Claims Department: Or, You Don’t Always Get What You Want by Martin Brick

“Hello. Imperial Insurance.”

“Hello. This is Daniel Yardley. I’m calling about a recent claim.”

“Of course, Mr. Yardley…. A fire in your bedroom.”

“Correct. But the claim was denied.”

“Yes. Negligence. There were individuals present who could’ve prevented the incident.”

“My wife.”

“And Mr. Edwards.”

“My business partner.”

“The fire inspector’s report suggests they were ‘distracted’.”

“No need for euphemisms. They were screwing. Hence my argument: My policy covers ‘acts of god’ including tornado, lightning, yada-yada, and spontaneous combustion.”

“Isn’t that…?”

“A general definition taken from the very reputable Oxford English Dictionary reads, ‘the act of burning away through conditions produced within the substance itself’.”

“Conditions within the candle? The bed-linens?”

“No. My wife and Mr. Edwards.”

“I’m confused.”

“The conditions for destruction were developing in the substance of those people.”

“That sounds metaphorical. We don’t cover metaphors.”

“The question is the cause. The fire was caused not by negligence, but by internal conditions. Something uncontrollable, innate. An act of God.”

“So it’s not a metaphorical problem, but theological.”

“No. Listen. This tragedy needs purpose, requires rebuilding.”

“Mr. Yardley, I understand. But the rebuilding you need isn’t financial. Be thankful nobody was hurt.”

“Exactly the problem. It doesn’t seem right.”

“So maybe you need to pray for another fire.”

“Seems cold.”

“Maybe, but no harm in praying. If it happens, I guess it was justified.”

.

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9 Comments

Filed under Martin Brick

9 responses to “Claims Department: Or, You Don’t Always Get What You Want by Martin Brick

  1. Al McDermid

    Despite the “That sounds metaphorical. We don’t cover metaphors.” I thought he was going to convince her.

  2. Catherine Davis

    VERY funny. Very smart: great, fast repartée. Many loves in such a short piece, including but two: “That sounds metaphorical. We don’t cover metaphors,” and ““So it’s not a metaphorical problem, but theological.” Ba-bum! ending.

    Terrific work.

  3. So he got the permission he needed instead of the resolution he wanted. Very cleverly done.

  4. Not only a great story concept, but a well-deserved poke at the insurance industry who manipulates and maneuvers in the white space between lines.

  5. John Riley

    “So it’s not a metaphorical problem, but theological.” Wish I had thought of that one. Very funny and timely.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    This one made me laugh out loud! Well done.

  7. For some strange reason, when I finished reading this I realised I was grinning and couldn’t stop. :)

  8. My cheeks hurt. Thank you. Peace…

  9. Pingback: Week #33 – Spontaneous combustion | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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