County privatizes fire department, because the rich are more flammable

By Dobro McWaggle, Proboscis Insurance Correspondent

fire-165575_960_720KLUDGE COUNTY, AL—Late Friday night, Kludge County’s 911 dispatcher received the call: “Hello, my house is on fire.”

“Okay sir,” replied the dispatcher, “can I just get your fire insurance ID number?”

The man sounded a little flustered. “Well, my ID card is in my house. And like I said, it’s on fire.”

The dispatcher sighed. “I can try looking it up with your phone number.”

“The fire is really going now. It’s—oh, there goes the propane tank.”

“Sir, I can’t access your account without your phone number.” The caller rattled off a phone number. “Okay,” said the dispatcher, “I’ve found your account. For security purposes, what are the last four digits of your social security number?”


“Thank you. What is your mother’s maiden name?”


“Thank you. What was your high school’s mascot?”

“Is this really—”

“Sir, calm down.”

“Oh, for the love of…” the caller paused. “The mascot was a Lizard. The Mud Lake Lizards.”

“Thank you. Okay, I’ve verified your account. But it looks like we haven’t received your open enrollment form for this year. You are not covered at this time, until this form has been completed.”

“Wait, what?”

“Yes, we sent you the form a few weeks ago. It’s just to verify that your address hasn’t changed, and the same number of people are covered under your policy.”

“Oh, ok. I think the form is on my desk. In the house. You know, the one that’s on fire.”

“Okay, I can just fill that form out for you now. Have there been any changes to your marital status, the size of your household, or your address?”

“Aside from the house being on fire, no. No changes.”

“Thank you. Okay sir, your policy has been reinstated. The fire department is on the way.”


“Swipe your credit card if you want to live!”

Minutes later, a bright red fire truck pulled into the driveway. A firefighter got out of the cab, dressed in his yellow fire suit and helmet. He had a wireless credit card reader in his hand. “Hi there, I just need to collect your co-pay, and we can get to work. That’s going to be five thousand dollars.”

“Jesus.” The man dug out his credit card, and the firefighter swiped it through the reader. The card cleared, and the firefighters started unloading their equipment, rolling out hoses and connecting to the fire hydrant.

The fire chief surveyed the scene. “I see your car and your garage are on fire as well,” he said. “Unfortunately, you purchased the silver plan, which only covers your primary residence, and not outbuildings or vehicles. We can put those out for you, but be aware that you’ll be billed out of pocket.”

The homeowner threw up his hands. “Fine, whatever. Just put the fire out.”

This scene is just one of the many success stories of Kludge County’s new privatized fire department. “We felt like charging taxes in order to provide a vital emergency service to help people in their most dire hour of need was just unfair,” says Glinda Frock, Kludge County supervisor, “I mean, just helping people because they need help? That sounds a lot like…” Glinda lowers her voice, looks around, and whispers, “It sounds a lot like socialism. So we switched over to a system based on our country’s healthcare system, and it’s been working great. People are much happier now. They can choose their fire protection provider, and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month, depending on their fire risk and how much protection they want. It’s so much better than that old, ineffecient public system, where they’d go out to a fire just because. We find that for-profit corporations whose only concern is their profit margin do a much better job than some lazy, unionized public servants.”

“Oh yeah, the new system works great,” says Rob Higgle, the homeowner whose house burned down on Friday, “I’m really happy with it. I’m glad we got rid of that socialist nonsense. I mean, I’m paying eight hundred dollars a month for my insurance premium, and it seems to go up every year, but hey, my taxes went down by four percent! Sounds like a bargain to me.”


With the privatization of fire departments, dozens of new companies popped up overnight.

Standing next to the mailbox outside his burned-out home, Rob says, “I’m just so glad that my tax money isn’t going towards fighting fires for some lazy poor asshole, or some illegal immigrant who’s just going to leech off the system and not pay his fair share. I mean, they probably light their houses on fire on purpose, just to spend my hard-earned money.”

Higgle opens his mailbox. “Oh look,” he says, “I got my invoice from the fire department. See, all those insurance payments were expensive, but now that my house burned down, they were all worth it. I mean, can you imagine if I’d just paid taxes for some public fire department? Who knows what might have happened.” He points to the envelope in his hand. “This right here is proof that our system works. God bless America. ”

He opens the envelope and pulls out a sheaf of papers.

“Dear Mr. Higgle,” the letter begins, “We regret to inform you that your claim has been denied. Your portion of the bill is $750,000.”


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