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William Manchee

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The World's Unluckiest Man
by William Manchee

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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A poem about Dusty Thomas from the novel, Deadly Distractions, A Stan Turner Mystery. Inspired by actual events. Read Deadly Distractions to find out what happens to Dusty.

The World’s Unluckiest Man

Dusty came to see me some ten years back
After a nasty run-in with an agent of the IRS
The agent said, since he’d never filed a return
Or paid a dime of tax, he couldn’t cut him any slack

I asked him why he shouldn’t pay his fair share
Said a friend told him the Constitution forbade it
And the states hadn’t ratified the 16th Amendment
"Oh," I moaned, he’d fallen into the tax protester’s snare

But this wasn’t Dusty’s first dose of rotten luck
His mother’d died in childbirth, his father was a drunk
He’d been hit by lightning twice and when he
Heard the tree limb above him crack, he hadn’t thought to duck

There’d been other things too, a heart attack
A broken leg when he fell off his rig
And a girlfriend who’d taken him for a ride
Maxed out his credit cards behind his back

Oh, did I mention, the tornado that blew his house away?
His life had been a frickin’ disaster, so he said
And when I asked him how much taxes he owed
"It’s near a quarter million dollars, so they say."

I looked at him, sighed deeply and shook my head
Then asked him what the bastards had done to collect
He said they’d taken 99 of a 100 acre ranch
Just left him a run down shack, a place to make his bed

So, I asked him why he’d come to see me
What could I do to help him out? He said,
When an agent had come out to seize his tractor
He’d pulled out his shot gun and told him to let it be

He explained he’d finally found a good wife
Who loved him and had stood beside him, thick and thin
He had to have his tractor to make a living
It was the only way he could still have a life

I cringed at the trouble he’d gotten in that day
Now the FBI would, no doubt, be called in
So, I told him there was but one thing to do
File chapter 11 and get an automatic stay

He agreed with alacrity, being panicked and scared
So we worked very hard and filed it that afternoon
Then prayed it would work and keep them at bay
They couldn’t take his tractor, he kill them if they dared

The chapter 11 worked quite well, stopped IRS in its track
Got it confirmed, thought everything was fine
Then a drought hit Texas hard, lasted for nearly three month
No water, no grass to cut, no money to pay IRS back

I explained to the court how things had gone amiss
The rains would come soon and he’d get back on track
The judge shook her head, said sorry, case dismissed!
And Dusty found himself back on the edge of the abyss

Several months flew by without a word from IRS
So, I went on vacation to Colorado with the wife and kids
But just as we’d got settled in our cabin my office called
An IRS agent was dead and Dusty was in a mess!

A witness had seen Dusty standing over him
His smoking shotgun in hand, then he’d run
And the sheriff and FBI had been called, were in pursuit
The situation for Dusty, certainly looked very, very grim

The FBI came in with a vengeance, to them his guilt not in doubt
And soon had him cornered in a barn, but he refused to surrender
So, they flew me in from Colorado to see if I could help
And after I went in to see him, I managed to talk him out

He said he hadn’t done it, heard a shot and found the agent dead
Wanted me to represent him, but couldn’t afford to pay
I liked Dusty, he seemed a decent guy, and his life had been so hard
So, I said, "Okay, I’ll do it. But I can’t promise what lay ahead."

I swallowed hard as the FBI agents led poor Dusty away
Already regretting I’d taken the case. What was I going to do?
Could what he said be true ? Someone else had killed the agent.
If so, how could I prove it. And if I failed Dusty would dearly pay



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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 6/16/2012
Looks like Dusty's life was all dearly pay.

Whole lot of Dustys out there. Good write.


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