One of the best examples of how ridiculous government paperwork can be is
illustrated by a recent case in Louisiana. A company president was trying to
buy some land in Louisiana for a plant expansion, and he wanted to finance
this new facility with a government loan.
His lawyer filled out all the necessary forms, including the government
reviewed his application and abstract and sent the following reply:
We received today your letter enclosing application for your client supported
by abstract of title. We have observed, however, that you have not traced the
title previous to 1803, and before final approval, it will be necessary that
the title be traced previous to that year.
As a result, the lawyer sent the following letter to the government:
Gentlemen, your letter regarding title received. I note you wish title to be
claimed back further than I have done it.
I was unaware that any educated man failed to know that Louisiana was
purchased by the United States from France in 1803. The title of the land was
acquired by France by right of conquest of Spain. The land came into
possession of Spain in 1492 by right of discovery by a Spanish-Portugese
sailor named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of
seeking a new route to India by Queen Isabella.
The good queen, being a pious woman and careful about title, took the
precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope of Rome upon Columbus' voyage
before she sold her jewels to help him.
Now the Pope, as you know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of
God. And God, it is commonly accepted, made the world. Therefore, I believe
it is safe to assume that He also made that part of the United States called
Louisiana, and I hope the hell you're satisfied.
(Reprinted from the Empire State Surveyor, New York Society of Professional
Surveyors, November 1990)