Mike ErvinAs I get older, I often feel like going to see a fortune teller. I don’t really believe in going to see fortune tellers, but I’d be willing to compromise my convictions if I thought it could help me execute my grand plan.

I’d ask the fortune teller to please tell me the exact day and hour that I am going to die. And if I was confident that the fortune teller’s prophecy was correct, here’s what I’d do. Twenty-four hours before the moment of my untimely death, I would go to the nearest strip club. I don’t really believe in going to strip clubs either, but I’d be willing to compromise my convictions again if I thought it could help me execute my grand plan.

Because a few years ago, I sold my soul to the devil. Actually, it’s more like I sold my soul to the government. I inherited some money. It wasn’t a lot. But as every cripple knows, in order to be eligible to receive certain government services, like Medicaid, you have to stay under certain puny asset limits. It doesn’t take a big inheritance to put you over the asset line. I rely on one such program to pay the wages of the people I employ to get my ass in and out of bed every day. If I took the money, I would lose my service, and thus be stuck in bed. It’s a real inheritance buzzkill.

But the government said to me, “Don’t worry. You can receive your inheritance and still remain eligible. Just sign here.”

So I signed. What else could I do? And with that, all of my inherited money above the asset limit was deposited into a trust. But the devil’s deals always have a catch. And the catch in this case is that any money left in that trust when I die goes to the government.

That sucks. I can’t leave that money to my wife or anybody else. I must bequeath it all to my stingy Uncle Sam.

Hey, I’m all for socialism. I wouldn’t have a big problem with paying for my consumption of public services posthumously if that’s what everyone had to do. Like if everybody who ever walked down the sidewalk or drove on a high-way or sat on a park bench had all their surplus money deposited into the public trough after death, then OK, I would gladly do my civic duty, too.

But that’s not how it works. There are certain services civilized societies agree everybody is entitled to consume regardless of their income, race, color, creed, etc. But getting your crippled ass out of bed isn’t one of them. For that you must be penalized. You must pay a luxury tax.

I feel an obligation to protest against this punitive injustice. So, fortunately, I believe there is a loophole in my pact with the devil/government. The alternative to handing all my cash over to the government is to blow every last damn red cent. While I’m alive, the funds in the trust can be spent on things that enhance my quality of life. Going to a strip club would certainly fall under that category. But timing, of course, is everything. So if I know exactly when I’m going to die, I can plan it just right so that I hand my last damn dollar to a pole dancer just as I draw my last breath. Then I’ll collapse in a valiant blaze of glory! Paramedics rush in with defibrillators, but they can’t save me. What a poignant exit!

Now of course all trust expenditures have to be well-documented to prove they are legit, in case the government ever asks. So whenever I gave a pole dancer a dollar, I’d have to make sure she gave me a receipt. (I suppose I’d also have to get a receipt from the fortune teller.)

Like I said, I wouldn’t choose to spend my last hours and my last dime at a strip club under normal circumstances. But under these circumstances, a strip club is the perfect place to go out. It’s a big middle finger to Uncle Sam. He lost out to a stripper!

Put yourself in my shoes. If you had to give the last of your inheritance to either the government or a pole dancer, which would you choose?