Written by Gabrielle Birchak
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Thursday, 31 May 2007

I'm moving to the U.K. In Norwich, several insurance claims have made news by declaring that numerous people are at the mercy of the animal kingdom: deer smashing kitchen windows, horses chewing cars, etc. My favorite is the woman who filed an insurance claim because her beloved hamster became so fraught with the idea of visiting the vet that he chewed through her handbag. It goes to show you that just like dogs know the word "walk," hamsters clearly understand the word "vet" and will take any means necessary to circumvent the pending horror. The part that gets me is that the woman put the hamster in her handbag. That is as practical as putting your parakeet in a golf bag and covering it with plastic wrap. (By the way, this might work as an insurance claim. If you try it, let me know.)

I could use a few bucks (pun intended), being a semi-penniless writer. Insurance claims based on animal negligence seem to be my ticket out of poor writerdom. Just thinking about all the opportunities gets me excited. Let's start with my basement carpeting. Every day, when I walk in the front door, an odorous smell of dog pee wafts up the stairwell, welcoming me daily while my dog rests contentedly in MY bed, waiting for me to come greet her. I want to get rid of the carpeting, because, well, I'm just not attached to the aroma of canine urine. How can I go about paying for this? I know! I will file a homeowner's insurance claim. First, I will blame my dog for peeing on the carpet. Second, I will blame the carpet company for not inventing an odor guard. Third, I will blame the makers of the flimsy baby gate because my dog can knock it down with a simple swipe of the paw. Finally, I will blame the makers of my sliding glass door for not creating an invisible doggy door that blends in with the Feng Shui of my living room.

My next insurance claim will be for damages made to my warm, comfy, fluffy down filled comforter. I could probably get an easy $100 for this one. See, Einstein, my cat, is old and has digestive issues. Every night, I am woken by the deep cries of my feline gurgling, moaning, hacking and heaving as his dinner makes its way to my comforter. My true desire to get up and move the cat to a non-carpeted floor is won out by my veritable need to keep my eyes closed and pretend that I can't hear the gagging, hoping that my husband will jump to the comforter's rescue. Alas, I nod off to sleep, dreaming that the maid is cleaning it up (in my dreams I have a maid), only to wake the next morning to find a now-solid form of feline projectile encrusted to my comforter. After years of this, my comforter now has permanent yellow markings proudly left by Einstein the Cat. Thus, I will first file a claim blaming the makers of my comforter. They should have considered a resilient scotch guard that could literally repel cat vomit. Second, I will file an insurance claim blaming my husband's company for overworking him to the point that he can't exuberantly jump out of bed to willingly clean up feline puke.

My final homeowner's insurance claim will be for the damages made to my once-beautiful wooden back patio by my candy-ass dog, Bella. Bella earnestly believes that ten more steps out to the back yard equates to a temperature drop of at least 15 degrees. Thus, on those cold Annandale winter nights when Mother Nature calls, Bella takes five steps out on to my patio and relieves herself. It's just gross. My husband just looks at it and says, "Hey, it's a Poop Deck!" I ask, is it so hard to step out there and clean it? Therefore, I will be filing another claim. First I will blame the wood company for not making self-cleaning wood. Second, I will blame my husband's company for making him too lethargic to lift a shovel. Three, I will blame the makers of my shoes because my feet stick every time I remotely consider the idea of exerting myself to "untaint" my patio.

This is a completely new opportunity for me! The idea of absolving myself from responsibility and making money in the process could change my life. I could put my kids in private school, buy that villa in Italy and live off the fat of my insurance claims for the rest of my life. Of course, I can only accomplish this freewheeling, freeloading life by incessantly blaming the rest of the world for all the wrong done to me by my chowderhead pets. Yes, the UK is the place for me!

Here is the article: Daredevil Deer and More Insurance Claims

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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