California Health Insurance agent, Matt Lockard, is now offering kidnap and ransom insurance to shipping crews placed in harm’s way.
The man who entered Matt Lockard’s cheerful and tastefully decorated office on that Wednesday afternoon wore buckles on his shoes and a silk shirt dating from the 18th Century. He carried a sword of some kind quite visible in the scabbard he wore. He also wore a black patch over his right eye. His teeth were rotten and his skin was mottled and yellow. He caught Matt staring.
“What?” the man said. “Haven’t you ever seen scurvy a’fore?”
Matt Lockard is not a man to unsettle easily. “C-an I help you?” he said while flashing his own well-flossed pearly whites.
“I’ve heerd that you’s a sellin’ Kidnap and Ransom insurance to shipping crews,” the mysterious man said. “I’m prepared to set me sails off beyond the African continent next month.”
“You heard right,” Matt said with a bit more confidence.
“Better give me some,” said the mysterious man. He provided his name as Edward Teach, and demonstrated a clear vulnerability. “I want to feel safe. Heard tell that there’s pirates agin’ roamin’ the seven seas, making the waters treacherous. Can I pay with gold pieces, or do you require silver?”
“You’re a teacher?” Matt asked. Part of a syllable had evidently been made to walk the plank.
“Yes, something like that,” Teach said, his teeth giving off a slight stench as he opened his gob.
“You’re smart to purchase kidnap/ransom insurance,” Matt added, feeling more at ease with the man. “Gold or silver, it’s all the same to me. Just no doubloons. They don’t fit in the cash drawer properly.”
“What else does it cover?” Mr. Teach asked.
“The EPIC 1 plan covers illegal detention, extortion, home invasion, carjacking, and numerous other means of extorting money from you,” Matt explained.
“I see,” said the swashbuckler, suddenly grinning from ear to ear, “You are an honorable sort Lockard, an honorable sort indeed.”
“I’m a California Health Insurance agent sir. I be nothing more, nothing less.”