I finally bit the bullet and joined the USGA. They sent a flyer to me at the office (go figure) offering a discount on the membership costs, and a free 2005 US Open hat.
Mmmmm. Free hat. I couldn't resist.
So, I got my membership kit in the mail, tried on my hat and filed my new copy of the Rules of Golf with my old copy. I dutifully and only slightly reverently attached my USGA bag tag to my bag, and shuffled through the list of benefits I'd never take advantage of - free US Open tickets if you give at the moderately obscene level!
When my wife got home and saw the little envelope carcas on the kitchen counter, she picked it up like a caveman picking up a tool for the first time. She turned it over in her hands, curious, and looked at me.