Weird Universe


Tries suicide to escape persistent life insurance salesman

The present-day equivalent of this, I think, would be the feelings of desperation and rage that persistent telemarketers can cause. (Though thanks to caller ID, I just never pick up when they call, which is multiple times every day since the "do not call list" is apparently a complete farce.)

Kingsport Times - Apr 10, 1929

Insurance Agent Pesters Prospect to Near Suicide
CONCORDIA, Kans., April 10 (AP) —Hoping to rid himself of a persistent life insurance agent, Walter Cyr, a young farmer, left a goodbye note to friends and then disappeared.
For three days he was sought in the vicinity of his farm home by hundreds of men and finally was located sitting on a straw stack. When searchers approached he swallowed a small quantity of poison but experienced no ill effects because of prompt medical attention.
Cyr said he had wandered about the countryside for 72 hours, attempting to nerve himself to suicide. He asserted he knew no other way to escape attentions of the insurance man who had been "bothering" him.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jan 12, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Annoying Things, Insurance, 1920's

Insured his brain

1957: Lloyd McManus, president of the Southern Iron and Metal company, insured his brain for $100,000, noting that, "I make my living with my brain."

The inevitable jokes followed in the media: A penny for his thoughts, what happens if he has a brainstorm, etc...

The Bridgeport Telegram — Jan 17, 1957

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Dec 30, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Insurance, 1950's, Brain

Nessie-sary Insurance

A Scottish cruise line felt the need to take out an unusual insurance policy. They are covered in the event that the Loch Ness Monster should damage one of their ships. That is sure to make their passengers feel so much more secure.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat May 04, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Insurance

Calamity Board Game


Gosh, this looks like a really not boring, laugh-a-minute game. And perfect for these economic times!

Stick to your kitty cats, Andy!

More pix and info here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Sep 19, 2012 | Comments (9)
Category: Celebrities, Games, Insurance, 1980's

Follies of the Mad Men #14

Yes, we believe our clients are dumber than a sack of troll dolls, and are not afraid to insult them to their faces.

This illustration, by the way, comes from the great Abner Dean.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Aug 22, 2008 | Comments (11)
Category: Business, Advertising, Insurance, Death, Explosives, Pets, Dogs, Stupidity

Follies of the Mad Men #7


[From Fortune for December 1936. Two image files, click separately.]

Sniffles = Death.

Not the most subtle or believable of Madison Avenue appeals. Sure, in that pre-antibiotic age, pneumonia was deadly. But I can't imagine that the proportion of cold-sufferers who contracted pneumonia--at least among the affluent audience for Fortune--was any higher then than it is today. In other words, miniscule.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jul 31, 2008 | Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Insurance, Death, Family, Hygiene, Medicine, Couples
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.