· illustration by Christopher Hutsul
And Susan, bless her healthy, functioning heart, drew up the papers straight away.
I spent most of the next week buying up all sorts of policies, my tiny bundles of guaranteed serenity. I insured my lungs, my brain, my faulty ticker. I took out a “sudden loss” policy on my appendix. I backed up my other cars, my neighbours’ cars, my kids, and my kids’ neighbours’ cars.
And I didn’t stop there. I insured my salary, my hard drive, my software, and my slippers. If I went on a bad blind date, it was eighty bucks in my back pocket. If my cellphone gave me cancer, I stood to earn over $2 million. And if my cellphone didn’t give me cancer, it would be a hell of a lot more.
I even convinced Lloyd’s of London to underwrite my right arm, in case those long hours of policy notarizing caused any permanent nerve damage.
After putting in so much time buying insurance, I eventually lost my job selling patio furniture. Of course, I had a rock-solid “lawful dismissal” policy for this very situation. I was covered—I was more than covered.
How had I overlooked the insurance game all these years I felt like my life to this point had been The Greatest Hits of Dean Martin minus “That’s Amore.” I’d missed out on an essential building block of comfort, been Old Man Fate’s impotent sparring partner for too long. But now I had a jab to which Papa Fortune had no counter: insurance.
By this point, I had so many layers of protection on my protection that Great White North Insurance informed me that it had no choice but to make me the new owner and sole proprietor of Great White North.
I checked the company books and, sure enough, the situation was dire: if I so much as stubbed my big toe at any time during the next 600 years, I’d bankrupt myself almost instantly. I had no choice but to flee the country and head straight for the New Mexico desert in my absolute death trap of a Volvo.
Bottom line: you can’t prepare for everything. As a wise man once noted, the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Still, I’ve decided to fork over the extra ten bucks a month to Desert Sun Securities, on the off-hand chance that Ben Franklin was wrong.
Andrew Braithwaite is a writer living in Toronto. He believes he’s worth more dead than alive, but is not particularly eager to find out.
Canada & its place in the world. Published by
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