William Manchee


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

t 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 all 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