and dog bite insurance.

My business is so closely supervised by the government that it is no easy matter for me to figure out how much is mine and how much belongs to Uncle Sam.

I have been inspected, expected, suspected, disrespected, rejected, examined, re-examined, informed, required, summoned, fined and commanded until I have no money left.

I can tell you honestly that, except for the miracle that happened just yesterday, I could not enclose this check. However, the wolf that has become a stationary fixture at our front door just had puppies. I sold them this morning, and here is the money I owe you.

Yours truly, Any person, USA.

Ginger DiRocco, a retired schoolteacher who lived in Wyndmoor from 1984 to 2011, now lives in a retirement community in South Carolina.