Friday, 25 March 2011
dismember me ...
Sam opened a bank account of his very own the other day. It's taken a long time, but all that talk about financial responsibility is paying off. I congratulated him on entering the nineteenth century.
Thing is, to the average idiot like Sam -- or me -- the keep-your savings-in-a-sock school of banking almost makes sense these days. (If you are a savvy commodities trader, you will know better. Mind you, if you are a savvy commodities trader what are you doing reading this? Go back to your ticker.) I remember checking the interest payments in my first bank book. Kind of a Norman Rockwell glow to that picture, isn't there? Simpler days. My kids have grown up in an age where bank interest rates hardly stay ahead of their service fees. With all the compound interest in the world it'll take most of a lifetime to double Sam's investment. His best chance for financial success might be to become a savvy commodities trader, but for that to happen he'd need to start working on it eight years ago -- and he'd need parents with different genes to pass on.
The good news is that if he loses a limb, the bank will pay him. Apparently Sam's new account comes with a penny-a-day insurance package. And what kind of insurance is most appealing to a college kid? Of course: dismemberment insurance.
Dad, I just had to get it, he told me on the phone. I laughed. No really, he said, do you realize that if I lose a finger the company will pay me 5000.00 Just for a finger! Isn't that awesome?
Awesome, I said.
So if I lost, like, three fingers that'd be 15,000.
I told him that I understood the concept. What do they give you for a leg? I asked.
There was a pause.
Dad, get serious. I don't want to lose a leg, he said. And then, Dad? Why are you laughing again?
No reason, I said. No reason at all.
All during the rest of our conversation I was picturing this smooth-talking dismemberment insurance salesman, oiling his way into college dorms and frat houses with his slide show and his box of props ...