Commercial Fan Fiction: State Of Imitation

The insurance game is tough. It’s the kind of job where you sign a client, then only talk to them in case of injury, death, damage to property, or worse, to raise their rates. No one’s happy to get a call from their insurance agent. But those are the good days. Then there are days that made you wish you were a farmer.

I’m Mike. I’m a State Farm agent from Green Bay, Wisconsin. It’s dishonest work for dishonest pay, but if I didn’t do it someone even worse would. At least that’s what I tell myself. It’s not like my clients are saints, anyway. I was sitting across from two such non-saints late last Thursday night when Tucker told me he was heading out. Tucker is usually the last one in the office, but this night I had to stay late to placate these human papercuts.

The wife wasn’t so much a tall drink of water as much as a small shot of something weak, but easily stiffer than her smug stick figure husband. He walked around with the constant cockeyed smile of a man patiently waiting for his award for buttoning his trousers in the morning. It tired me to talk to him. It exhausted me to listen.

They were there to talk about their favorite subject, the Discount Double Check. It’s when an agent combs through a policy to make sure there aren’t any remaining discounts we can apply to a policy. There never are. It’s just a memorable catch phrase to make people think we’re on their side.

“I found a discount you overlooked on our car insurance policy,” the husband smirked. I told him I’d take a look at it. He insisted that I do so immediately, and the wife proceeded to present me with a folder including a copy of their policy, printouts from the State Farm website, and assorted other documents, highlighted for my ease. The husband pointed to a bullet point.

“Right there. Drive Safe & Save Program. We meet all the qualifications.” They leaned back into what they thought were appropriate “checkmate” postures. I sighed. “Unfortunately, the Drive Safe & Save Program does not apply in Wisconsin.” The wife was incredulous: “It applies in California. And that’s where we first signed up for our policy.”

We were interrupted by a rapping at the door. “We’re closed–” I reflexively began, before realizing who it was staring in through the glass front door. It was Cheesehead Marty.

Poor Marty. He was never the sharpest cheddar in the fridge, but a couple blows to the head playing high school ball left him cross-eyed and slow-witted. Now he wanders the city with that damned cheese hat. He likes to come by the store because every once in awhile football players stop by, but he has to stay outside because he pees on the floor. Everyone laughs at him. I don’t find it funny.

“MIKE!” he bellowed in a raspy tenor as I strolled to the door. “DISCOUNT DOUBLE CHECK!”
“We’re closed, Marty. Time to go home.”
“MIKE!”
“Go home, Marty.”
“HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE!”
“Yep. That’s what I sell.”
“CHEESE!”
“Yep. Go home, Marty.”

Suddenly, Marty’s face froze in a panic as he stared over my shoulder. A dark stain swelled the front of his sweatpants. He whimpered. “God damn it, Marty,” I muttered as I opened the door to help him, though what exactly I planned to do I’m not sure. Before I could do anything, though, he took off, speed-waddling away as fast as his ham hocks could carry him.

Turning around, I saw what spooked poor Marty. It was the husband, standing behind me, hand extended, a pea shooter in said hand trained in my direction. On his face, the smirk was gone. There was only desperation. He motioned for me to sit back down and I did.

“We need that discount, Mike. And you’re gonna give it to us.”
“Of course. No problem. There’s no problem. I’ll do it right now.”

Crazy bastard takes his insurance seriously. Only problem was I couldn’t give them the discount. Even if they bought the policy in California, there was no way to give it to them as long as they lived in the quaint confines of Wisconsin. The computer just wouldn’t let me do it.

I logged into the client database and entered their policy number. Hammered out a few nifty sounding keystrokes. Paused for what seemed like an appropriate interval. Then looked up, folded my hands, and gave them a big toothy Sajak.

“All set. Sorry I missed it the first time.”

They exchanged a glance. Then looked back at me. Finally, the smirk returned. “Takes a big man to admit it. Pleasure doing business with you again, Mike.” He stood and turned to leave, then paused and doubled back. “So what’s our new rate?”

