Spoofs & Satire

We’re Looking Out for You

With slo-mo commercials warning against fender benders, does your insurance company truly have your well-being in mind?

Hello, Mr. Gibbs. This is Stan Lumley from Preventive Insurance Associates on the line.

No, there’s no problem with your new policy. Everything’s in perfect order. As you know, however, we here at Preventive consider ourselves more than just your insurance company. We like to think of our clients as family, and we’re dedicated to looking out for you.

What’s that? Oh that’s kind of you to say, Mr. Gibbs. But really, the pleasure is all ours. Anyway, the reason I’m calling is that we’d like to talk to you a bit about your weekend bar trips. You see, one of our associates just happened to be in Sandy’s Tavern last Saturday night, and witnessed that little altercation you had with the drunken lout who bumped shoulders with on your way to the restroom. No, we know you tried to apologize, but you still agreed to meet him on the sidewalk as soon as you got back from the restroom. Once in there, however, you showed excellent judgment by squeezing out the window and fleeing down the alley.

What’s that? You read that in the policy rider? Oh, I didn’t know those had gone out yet! Bravo, Mr. Gibbs. Anyway, I just wanted to say that next time, you might not get the opportunity for such an escape. Next time, you might get your nose mashed into a fine paste. And since your safety is our first concern, we’d like to suggest that in the future you do all your drinking at home, where situations like this won’t arise.

Oh, and that redhead you were chatting up for a good half hour before you fled? We just want to assure you her night wasn’t ruined by your sudden disappearance. Our associate took her home.


* * *

Mr. Gibbs? Stan Lumley again from Preventive.

We know it’s only been a week since we last spoke, but there’s another matter we’re worried about. One of our associates found himself behind you on the road yesterday. This is an entirely different associate from the previous one, of course. We have lots and lots of associates.

Anyway, according to the filed report, you were driving pretty fast. Faster than might be considered safe. You don’t want to end up flipping your car into a ditch, do you? According to our associate you were apparently on your way to the gym? Excellent. Make no mistake, Mr. Gibbs, exercise is a good and healthy hobby. Still, if you can’t get there safely, we’d be just as happy to see you stay at home on the recliner. There’s zero chance of you flipping it into a ditch.

Pardon? Right, even if you’re drinking alone at home. OK now, take care, Mr. Gibbs.


* * *

Mr. Gibbs? Stan Lumley here.

First off, we’re pleased to see you’re using public transportation on an exclusive basis. Your driving skills weren’t as sharp as they should have been, anyway. The repeated tire slashings were just our way of reminding you of that.

But on to our latest concern. Last Thursday night, one of our associates was watching through the window of your friend’s house as you played poker with your usual group. He reported there was a big argument around a quarter past ten. He reads lips, and the confrontation had something to do with you taking one too many discards, right?

Yes, we know you’re just a moderate drinker. Our plumbing samples confirm that. But that’s not the problem. Be that as it may, Mr. Gibbs, I know you’re all buddies and have been playing together for years—but tempers can flare easily when money is involved, and there’s always a chance that could lead to violence. Even if it doesn’t, we don’t think you need that kind of drama—it’s just not healthy.

Now wait just a minute, Mr. Gibbs. We are on your side. And since you can’t count correctly—who cares nowadays, right?—we’ve taken the liberty of informing your friends you won’t be joining them anymore. Don’t worry. They’ve already found someone to replace you. And playing solitaire at home will allow you plenty of time for the kind of quiet reflection you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Also, Mr. Gibbs? We’ve noticed your last two bills have been mailed back to us marked “Return to Sender.” Oh, the policy was a gift? Well, that’s awfully nice of her. What is your mother’s address?


* * *

Mr. Gibbs? Stan Lumley at Preventive.

Tell me, Mr. Gibbs, were we speaking English when we told you not to go to bars anymore?

Don’t play dumb now, Mr. Gibbs. Clubs are the same thing.

Yes, we know you’re just a moderate drinker. Our plumbing samples confirm that. But that’s not the problem. The problem is other people. We saw you dancing with that blonde. What if you’d ended up spending the night with her, only to wake up the next morning in a tub filled with other people’s kidneys?

Luckily, your dancing is terrible and our associate was able to break in and show her some much fancier moves while you slunk off and pouted. Did he what, Mr. Gibbs? Let me check. Uh, yes he did.

Mr. Gibbs, we really must insist you stay home from now on. You can look at all the women you want on your computer. It’s not only much safer, but they’ll never reject you. Once you find steady work again, we can discuss some sort of program to get you to and from the office.

Don’t make us call again, Mr. Gibbs. Have a pleasant and—more importantly—a safe day.

Ralph Gamelli has been published in The Big Jewel, McSweeney’s, Monkeybicycle, and Yankee Pot Roast. This is the part where he’s supposed to put down some little joke, but as always he refuses to bow to societal expectations. More by Ralph Gamelli