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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, June 5, 2023

How I come up with ideas for things to write about: first, decide if anything interesting happened in the day. It doesn’t even have to be very interesting, just “got my finger stuck in the window for the 97th time because after four years in this apartment I still forget there is a child safety latch.”

Then, look to see if anything interesting is happening in the world. Like national donut day. If it has to do with food, all the better.

Last, wrack my memory for a trinket of a story that I haven’t beaten to death. If there is a possibility of finding an accompanying photo, it’s a win.

Then there are days like today where none of that is true, or I’m just tired and it’s Monday and the most attractive thing I can think to do is play another game of Spider Solitaire.

That last one is why you’re about to get a story about health insurance. Not health insurance per se, but my insurance agent. And not my agent per se but something interesting that he did.

He’s a super nice guy. We met him when we first moved here, when we needed health insurance so we looked up local chapters of BNI and found one with an insurance agent. People who go through the time and effort and money to join BNI are usually pretty trustworthy.

Health insurance here renews every year and you have to go through this whole rigamarole of finding a plan and pricing it out and applying every time. Or, I should say, he does. I just email him and say, “Now what?”

This year required a particularly high volume of “now what” emails because prices have gone up pretty substantially and we had to review a series of increasingly complicated options. I felt a little guilty, but he was incredibly helpful and patient and eventually I found a plan that worked and said goodbye to 6k and moved on.

A few days later I got a thank you note in the mail from him. If anything, I should have been the one writing the notes, but he thanked me for my business and included a $10 gift card for Chick-fil-A.

My brain fritzed a little.

I mean, it was nice of him. He didn’t have to send anything at all, let alone a gift. But… Chick-fil-A.

I felt grateful-guilty as I pondered whether he was thanking me or getting even.

Chick-fil-A, if you are not familiar, is a fast food chicken chain in the greater Strip Mall America area. They claim they don’t use fillers and their chickens are cage-free, but the meat is still fried into oblivion and served with “secret sauce.”

The one thing that isn’t secret is what it will do to your digestive tract if you eat enough of it.

Do you know when I eat Chick-fil-A? When I’m at the mall and being aggravated by whatever it is we have to do at the mall because you don’t go to the mall for fun unless you’re a teenager in 1985 and then you’re hungry so you look around and it’s Chick-fil-A or Sbarro.

And you’re already defeated, probably because the dress you were shopping for didn’t fit over your fat butt to begin with, so you say fine, let’s just get Chick-fil-A.

I mean, it’s not BAD. It’s fine if you’re eating fast food, the same way Mc Donald’s is fine. Sometimes you need to eat bad food.

Whenever we road trip we stop for a Big Mac, sort of a guilty indulgence. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not above an artery-clogging meal.

To be honest, like everything, something must have changed because the last bunch of times I’ve had a Big Mac, it hasn’t been all that good.

It’s like there is a shortage of Mac sauce or something. And I know they have some acceptable percentage of little pointy end fries, but that percentage has clearly gone up. Because most of my fries are pointy end fries. And undersalted. And dry.

It’s just that I’m paying like 6k a year for health insurance, and that’s before the $5,000 deductible. Each. So one might assume that staying healthy is a priority. So one is less inclined to need health insurance to deal with diabetes and clogged arteries.

A health insurance guy thanking you with a Chick-fil-A gift card. The word is incongruous. Nice, but definitely an interesting choice.

Then again, maybe it’s smart business. Eat enough Chick-fil-A and you’ll be buying more coverage.

I tucked the gift card into my purse because I know eventually I’ll be at the mall and the jeans won’t fit and I’ll be demoralized enough to get a Deluxe Spicy Chicken with waffle fries and secret sauce. And that card will mock my ingratitude.

By the way, today is National Gingerbread Day. I thought about writing about that, but the Chick fil-A story haunted me so I had to get it out. Now it can haunt you, too. And if you need health insurance in Middle Tennessee, I know a guy.

Photo: the incongruous gift card, waiting for my next trip to the mall.