Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Hope This Isn't One of Those "You Had to Be There" Stories

In order for you to appreciate this story I need you to get a voice in your head, a voice with a thick Indian accent. Perhaps you have an Indian friend's voice you can summon, or perhaps you've watched enough episodes of Seinfeld or The Simpsons to prepare you for this task. But whatever you do, do not read further until you have that voice readily available.

Okay? Okay.

Way back in 2008, when we were making arrangements for our mass exodus from Utah, I took the responsibility to arrange our new home and car insurance. Lucky for me, our realtor offered a complimentary service to help folks like us. I was put in touch via email with a man named Zia who would take our information and then fetch several quotes. We arranged homeowners insurance over email, but when it came to car insurance, Zia decided that it was better to talk it over on the phone. So he called me.

When I answered and he introduced himself, I found that Zia had a thick Indian accent and a big heart. He was kind and encouraging about my family's upcoming move as we chit-chatted a bit. Then, we began talking car insurance. He explained that there were several different policies to consider when it came to car insurance and that they varied mostly in coverage amounts, and then he began going over them one by one. (Okay, it's time to summon that voice and read this in your thick Indian accent.) Said he:

"In this poe-lee-see, you would have one hundred thousand dollars of coverage per person and a five hundred dollar deductible in the event of an accident--" and--this is where it gets funny--he paused and in a low, humble voice sincerely said, "You know, God forbid anything happen to you or your fam-ee-lee."

Because, you know, insurance is all about imagining horrific, worst-case-scenarios. And even though Zia was so kind and sincere, this made me giggle. Something about the accent mixed with the sincerity just put me over the edge and I had to put my put my hand over the receiver while I bit my lip and tried to swallow my laughter back.

I finally managed to say, "Uh huh," without laughing.

Zia read the next poe-lee-see detailing the deductible and amount of coverage and ending with the same preventive, sincere prayer, "God forbid anything happen to you or your fam-ee-lee."

And I'm telling you, it was even funnier the second time.

But it really got funny on the third round of "God forbid anything happen to you or your fam-ee-lee."

In fact, I completely lost focus of any of the information he was giving me and instead braced myself for the next one. Like a fabulous thrill ride at an amusement park, I waited through each poe-lee-see explanation with equal dread and giddy anticipation. It was so, SO funny, and yet, I had to keep it together and not laugh.

And with each time he said it--God forbid anything happen to you or your fam-ee-lee--it was as if it became more and more painful for him to keep talking about the hypothetical car accidents that would be covered by these contracts. He became more and more somber and I could almost see him shaking his head reverently, pained to have to speak of such things.

And across the country, on the other end of the line, I too was shaking my head as tears of supressed laughter were streaming down my face. Say it again! Say it again! I was thinking, and then, Wait! No! Don't say it again! I'm going to snort!

"God forbid anything happen to you or your fam-ee-lee."

I think Zia read about 15 total policies to me. I had no idea which one was the best. I finally managed to think about cancer patients and natural disasters long enough to sober up and say, "Which one do you think is best, Zia?"

I was reminded of this story because we switched car insurance policies this morning. As it turns out, the policy I chose with Zia wasn't the most economical. But, you know, the good news is that nothing happened to me or my family. I think it's safe to say we have Zia to thank for that.

Thank you for your participation in this interactive blog post.


Soul-Fusion said...

while my Indian friend does not have a thick Indian accent (she is from Canada by way of England), she does a great impression of the accent so that part was easy to picture. But even easier to imagine is the "god forbid" plea at the end of each sentence. My Indian friend (with no accent) is highly, highly superstitious (did you know that certain gem stones can be bad luck? lucky for her diamonds are good luck for her!) so this sort of invocation is pretty much the norm for her. Love the story.

Ximena said...

OMG! I looved this story and YES I did try to use the Indian voice your blogg!

Leslie said...

Love this story! And, I add my prayer to Zia's, but unfortunately, it doesn't sound nearly as funny with a Utahn accent. Hmmm?

Anneliese said...

indian accents are about my favorite thing ever. i just love it. melts my heart.

Christy said...

This made me smile1

Hil said...

You made me laugh out loud with the snorting comment. Like, really laugh out loud, not just the LOL thing. too funny.

Becky said...

Nope. You definitely didn't have to be there. Too funny!

Shua said...

I remember when you told us that story right after it happened. I went into a tragic coma from laughing so dang hard.

Barely kidding.

So funny.

alex dumas said...

I totally heard it.

Jesse C said...

That's amazing, and I'm sure he was shaking his head somberly when he pleaded that nothing happen to your fam-ee-lee.

Angie said...

That's a riot!

annie p said...

one of my doctors is indian. i went in to see him one day recently. he was sitting in the corner on a stool...with his eyes closed. he told me he was not sleeping, just that his eyes were really tired. luckily it helped lighten the situation, and his eyes were closed so he could not see me laugh!

Mac and Dixie said...

I found myself reading your entire post with a Indian accent! its actually one accent I have no problem hearing in my head and imitating. I struggle with Chinese, unless the word has an "L" somewhere...ROR (Raugh-Out-Roud!) I am still laughing...that was funny stuff!

Kari said...

I had a Professor from India who would say a prayer of good luck for us before each test we took in his class. This story reminded me of those tests. It was sweet of him but REALLY funny too!

Omgirl said...

Oooo....I LOVE posts read in a good think accent. do it again!

MiaKatia said...

What a great laugh. I'm oddly superstitious too, so I would have loved his little blessing on your fam-ee-lee

Mindi said...

i love you tiffany!

and, fyi, i WAS doing my best indian accent in my head. but it all came together with the spelling of "fam-ee-lee"

zia has no idea that he is famous on the world wide web.

you tell the best story, lady.

courtney said...

oh. my. GOD.

i just laughed out loud. at work. may or may not have been a snort. and i'm supposed to be working.


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