In North Carolina, Cahrlotte,
A smoker smoked a lot,
And bought one day cigars expensive,
As they were by the box addictive,
But so he could be of his possessions sure,
He did his box insure,
And did include as well for fire,
In case disaster should transpire.

But when he the cigars had smoked,
Insurance people choked,
And said he was insane,
When he the company did call,
And placed a claim,
Saying in fires, twenty four quite small,
His possessions up did burn,
And so he did compensation earn.

But insurers did to pay refuse,
Saying he their contract did abuse,
So the man the issue fought,
In a local court,
And as legal arguments did turn and twist,
The claimant contract wording did assist,
So the judge did finally decide,
The company must by law abide,
And the claimant pay,
What 'er the judge did say.

Fifteen thousand was the sum,
And this insurance folk did stun,
But though unwillingly they paid,
The matter was to rest not laid,
For as his cheque the claimant did deposit,
Police him did arrest,
And did him then imprison,
On counts twenty four of arson.

For did he not willfully his property destroy?
And does this not the law annoy?
So for this awful crime,
Twenty four thousand was the fine,
And as arsonists should suffer hell,
He was to prison sent as well.

(The Week, June 3rd, 2000. Issue 258)

---July 2, 2008---

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