A few weeks ago, my father's insurance company - which had previously sworn up and down that there was no money in his life insurance account - sent me a letter asking me to fill out some forms so I could collect his life insurance payment. Well, okay, I said.

First I had to write a letter saying I was the only living child of my parents and get a friend to sign it; my apartment manager refused to do this, so I went to the apartment manager from my old building and he was happy to help.

Then I had to get a "signature guarantee" from my bank. But my local bank had just changed hands and they didn't have a signature guarantee stamp at the branch yet. The branch manager tried to get one of the neighboring banks to help, but to no avail; so last Monday I had to spend all morning on a trip to Vancouver, Washington to visit the bank's main office and get the damn form stamped.

Then I overnighted the forms to the insurance company's office in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a PO box, so I had to use the US Postal Service and not the "absolutely, positively" people; and sure enough, the USPS absolutely, positively dropped the ball. If I'm lucky, the forms should get to the Charlotte office today; if I'm super lucky, nothing else will go wrong, and if I'm really, incredibly lucky, they will process the claim in less than 3 business days as promised and maybe, just maybe, I'll get the direct deposit payment in time for the weekend. But they way my luck has been going on this, I'm not getting my hopes up.

Meanwhile, my bank account is overdrawn, all my bills are late, my rent is due, I'm working a s**t job, and the refrigerator is nearly empty.

G-d is testing me. I know this. Anyway, please forgive me if I'm a little too distracted to post. Right now I've got to call the insurance company and find out the status of this stuff. I'll get back to solving the world's problems as soon as I get a chance.