Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Soul Insurance (Part 3 An Audience with the Linguist)

In which we behold the elevator pitch... Part 3 of Soul Insurance (see previously)

III. An Audience with the Linguist

Fifi was a little put out that he was the one
   chosen to take Ananse to the linguist
He had other business on his agenda,
   namely the big mango tree was bearing fruit
Also he'd spotted some yor-yee by the way
   and his yearning was quite acute
The taste of black velvet tamarind
   is a delight that is so distinguished

Instead, he'd have to cede ground to the other children
   and give his delicacies up
Also, now that he had a closer look,
   the spider didn't seem entirely on the up-and-up
He oozed the aura of a traveling salesman,
   jaded in affect, hardboiled even
A consummate purveyor of any product,
   it didn't matter what he was selling

Earlier the scribe had ordered him
   to use the back way to convey the visitor
Thus he had ample time en route to assess Ananse
   and chat with this smooth operator
In the event, Ananse immediately started to put
   the wheels of his shell game in motion
"Young man, draw near, you look like you have a promising future.
   I have a proposition..."

I need not trouble you with the details, Dear Reader,
   suffice to call them delinquent
Fifi was immediately taken in,
   it didn't take much to succumb to wishful thinking
For it was written in the good books
   that those who embraced the paradise of a mango
Would no doubt recognize that verity:
   it takes two to do the corruption tango

Ananse had them stop at a chop bar,
   he had a taste for guinea fowl and some roast duck
This was no diversion, he always sealed his foul deals
   with the pleasures of a full stomach
At length, they came upon the main complex,
   home of the Kingsway skyscrapers
The seat of power, the linguist's ministries
   lay in those six looming towers

by his grace

As it happened, the chief linguist was right there
   on the cusp of entering the building
Fifi, after collecting his honorarium,
   promptly made the introduction, it was fitting
But, very quickly, it appeared that
   there would be no time for pleasantries
The linguist had his game face on,
   stern, as if he was about to face adversaries

"You do realize that I'm a busy man, Mister Ananse, is it?",
   said the chief linguist
"Walk with me up the elevator,
   I can certainly give you a few minutes of my time if you insist
I'm sure a well practiced operator like yourself,
   Mister Ananse, can make a pitch
Your reputation precedes you,
   I certainly hope you do not plan to sell us a bridge"

Ananse didn't blink any of his eight eyes, but he had to think quick
He wouldn't be able to use his powerpoint slides and synchronized music
This was a case that clearly called for speaking with forked tongue
Not his usual fare but, by hook or crook, this deal had to be swung

Still he didn't take the linguist's bravado at face value,
   but with a grain of salt
He doubted that these Ushers
   would have reprogrammed the sensors from the defaults
He had noticed as they'd stepped into the elevator lobby
   that Otis was the manufacturer
There would be an extra minute of waiting.
   He marveled at the small things he remembered

In the event, he didn't need the extra time,
   it was a sellers market
The linguist was easily bamboozled,
   like a rube in a frothy stock market
The standard spiel:
   I'm not here to sell you a novel product and confusion
Rather, think of me, Ananse,
   as simply offering access to a proven solution

You've heard of life insurance, whole life, term life, and that jazz
It only pays out when you are beyond the grave, it doesn't last
Soul insurance is what I have to offer, a balm, a soothing remedy
The blows will be coming but, with it, you'll dodge any adversity

The linguist was entirely entranced,
   as if he'd seen stolen loot in a museum
Soul insurance, the mere concept glittered,
   that way lay the road to freedom
Once uttered, it was disruptive, look at the possibilities,
   a new paradigm for humanity
A surefire approach, the ancients would, no doubt,
   approve for the avoidance of uncertainty

Although he wouldn't begrudge
   a middleman and market maker their dues
Quibbling a la carte, all societies needed
  these originals and their muse
Still, he started to give thought
   to how to cut out the spider from the transaction
He bade the young man call up a cab,
   his favorite, the one branded with Determination

determination crop 2

Elevator Pitch, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note. Always be closing. (spotify version)
fairy garden 8

Soul Insurance (Index)

A covidious folktale
  1. Ananse and the Chief's Scribe
  2. Enter the Claims Adjuster
  3. An Audience with the Linguist
  4. Pity the Mink
  5. Short Sale
  6. Excessive Liabilities
  7. Premiums Due
  8. Soul Insurance, a playlist
  9. Indemnity Provisions
  10. Full Circle
  11. Enforcement Actions
  12. The Die is Cast

This folktale is part of a series: In a covidious time.

Next: Pity the Mink

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Writing log: Part 3 March 23, 2021

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