This week I received an important letter from my state government. When I saw the official envelope, I immediately thought it was a tax-related issue. Such is the PTSD I have from last year when the IRS deposited my check and then promptly forgot where they put it. I spend 7 months and countless hours on the phone trying to get them to NOT put me in Guantanamo Bay or wherever they send authors who make fun of them and don’t pay their taxes. 

The crazy thing was, every person I spoke to said the same thing, “I can see where you actually did send the check, and we deposited it, but until we can determine where we deposited it, I can’t clear your “past-due” status.”

Anyway, you can understand my fear of opening this letter up. But this wasn’t bad news at all. It was a Certificate of Congratulations from the Indiana Senate! Can you believe it? It’s like the major award in the movie A Christmas Story. 

Apparently, my birthday was a major topic of discussion in the Indiana Senate. This tells you how amazing things are going in our state right now. On that particular day, the economy, unemployment, and defending our southern border from people from Kentucky took a back seat to my birthday! 

“What can we do to mark this amazing day in Indiana history?” asked one Senator. 

“I know, let’s send him a Certificate of Congratulations,” said another. 

In unison, the senators, their aides, and Mrs. Peterson’s 4th-grade class field trip from Vincennes, Indiana shouted, “Huzzah!” 

And thus my major recognition came to be in the halls of power of the great state of Indiana. My wife was away on nonbusiness and wasn’t there to experience the joy of opening such a major recognition. So, as soon as she returned from her trip, I shared it with her. She was not impressed (just like the wife in the movie, now that I think about it). She asked, “don’t they have anything better to do?” 

“No. No, they don’t,” I replied. “And for the record, we are never moving to Florida. Why would I leave a state that sends me a Certificate of Congratulations for simply leaving my mother’s birth canal 55 years ago? Where else can I get that kind of love from my government.” 

She rolled her eyes and threatened to have me committed to an institution, but she’s said that thousands of times and I’m still roaming free. So, don’t you worry! 

Back to the Certificate… Not that I’m ungrateful, but I did have a few minor complaints. First, it came a week after my birthday.  However, I must acknowledge that sometimes the gears of government bureaucracy grind slowly. My biggest complaint is that it wasn’t accompanied by cake. I pay a lot of taxes every year and I think they could slide in a cake from Taylor’s Bakery (the official cake supplier of my belly) once in a while. 

Later today, I’m going to pick out a frame for my Certificate of Congratulations. Then I’m going to hang it in one of the three places my wife agreed it could go: the garage, the crawlspace, or my office. I think I will choose the office. Right next to the replica leg lamp. 

Carry on, Citizens!