My Best Friend Bert - #4

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


This joke, rather dead-pan to some, tongue-in-cheek to others, has a long and varied history. It has been delivered in mostly short length verbal versions, but the punch-line is always about the
same thing. This longer version is told by Bert's best friend.

Submitted: September 14, 2017

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Submitted: September 14, 2017

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I was to meet Bert at Betty's Burgers & Beer for lunch; he said that he was buying. The fact that he volunteered to buy was a surprise because Bert tends to be pretty tight with his money.

This sudden need to be generous may stem from a sudden bit of good fortune. As I understand it, Bert received a surprise settlement from his insurance company over a flood claim he filed. He didn't think they were going to honor it because the house was old and run down.

It seems Bert has some property that belonged to his parents and he has just not bothered to sell it. It was paid off ages ago, long before his parents passed away, so Bert has just been paying the small insurance premium and taxes each year.

There is a farmer that owns the property next door, so Bert has been renting the house to the farmer's oldest son and his family.

Most of the property Bert leases to the farmer for farming and water rights; there is a large pond on the property that is feed by an underground spring.

Well wouldn't you know that the rent more than covers the taxes and insurance costs; so to Bert's way of thinking, why bother selling it.

According to Bert, a tornado tore through that area of the county and Bert's pond turned into a lake and swamp; first time that had ever happened, so he says.

Anyway, the old house took a direct hit and what is left of it became a wooden island in the new lake.

That house was a death-trap after the storm so the farmer's son moved out and the county came along and condemned it for being a health and safety hazard. Bert has been given three months to have it torn down; thus, the loss of the house and adjacent buildings became a flood insurance claim.

 

Well bad news for Bert never stays bad (for Bert, that is), and that is what happened here.

Bert's  insurance company has had some real bad press lately, you know, for not paying claims as they should. So at about the same time that Bert filed the claim the insurance company got real religious, in a PR sort of way.

They awarded Bert, "Full house replacement costs!" Yep, we are talking a two story, 2,600 square foot house with a full wrap-around porch.

And because the insurance company would have to drain the swamp and lake to rebuild the house, they just up and gave Bert a check for the maximum benefit payable.

Of course, once they paid the maximum stated on the policy, $318,000, they had no more responsibility; they just walked away. And wouldn't you know that $318,000 was more than the land, house and all, was worth on the open market.

Bert doesn't need to find another insurance company, he has already made a deal with that farmer to sell him the land at top price, $265,000, and the farmer has agreed to tear down what is left of the old house; he wants the wood for some reason.

So you see, Bert is off the hook with the county too.

Boy, talking about falling in it and coming out smelling like roses.

 

Where was I? --- Oh yeah!

 

I met Bert at the eatery and he was mad as hell.

"What's your problem?" I asked.

"Oh, I went to the Insurance Company's Office to pick up my check because I don't trust those wire transfers.

Anyway, there was this other guy sitting in the lobby acting all nervous, so I tried to be very diplomatic when I asked him what his problem was.

He came across as not being to bright, like he might not be firing on all cylinders, if you get my drift.

Anyway, he said that he was there to pick up a settlement check too, for his burnt down house. He said that it was a really big settlement for such an old house and that he was afraid that they were going to change their minds, or come up with an excuse not to pay."

Well I had to ask Bert why the guy was so nervous about the settlement and why he thought that they might not pay him, so Bert stated, "He never said, but I figured that there was something fishy going on there.

None the less, I thought that I would ease the guy's mind so I told him about my old house, the tornado, and the big settlement that they were paying me.

Well what do you think I got for my trouble? He insulted my integrity, that's what!"

"Your integrity," I questioned, "how did he manage that?"

Bert replied, "He asked me if starting a tornado was as simple as starting a fire!"

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

08-17-2017


© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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