'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
INVASION OF THE AGENTS
The only thing worse than paying a humongous car insurance bill is letting insurance professionals know you are interested in comparing rates.
I didn’t actually let anyone know I was interested in shopping around. One day a while ago I merely thought to myself, “Gee, our premium is getting awfully high. I wonder if we can save money with a different company?”
Within 30 seconds of thinking that thought, the phone rang. “Good evening, Mr. Dunn. I’m Vern Dweebler with Mutual Assurance Indemnity of Dubuque. I understand you’re looking for a quotation on your car insurance. Now I just need to ask you a few questions…”
“Whoa, wait a minute,” I said. “How’d you know I wanted a quote?”
“That’s our business to know, Mr. Dunn. It’s part of our Mutual Assurance Indemnity of Dubuque customer service pledge.”
“Yeah, but I only thought about it— Oh, hold on, I have another call coming in. Hello?”
“Good evening, Mr. Dunn. I’m Sally Snarkle with Indemnity Mutual Assurance of Buffalo. I understand you’re looking for a quotation on your car insurance. Now I just need to ask you a few questions…”
“Hey, what’s going on here?” I said. “How did you know I was thinking about—”
“I am a trained and licensed insurance professional with nine years of experience,” she replied. “It is my job to know when I can save you some money.”
Just then the doorbell rang. “Hold on, Sally,” I said into the phone. As I walked across the living room I noticed through the picture window that two Ford Tauruses were parked in front of my house. When I opened the front door, I was greeted by two men wearing suits and ties. They were nonchalantly hip-checking each other, trying be the closest to the door.
“Good evening, Mr. Dunn,” they said at the same time.
“Hold on, fellas,” I said. “I’m really busy right now. Why don’t you drop off your ‘Watchtower’ literature and come back some other time?”
“No, we’re not Jehovah Witnesses,” one of the men said. “I’m David Lapknacker with Assurance Mutual Indemnity of Topeka—”
“And I’m Leonard Whipnagle of Bob’s Discount Insurance of Winsted,” the other man interrupted. “I understand you’re looking for a quotation on your car insurance.”
The two men glanced at each other angrily. Then they turned back toward me and said in unison, “Now I just need to ask you a few questions…”
I looked over their shoulders and saw that three more Ford Tauruses had pulled up in front of the house and three more men wearing suits and ties were walking toward my front door.
Panic-stricken, I shouted, “No! Please, this is not a good time! Call me next week!” Then I slammed the door shut and raced around the living room closing the curtains. When I reached the last window at the far side of the room, I saw the face of a middle-aged balding man starring in at me, nose pressed against the glass. As the curtain closed, I could see he was mouthing the words, “Now I just need to ask you a few questions…”
I staggered into the kitchen and sat down at the table. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I took some deep breaths in an attempt to relax. Just as I was finally calming down, I heard a faint scratchy voice coming from the phone receiver, which was dangling off the hook. “Mr. Dunn? Are you there? This is Sally Snarkle. Now I just need to ask you a few questions…”
(Next week’s exciting episode: I finally answer a few questions.)
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