What a mess! Thank goodness for insurance. The whole house burned to the ground. All the contents have gone up in smoke. At least that saves trying to resurrect smoke-damaged furniture and the like. I’m going to get a hefty sum; and I mean hefty. It pays to insure everything carefully and right. It’s all in the planning.
It happened just over three weeks ago. Thank goodness no one was hurt. My wife had gone for the weekend to visit her mother. The three kids were staying with my parents. And I’d put the dog in the kennels for the weekend (goodness are those kennels expensive!) because I intended going on a weekend hike with other members of the Mountain and Stream Club that I belong to. When I came home the fire-fighters were still quenching the occasional ember that flared up. I’m pretty sure I went into shock.
Of course, the three kids continue to stay with my parents, and the wife with her mother. I’ve been booked into a motel with Mary-Sue. We hope to spend part of the insurance money getting married and building a new place and starting a new life. It was such a relief when the past was destroyed by fire. No more harrowing memories. And the soon-to-be-ex-wife should hopefully be locked up for quite some time for arson. She denies it of course.
Quite frankly, Herbie couldn’t afford to die. Funeral expenses were atrocious. He needed funeral coverage. He took out a policy that cost him twenty-two dollars a month. He arranged an automatic payment from his bank account.
The thing that ever so slightly worried Herbie was that if he died during the first year he wouldn’t get a penny. Not a cent. Not that he’d get it anyway because he’d be dead, but his wife wouldn’t get any compensation for the funeral costs. And then once the first year of payment was up, everything would be covered. Within reason, you understand. His wife couldn’t order a 24-carat gold coffin.
Everything went fine for several months. In fact, everything went fine for eleven months and two weeks. Then, as the first anniversary of payment approached, Herbie started to worry. He started to stress. Every little chest creak was an oncoming fatal heart attack. Every little twinge in the head was an aneurysm. Every little spasm was the onset of cancer.
Herbie discovered that the anniversary date of payment was a Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th! How terrifying is that?
Let’s face it, by the day before the anniversary, Herbie was a blithering mess. He had to survive a mere twenty-four hours. His dear wife suggested they go to the park and feed the ducks. It would take his mind off things. So they did that, although Herbie didn’t go anywhere near the duck pond as he didn’t want to fall in and drown. He didn’t walk on the grass in case he slipped and broke his neck.
AND… he survived! He survived! He survived!
A week later he got a letter. The last bank automatic payment transfer hadn’t come through. His funeral costs wouldn’t start to be covered for another month.
It was Jenny from an insurance company. Did Gary have funeral coverage? There were many advantages.
Gary was interested. He didn’t have funeral coverage, and these days… goodness! A funeral cost more than a trip to Phuket.
And so many more benefits, said Jenny. Now have I got your address right? And your phone number? And you date of birth? Is this your bank account number?
We can arrange an automatic payment, said Jenny. What’s your pin number?
Gary realised it was a scam. He had already divulged too much. But a pin number over the phone? Never!
“Look!” said Gary, “we’ve traced your phone number. We now have your physical address. Just make sure there are no children in the building for the next 48 hours. And watch what you eat, and where you eat. In fact, why don’t you save us the trouble and slit your own throat?”
An arrest was made. Thank goodness for that. There are far too many bad people about that get away with things. But not to worry; Gary’s inside for two years.