Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Insurance Salesperson's New Pitch

I used to go to people
And ask them
What will happen,
When you die?
Your friends and relatives will mourn,
Unconsolable grief.
But for little money a month,
You can give them wealth,
A house, security.
You will die, but they
Will be happy.
Is that not worth
The small expense?

I traveled from town to town
And seldom found a customer.

Then a friend told me:
How you proceed is wrong:
Do not tell people
they must care for others.
Tell them: by insuring your life,
You cheat death.
You control others,
Even when dead,
With a little money.
With testamentary stipulations.
You can force someone
who survived you
To tend your grave.
Look after your pet.
Shingle the roof of your house.
A house, unlived in,
But ever in good repair.
This way, you will live on.

I have tried this new pitch.
And it has worked well.
Now I am a successful salesperson.
Look at that little emblem on my lapel.

But happy I am not.
For, by taking the fear of death from others.
I have now become afraid
Of death myself.

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