Math. God damnit. I can do basic sums as well as the next guy but you try figuring out 6.5% of 165 with a gun in your face. I stared at the screen like a chimp staring at a chessboard until it became clear that I didn’t have the answer.

With alarming quickness, the husband swooped around the desk and tipped my chair on its back, crouching down and shoving the gun against my temple. “The discount or your life,” he snarled. I asked him why the damn discount was so important to him. His eyes glazed over. The smirk went crazed: “Do you know how expensive meth is in Green Bay? We’re not in New Mexico or anything. We have to pay extra shipping costs and shit, so we need to pinch every penny, and you scamming us on discounts that we god damn deserve isn’t gonna fly, so now, for the last time, will you GIVE US THE FUCKING DISCOUNT?”

That’s when I heard what felt like an angel’s song, a cry that washed over me like the cleansing waters of the river Jordan.

“RODGAHS!”

The husband whipped around to find Cheesehead Marty standing in the door, pointing. With him and marching toward the husband was Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He looked pissed. The husband swung his arm but it was too late. Rodgers knocked the gun out of his hand, grabbed the husband by the throat and slammed him against the wall.

“Hey buddy–” the husband croaked, “–listen, I’m–”
“My name is Aaron fucking Rodgers,” Rodgers growled. “How the fuck do you know B. J. Raji and not me? You remember the god damned nose tackle, but somehow the fucking quarterback slips your mind?”

Rodgers hurled the husband to the ground and removed his belt. The husband rose to all fours, coughing and sputtering. Rodgers walked up behind him: “And my touchdown dance? It’s a belt. Let’s make sure you remember.” And Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers wrapped his belt around the husband’s neck and began to squeeze.

Marty, the wife and I looked on in frozen horror as Rodgers suffocated the poor husband, his watery, red eyes bulging out of his head, skin turning blue. I wanted to help him. I wanted to yell. All I managed to do was sit there and thank the good lord that it was his neck, not mine, that was crumpling like a soda can.

But at the last minute, Rodgers loosened the belt, just barely, and the husband managed to sucked down a golf ball of air, if that. “Still alive?” Rodgers muttered. Then he shrugged. “Discount Double Check.” Rodgers re-tightened the belt and finished the job.

When the husband’s limp body fell to the floor, there was a long silence. Finally, Rodgers turned to eye the wife. She returned his gaze blankly.

Then a cheshire grin oozed across her face.

“Aaron, darling,” she purred, “I thought you’d never come.”
“Yeah, cheese-brain was a little late relaying the signal.”
“CHANGED PANTS!” Marty chimed in.

Rodgers picked up the body while the wife guided me into the chair at my desk. “Now Mike,” she cooed, “I know suicides are a lot of busywork for you agents, so you’re gonna want to get started first thing in the morning.” Rodgers stood up on a chair, hoisting the body up along with him. I was still shell shocked. “I… suicide?”

“Tragic, I know,” the wife continued, “That my abusive, meth addicted husband decided to cut his life short. Good thing I took out that big State Farm life insurance policy. Thanks for your help with that.” Rodgers looped the other end of the belt around a ceiling pipe, suspending the body from the ceiling.

Rodgers then went to the wife, where they shared a more than friendly kiss. She shot me a coy look: “So you better get home and get some rest, Mike. Tomorrow’s gonna be a big day.” They turned and, arm in arm, walked to the edge of the store.

“So what,” I called after them, “you’re just gonna assume that I’m not gonna tell the cops?” The wife looked back with a grin: “I know you’re not gonna tell them. Not because you’re a good man. Not because you’re a bad one. Because you’re a good insurance agent. Because you’re there for your clients. Like a good neighbor.” And with that, the wife and Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the store.

