To be sure

I just got my car insurance renewal bill, a happy notification my insurer gleefully sends me twice a year. I noticed in passing that it had managed to rise slightly since the last renewal, in spite of removing a vehicle from the list. Of course, I added one as well; my new and sparkling Honda Odyssey all modified for gimp convenience. Since I have it fully insured, it didn’t surprise me that the bill had risen, what took me off guard was that it had almost doubled in price. That’s what you get when you spend so much on a car.

After a whole lot of fanning and words of encouragement, my wife got me off the floor and back into my wheelchair where I regaled her with a full concert of philharmonic whining. “It’s not fair!” I screeched. “I’m a cripple on fixed income. They should be more generous in their pricing for people like me.”  My wife nodded dutifully and let me get it out of my system. After a while, I sighed deeply and hit the PAY NOW button on the website and heard the strong sucking sounds of a newly unplugged drain coming from my bank account.

“Maybe this is a good time for us to consider quitting smoking.” offered my wife. She was trying to suggest money saving plans.  I pawed through my closet looking for my shotgun.

“Stay right where you are, sweetie. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Where the hell is my gun when I need it? 

“I was just trying to help.” she pouted, quickly stepping from the room. I heard her break into a run and then the sounds of her car starting and leaving a patch of rubber on departure. I found the shotgun hiding behind a stack of autonomous robots I’d built in a desperate effort to pass time while in the midst of chemotherapy. None of them worked and all had the look of something built by a drugged psychotic, a remarkably accurate description of me in those dark days of brain cell serial murder. I’d put it there after a five day siege when my mechanical wonders took me hostage, demanding a ransom of fifty gallons of Marvel Mystery Oil, a favorite intoxicant for robots. It’s kind of the robotic equivalent of Mad Dog 50-50. I managed to escape by tossing a fully charged LiPo battery into the bathroom and locked them in when they all charged after it. Charged. Get it? Never mind. Anyway, I managed to disable the Hannibal immitating hoarde of robots with a couple of boxes of number 4 buckshot, thus their current lack of functionality. With my victim having fled the premises, I simply made a mental note as to the guns location in case of future need. Like maybe the insurance people might stop by.

I’m not a big fan of insurance, that is, unless I have it and something catastrophic happens to something covered in the policy. I’d be thrilled as a coyote invited to Kentucky Fried Chicken if my car was run over by a cement truck and I had a new vehicle replacement policy. That particular example comes to mind because I did have a car run over by a cement truck once. I had a little Fiat 850 Spider two seater that I traded a $30 Zildjen cymball for. It was parked in front of a Safeway down in Portland, Oregon while I was getting some groceries. I came out to find the rear wheels of a cement truck sitting neat as you please in the cockpit, the front all crushed so you could see where the truck backed up onto it. I didn’t have any kind of insurance and so I was feeling pretty bummed until the driver of the cement truck suggested I take $500 for my car and we’d keep the whole oops thing just between us guys. I made it a point to look like I was hemming and hawing about it while the Halleluja Chorus from Handel’s Messiah played in my head. I said okay, but it was up to him to get his newly purchased Fiat out of the parking lot. He didn’t hem and haw at all, he just pulled out a wallet he had chained to his belt and counted five hundred dollar bills into my hand. Seems just the week before he’d run over an Austin Healy and his boss was pretty unhappy with him. This has nothing to do with insurance, but it’s an interesting story.

I never had any car insurance until the states started to make it mandatory. Even though I’m covered I’ve made it a point to try and avoid collisions. My insurance company appreciates this and my ticketless driving record, and gives me some great discounts. For reasons I don’t understand, my low income level puts me in a higher cost premium than, say, someone making a quarter million a year has to pay. So, a really rich person who owns a half-million dollar Bentley pays less than I do for my Ford Taurus. It seems that whoever came up with this idea for the insurance industry probably advised the IRS on taxes. Whenever I’ve tried to ask how that works, the insurance agent I’m talking to starts explaining how great my discounts are for being a responsible and cautious driver. Hrmmm.

At least this doesn’t happen every month. I make it a point to save up and pay my insurance bill all at once when they bill me twice a year. I don’t think I could stand it if I had to be reminded how much insurance costs me every single month. Thing is, when you get insurance, people call it being responsible. But when you do the same thing at a casino, they call it gambling.