Jimmy Malcolm, age 12, epitomized the word “brat.” He blithely ignored the lifeguard at the county pool. But when Jimmy’s mother and the repentant boy went in to thank California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard, he was as pleased as the Malcolm family that they’d purchased a suitable group policy.
The lifeguard, Freddy Feldspar, was getting really annoyed. This kid epitomized the word “brat,” a 12-year-old man-child in the promised land of the Oxnard Community Pool making the lifeguard screech and bark incessantly. “No running!” yelled Feldspar at the careless boy who kept dashing to and fro, along the sides of the pool, skidding on the wet surface in his bare feet, jumping in and quickly out again in some frenetic rabid dance of pubescent energy, “Can’t you see the signs?”
But Jimmy Malcolm wasn’t paying attention to the signs or to the clearly annoyed lifeguard, a college age red-haired man who made little impression on the energized boy. Jimmy looked at him once or twice, but his expression was one of indifference, perhaps even a mild disdain. Unfortunately, the signs were there for a reason, as such behavior on the part of errant boys is an accident waiting to happen. Jimmy kept it up at breakneck speed, his soles wet and slippery, running and dashing, diving into the crowded public pool, and then climbing out and beginning his mad dashes all over again. The 12-year-old escaped a mishap for perhaps longer than he should have, his feet barely in control along the wet tiles, but then the inevitable happened.
“No running!” Freddy Feldspar cried out one last time. The words had barely emerged from his lips when the inevitable transpired. Everyone at the pool saw Jimmy slip and fall, and scrape the skin off his right ankle when he did. Five stitches and an urgent care facility visit later, a more contrite Jimmy Malcolm and his mother Madge went to see California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard in his office a few days later, “My son and I just wanted to thank you for selling us that small business policy last year,” she said, “It came in very handy a few days ago.”
“Oh?” queried Matt spying a rather obvious protective bandage around young Jimmy’s sandal-cloaked right ankle. “So what happened?”
Jimmy spoke shyly, almost as if a tabby cat had gotten his tongue. “There was this lifeguard …”