For a while I just sat there, listening to the hum of the fluorescents. Then I opened the bottom desk drawer, retrieved my whiskey bottle, poured a stiff slug and knocked it back. “Am I really gonna let them get away with this?” I mumbled to no one in particular.

“FORGET IT MIKE, IT’S GREEN BAY!” Cheesehead Marty screeched as he peed on the floor.

TrikDickNix’s Twitter Feed: 1969-1977

Guess what? Inaugurations are boring.
9:31 AM Jan 20th, 1969 from txt

@DownwardSpiro Tweeting @ you from Oval Office WHAT UP!
8:25 AM Jan 21st, 1969 from web

What’s the difference between your mom and Cambodia? When I invade Cambodia, I don’t regret it when I sober up. BURN!
9:08 PM Mar 16th, 1969 from web

LULZ! You guys seen this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqI4j3FHtLw Hamster eating popcorn on a piano. HILAR.
4:58 AM Nov 4th, 1969 from web

I’m pretty sure there is something under my bed.
11:21 PM Feb 25th, 1970 from txt

I am not kidding around here there is something under my bed WHY DOES NO ONE BELIEVE ME?
2:33 AM Feb 26th, 1970 from txt

False alarm it was just @DeathsKissinger
2:42 AM Feb 26th, 1970 from txt

@WatergateHotelConcierge thanks so much for those soaps, as well as that other stuff.
12:20 PM May 16th, 1972 from web

NO I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
10:36 PM Jun 17th, 1972 from txt

@MorningWoodward @ BernsteinBear STFU
10:04 AM Aug 1st, 1972 from web

Hey! Hey! Everyone check out what I did in China! Don’t pay attention to that other thing, look at China! Reopened relations with China!
6:45 PM Jan 11th, 1973 from web

Shit.
9:17 AM Aug 9th, 1974 from txt

Idea 4 image rehab- cooking show where I show how people w/ no culinary skills can make delicious meals, titled “I Am Not a Cook” Thoughts?
3:13 PM Oct 22nd, 1976 from web

FINE I WON’T DO THE SHOW jeez take a joke people.
3:15 PM Oct 22nd, 1976 from web

@FrostyTheShowman Sure, sounds fun, if you’re really dumb enough to tango with me.
11:26 AM Mar 5th, 1977 from web

NO I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
8:11 PM May 25th, 1977 from txt

At least this still makes me smile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqI4j3FHtLw
4:25 PM May 29th, 1977 from web

FML: Liberty City

Today, I saw this guy moving erratically in random directions and pulling out a series of different guns. Then, a tank fell on my head. FML.

FML: Liberty City

Today, I realized that my favorite radio station only plays, and will only play, the same 12 songs over and over. FML.

FML: Liberty City

Today, a guy robbed my store. In the ensuing police chase, he stole three cars, killed eleven people, three of them police officers, and ran a car into a bank before he was finally apprehended by the SWAT team. He came back and robbed my store six minutes later. FML.

FML: Liberty City

Today, the guy driving in front of me got pulled out of his car and beaten. The mugger took his car and ran over eight other people. Terrified, as there were no police around, I sped away. A block later I got pulled over for speeding. FML.

Looking for the perfect vacation spot?

Hey, I don’t need to remind you how tough things are right now. Seems like everyone’s wallets are feeling a bit less like Hardy and more like Laurel! But don’t think that that means you can’t find the perfect vacation spot for you and your loved ones. If you need to get away, just look to the Live Music Show Capital of the World! That’s right,

EXPLORE BRANSON!

It’s never boring in Branson, Missouri! Just look at some of the exciting Branson events coming soon:

3/27-3/29: Young Christians’ Weekend

3/28: 6th annual Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

4/4: Eggstravaganza

And that’s just the beginning! Did you forget about the legendary Branson live music shows? Like our slogan proudly boasts, “Someone you love is always playing in Branson!” Why just recently, we’ve had such amazing and well-known acts as Kirby Van Burch, The Baldknobbers, Presley’s Jubilee, and Circle B Chuckwagon! Still not convinced? Did I mention that Branson was recently voted the number 3 most budget-friendly destination by travel agents? Number three! That’s like a bronze medal.  And as our website is quick to note, “Branson is less than a day’s drive for one-third of Americans.”  Amazing, right? It’s like we never run out of selling points!

