from June 15, 2004
Dear Orville Slack IV,
I’m 23 years old and unmarried with no children, but does this situation stop me from getting snail mail from pessimistic life insurance salespersons?
You got it. No it does not.
—Optimistic in Olympia
The average American periodically receives a letter from a friend, acquaintance, or stranger extolling the virtues of life insurance.
Slack advises that you always reply immediately, before the sender has time to make good on his or her threat to follow up with a personal visit. As a time-saving device, you may wish to compose a form letter for all such occasions.
In the letter, begin by showing gratitude for the invitation. Then, remark that you have tried for years to purchase life insurance, but that the companies from which you have sought to buy it have been totally uncooperative. Mention that they have looked askance at your medical history. Be sure to conclude with the firm expectation that the insurance company in question will pay for the physical.
Another strategy is to compose a form letter filled with quotations from the Book of Revelation. This letter should contain multiple hints that you are a firm believer in the Second Coming and that you expect that event to occur in the very near future. It should conclude by inquiring whether the insurance policy in question covers cases of individual rapture.
Slack cautions that, in the event the friend or acquaintance knows you well, this second strategy would not be effective.