Mr. Webb, it’s Miss Pena from the New York state tax investigators office, please call us back.”

Talk about getting your pulse beating like a Catholic priest at summer camp!

When Hurricane Maria blasted Puerto Rico, mail was impossible to get through. A lot of smart people I know get Puerto Rico confused with Costa Rica and still think you need a U.S. passport to visit. You don’t, it’s like going to Hawaii only they speak Spanish.

So I solved the problem and set up a mailbox at the New York Athletic Club where I was a member. That lasted a year. Then a woman from membership called me one day and left a voice message with a crank Long Island accent. “Mr. Waabb, we na owe yahr getting ya mail here and I’m a switching you to resident membership.”

I tried to explain that this was not going to work for me, and I was not a resident but it was like I was talking to someone at the DMV, and NOBODY at the department of motor vehicles is jumping at the opportunity to do anyone favors, it just was not going to happen.

It wasn’t because it would cost me more money but because it would put me at risk of creating a tax “nexus” with New York city if I started showing up as a resident when I was living part-time in the city.

I tried to appeal to the club but the club and the NYAC’s army mediocracy staff fell on my head like a steel hammer.

Despite throwing over half a million dollars in cumulative events over the years and recruiting other members, I realized this mattered nil to the membership staff who were there to collect a check, and as we say in the military, they were “retired on active duty.”