By now you’ve probably guessed that keeping up with all the new and exciting things happening in Branson is quite the challenge, which is why we find it absolutely necessary to have a Branson Blog.  Also, you can friend Branson on Facebook and Myspace! We’re just that cool!

So if you haven’t already, plan your trip to Branson today! Act now and you can be here before the April 24 Al Roker book signing! No, I’m not kidding!

TV Shows I’d Like to See

Dateline’s to Catch a Predator:

She's only 14???

SHE'S ONLY 14???

Nicolas Cage Attempts to Act His Way Out of a Paper Bag

Wha…

Where am I?

It’s dark, and everything feels… rough.  Papery? What’s going on??

Wherever I am, I have to get out of here.  There’s gotta be a way out of here, right?

…right?

Alright, calm down, Nic. You’re an actor. A great actor. You rock! And you’re going to act your way out of here, because that’s what you do best. All you have to do is act like someone who’s going to find the way out of here. Ok, find your center. And…

Hey! Hi, my name is, uh…

John? Yeah, that’s my name. I’m John, and uh, I’m in this dark papery space, but that’s alright, because guess what? I’m about to leave. So here I go, leaving this dark papery space. Bye-bye, everyone!

And… scene.

Nothing? Damn. Come on, Nic, you can do this! You’re a good actor, everyone tells you so! You’re a Coppola! Just remember what Uncle Francis always used to tell you, he’d say: Nic, you can’t act worth shit, now get out of my bathroom.

Well that doesn’t help very much.

Wait- what’s that? By my shoulders, is that– light? Yes? Surely that must be the way out, if i just go towards the light.

Go towards the light! I’m supposed to do a death scene! Awesome, I can finally do that death scene I wrote that the director wouldn’t let me do from “Gone in 60 Seconds”! Ok, get back into the character of Memphis Raines. Here we go. You’re a panther, Nic. King of the jungle. Time to roar:

No! Who could have seen this coming? That Elenoar, the very car that eluded me my whole car-thiefing career, would become my bloody, metal tomb. Oh irony! But I have no regrets. Angelina Jolie, I am glad you are by my side as I die, because I have something to tell you: You’re pregnant. With my son, who I will play in any sequels. Cough, cough. I am not long for this world, Angelina. I love you. I love you a lot.

Gone in sixty seconds?  No, gone in one second… I am dead.

No? Still here? What the hell, that was some serious acting! Doesn’t anyone know good acting when they see it?

Alright! Everybody listen up! Whoever is controlling this, whoever is deciding whether or not my acting is good enough to get out of this dark, papery trap, listen to me! I am a good actor! I won an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas! I was great! Don’t I get any credit for that? And what about Adaptation? That was awesome, and I was awesome! Doesn’t that make up for Next and Con Air and Sonny?

And what about The Rock? That was cool, although mostly not because of me. Doesn’t that make up for National Treasure and City of Angels and Kiss of Death and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Bangkok Dangerous and Fire Birds and Trapped in Paradise and Knowing and Zandalee and Windtalkers and National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets and Family Man and Deadfall and Never on Tuesday and Ghost Rider and Vampire’s Kiss and 8MM and Wicker Man?

No?

Well you know what, screw you, whoever is keeping me in here, you wouldn’t know good acting if you traded faces with it.

It’s not that bad in here anyway.

It would be remiss of me not to mention that this post was 100% ripped off of this post from Jenn Babin’s delightful blog. Go read it if you like whimsy.

I’m a big fan of saying I’m going to do things and then not doing them. In fact, I think I’m going to do just that in my next post.

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