Insurance Against Guys Named Mike

Beware of Mike

I love the insurance business. You can insure yourself against anything, anywhere, and no matter how infinitesimal the odds of it occurring, fear drives you to do it. It’s why I launched my latest epiphany: Insurance against guys named Mike.

What prompted this?  My wife, of course.  She is always telling the children to be careful.  Be careful when you’re driving.  Be careful when you’re chewing your food.  Be careful when you’re walking down the street – a meteor could fall on your head and kill you dead.

Yesterday, she told the children, “be careful” 78 times before they headed off to school.  That was in addition to fourteen “be careful” texts she would send throughout the day, and the airplane she hired to fly over the school, towing a sign reading (you guessed it), “Be careful.”

Rather than get upset that my wife was spending more time worrying and less time fixing me martinis, I decided to capitalize on it and launch my own insurance product to help people “be careful.”

I called my neighbor Andy, who just happens to be an actuary, and told him, “I’d like to insure people against a potentially terrible event.  How do I know how much to charge?”

“Oh, that’s easy.  Just calculate the probability of the event occurring,” Andy said.

I cleared my throat.  “Um, I sort of missed that day in, er, math class.”

“Is this another example of left brained-thinkers helping right-brain lame-os?”

“It is indeed.”

He sighed.  “Ok, what do you want to insure against?”

“Hmm, good question,” I said, picking up the morning newspaper.  On the front page was a story about Mike Gustafson, a rural Wisconsinite who got drunk, and then drove his car into the side of house.  It was Mike’s 103rd DWI, which in Wisconsin gets you a stern warning.

“Could we insure against attacks from a guy named Mike?” I asked.

“I’m on it,” he replied.  Within an hour, Andy had crunched the numbers and calculated absurd premiums.  I was ready to roll out the new insurance product.

Fear to Fan the Flames

If you want to stoke some fear, CNN is the place to be.  I called up Anderson Cooper, and told him I was an expert on the dangers of guys named Mike.  “As we saw in Wisconsin, Mikes are dangerous, even if you’re sitting in the comfort of your own home.”

I noted that throughout history, Mikes had been involved in crimes ranging from jaywalking to serial killing.

Anderson Cooper snorted.  “But haven’t Johns, Peters and Stephens committed crimes too?”

“Sure, but our research reveals there is a .0000000000000076 chance that a Mike is more likely to commit a crime.”

“That seems like a longshot.”

“It might to you, but if you have a family, do you really want to take that chance?”

Of course he didn’t.  No one did.  Within an hour, my phone was ringing off the hook from people scared s—less of guys named Mike.  The fear was so pervasive the people not only wanted the insurance, they wanted complete security systems in their homes with cameras to spot approaching Mikes.

The fear continued to snowball.

Airport security began profiling  Mikes.  Not only were people named “Mike” pulled aside, but also people who looked like they might be named Mike but were disguised as Bob.

Michael Phelp’s medals were confiscated and he was thrown into Guantanamo Bay until the threat of Mikes could be contained.

Mikes were soon exiled from countries across the world, except for North Korea, which began to build up its stockpile of Mikes.

Meanwhile, back at home, my insurance profits sky-rocketed.  Yet I knew this was just the tip of the iceberg.  It was time to move on to the next imminent danger.

I called my buddy Andy.

“I need you to run some numbers,” I said. “The world is now faced with another threat.”

“What is it?  Bird flu?  Nuclear weapons?  Spam?”

“Far worse,” I said.  “Women named Laura.”

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