Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Soul Insurance (Part 5 Short Sale)

A closing ceremony of deceit... Part 5 of Soul Insurance (see previously)

V. Short Sale

It was the moment of truth, Ananse rose to make his contribution
After all the earlier haggling he'd gone through with distinction
He'd had to dispense largesse to all and sundry,
   mostly through the back channel
And still, he wasn't sure if these inconstant folk would join him in battle

This, then, is my proposal, if you take up collection,
   I hope you understand
For a small fee, I will guarantee your community,
   and provide soul insurance
If some no good rascal gets up, as advertised, to no good,
   before the gods object
My agency will be able, in a matter of hours,
   to act: the no fault clause will protect

Nay, even beyond the immediate benefits
   of the guaranteed trouble deflection
You can also invest part of your coverage,
   and thereby increase your savings
The tax efficiency of this arrangement is indubitably delicious
Making hay contra Caesar's tax collector is, no doubt, serendipitous

There's no need to agonize any further,
   he went on to rhapsodize
Indeed, with my firm at the helm,
   your returns will be maximized
Ananse had taken lessons from Mami Wata,
   not so long ago, on how to mesmerize
So eloquent was his patter
   that the audience he beheld was quite hypnotized

Look into the crystal ball, my organization is a going concern
Just sign on the dotted line, I'm sure we can come to terms
He hadn't even mentioned the price, with that he ceded the floor
It hardly needed to be said, the whole place was in uproar

The fabric of life

The chief linguist, for one, was immediately brought on board
But in matters of propriety, there was the question of form
Thus there was some back and forth and minor haggling
But the conclusion was foregone after the initial horse trading

The matter was taken to the scribe
   to ratify what the linguist had assessed
He took his time, but even he allowed
   that all protocols had been observed
And for those who continued to view the spider with some disdain,
   he advanced,
"The contract looks ironclad",
   due diligence could be waived in this instance

There was a pause before the signing note at the closing ceremony
This is the moment when tradition imposed reflection as was customary
The Okyeame then stepped up, as was his wont,
   to add the wisdom of the chiefs
Remarking that this novel instrument, soul insurance
   would bring some relief

To be able to insure souls would prove to be a veritable bonanza
Indeed, strategic reserves would be drawn up to finance the coffers
It was all Ananse could do to keep from salivating,
   The bill of goods he'd sold
He was already counting his chickens,
   He could just about taste the black gold

He held his breath when the Okyeame finally brought paper to pen
He wondered if they would notice the clause about blood and sin
But his bribery paid off, at the appointed time Fifi caused a commotion
The elders hushed the young man,
   the ensuing fracas was a welcome diversion

And he was quite proud of the way he had structured the transaction
The Tantalus derivatives, first and foremost, were a great distraction
What with the escape clauses about the quantum definition of time
The minimization of liability for matters in the land of concern

The crowning achievement, Ananse would assert,
   was the Bahamian Thyme Leaf diversion
Just a few ostensibly innocuous sentences,
   they were a relatively recent concoction
He had first been introduced to the new formula
   by a grifter during a cooking session
Specialized in tax shelters,
   it was lauded as the most concise of obfuscations

What with the Balkanization amendment and all that it implies
Starting with the Babel discernment and the Chicken Bone compromise
He'd seen it happen before,
   they would get so caught up in the Magdalene Propositions
Their intricacies would beguile so much
   that they would get caught up in abstractions

No, the contract had so many ways in which he was bound to recoup
It was altogether worthy of the Principal Financial Group
That outfit who were renowned for always collecting
But who were never known, in their history, for paying

Ananse was skilled in the ways of evasion,
   his was a symphony of deceit
Bless his cheating heart,
   little did they know that he was a deadbeat
That before they could turn for payment
   that their defeat was complete
The bottom line they should have heeded:
   never make a deal with a cheat

It's your day by Glen

Short Sale, a playlist

A soundtrack for this note, buyer beware (spotify version)

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: Excessive Liabilities

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Writing log: Part 5 March 25, 2021

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