Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Soul Insurance (Part 4 Pity the Mink)

Of red herrings and intermediate hosts... Part 4 of Soul Insurance (see previously)

IV. Pity the Mink

It was quite unexpected, the b-movie playing
   on the mammy wagon screen
Was a romantic comedy with Doris Day and Cary Grant,
   A Touch of Mink
Normally the claims adjuster would have preferred
   something out of Bollywood
But this escapist fare, even if dated,
   was a worthy offering from Hollywood

Even with no song and dance, there was what he liked,
   a lot of back and forth
Will she or won't she, much demure posturing,
   yet it confronted the real sport
But the title gave him an idea
   about how to write humanity's next chapter
By the time he was done with them,
   they'd all be caught up in the rapture

As the mammy wagon entered
  the gleaming environs of the Wan settlements
The claims adjuster beheld the history
   of a people once known to be reticent
In days of yore, their traditional attire
   was the very rich silk brocade
But they had since forsaken those rituals
   for the easy profits of the fur trade

Subjugated all their erstwhile beguiling craft
   for what they called capitalism
Production was all, their society was all about
   eminent domain and its enthrallment
No time for the small things,
   a distorted economics of whimsy was their prime belief
Well, before he was through with them,
   they'd be sure to relearn anew the laws of grief

Nyame's claims adjuster sculpture

As he gathered a few tools of the trade,
   he started to consider the praxis
The subtle distinction between his kind of adjudication
   and angels dispensing justice
In his view, the angels had no autonomy
   and behaved, quite frankly, like rote zombies
Shock and awe was all, there was no skill,
   so to speak, to their angelic practice

It had to be said, angels were long reputed
   for bringing delight and wonder
On that basis, the tribes forgot the downside
   of when they were torn asunder
For they also alternately delivered affliction,
   a panoply of cluster headaches
Claims adjusters always gave humanity agency,
   and the chance to correct their mistakes

The bureau stressed that adjusting
   was a search for truth and dignity
True, a byproduct of the process
   was being able to determine liability
All training materials in the adjustment manual
   emphasized proper procedures
People, processes and things was the mantra
   of the social software teachers

In his guise as an agent,
   the claims adjuster was rather conventional
But depending on the audience,
   he could feign the angelic or become feral
Thus it was that he made to approach
   the leaders of the Wan, the inscrutables
Those party apparatchiks untethered from reality
   who thought their operations were noble

He gave them the three standard warnings,
   emphasizing the gravity of the situation
But they wanted proof (from the gods! really!),
   he thought he'd heard every prevarication
In this business, you heard all manner of excuses,
   but, here, there was no denial
Rather, they were going with the kind of argument
   that would be tossed at a trial

This adjudication was going to be quite a bit easier
   than he expected
If all the tribes would behave in the same fashion,
   as he rather suspected
The local dignitaries of Wan tribe were coming upon
   their Lunar New Year
Oh well, those thousand household banquets
   would be the start of the trail of tears

Hubris, it was as if they assumed they could treat him
   like a common lawyer
Rather than with the due respect of the gods' representative,
   the claims adjuster
It was fascinating to behold the huhudious machinations
   of these human schemers
Who forgot that, as the proverb went,
   the okro plant never gets taller than the farmer

In the wet market, he spotted something
   that could be of use as a red herring
A local trader was displaying his wares,
   touting the virtues of eating pangolin
But right next to that stall was what he was looking for,
   "This will do, I think"
The beast looked quite wretched,
   but all's fair in love and war, pity the mink

claims adjuster

Pity the Mink, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note (spotify)

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: Short Sale

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Writing log: Part 4 March 24, 2021

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