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(Discussions with an) Insurance Agent

What if my sister is massacred by hobgoblins?

A Play in Only So Many Lines

All action takes place in the workplace. The Insurance Agent is coated in oil.

Insurance Agent: Hello. I'm your insurance agent.

Person 1: Hello.

Person 2: Hello.

Person 3: Hey.

Insurance Agent: I'm going to tell you briefly about life insurance at Combined Effect Mutual.

Person 1: If I'm nibbled to death by wooly spider monkeys, am I covered?

Insurance Agent: Well, we'll get to that, but you'll find spider monkey accidental death coverage on page nine hundred and sixty five of your plan book.

Person 1: Thanks

Person 2: What if I get that new disease, the one the kids call "galluping cock knots?"

Insurance Agent: Page four thousand, six hundred thirty three. A three dollar copay.

Person 2: That's great!

Insurance Agent: We've got you covered.

Person 3: Okay, what if I don't want to use traditional medicine?

Insurance Agent: Like what?

Person 3: Like say I want a sorceror to lift a spell.

Insurance Agent: Sure! If it's a plan sorceror, it's a ten dollar copay. If it's not plan, we'll cover half up to $100.

Person 3: All right, then what about witches?

Insurance Agent: You got me there. Witches aren't accredited in the state of New York, so we can't cover them. Vodun priests, sacred dog healers, and bleeding statue visitations we do cover.

Person 1: What if my sister is massacred by hobgoblins--and I need to see a psychiatrist to work out my pain?

Insurance Agent: Sure. Each psychological visit requires a five-dollar copay. And if she'd been on our plan, with accidental hobgoblin death insurance, her tragic accident would have provided her loved ones with five hundred thousand dollars.

Person 2: All right, one more. If my wife Sally eats a truffle with a bomb in it and dies while pregnant, how much money do I get?

Insurance Agent: Easy! Just check the "exploding candy" chapter of your book. The answer's right there. (Looks at watch.) Well, I've got a meeting uptown. Any final questions?

(All shake heads and say things like "That about covers it," and "Nope, I'm good for now." The Insurance Agent departs.)

Insurance Agent: Goodbye!


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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