It's all over but the insurance claim.
The "it" I refer to is the aftermath of a backed up sewer line.
It happened last week, and was not the most enjoyable experience I've ever had. In fact, it really wasn't much fun at all.
My wife and I returned from our date night to find part of the basement filled with water and, um, other material. So, instead of being nipple-deep in a relaxing hot tub, I was ankle deep in, um, something else.
We had to call a restoration company; crews promptly arrived and began the cleaning process. I don't know how much those people make per hour to do this job, but it is not enough.
While talking to the head restoration guy, we ran down a quick list of everything that was damaged. There was a couple of cabinets, some clothes, throw rugs, a fancy cardboard shelving thingy, a sleeping bag, a few odds and ends and my Picasso.
Yeah, that's right. I stored a Picasso under the stairs, on the floor, next to the laundry room. No, honest, I did . . . really.
Much like you, dear reader, the restoration guy didn't believe me, and knew I was only joking about owning a Picasso - it was actually a Rembrandt.
Really, it was more like a crayon creation one of my kids did years ago - but should Junior become a famous artist, it could be worth as much as a Picasso. Hey, no one knew Picasso was "the" Picasso when he was still a kid.
Either way, I didn't try to claim an expensive piece of art on my insurance form.
But it is impressive what some people do try to claim.
The insurance guy related the story of one lady whose basement flooded. She claimed she kept her $10,000 pair of diamond earrings under the carpet and they must have been washed away somehow by the water.
Needless to say, claims adjusters were somewhat skeptical.
Other attempts at insurance scams are as common as hair on monkeys.
A Winnipeg man filed a claim that his car had been stolen. The insurance company noticed he made the same claim three years earlier and called him in to ask about both incidents.
Being an honest fellow, the man promptly told the adjuster the first car theft was a scam. He said the engine on the car was destroyed, so he and a buddy took it into the country and set it on fire before reporting it stolen.
As the insurance guy was looking at the claimant in disbelief, the man said with all honestly, "But I'm not scamming you this time. My car really was stolen."
Police were notified, and the man made it into the Meathead Hall of Fame.
A California man claimed permanent injuries resulting from a car accident. The man said he had chronic pain and brain damage from the crash in which his car was going eight kilometres an hour.
I have personally crashed a skateboard faster than that without injury, but somehow the man convinced the insurance company the claims were legitimate. He was awarded monthly payments for his suffering.
To relieve the pain, the man vacationed in the Bahamas, where he went scuba diving and hiking and did a variety of physical activities.
To help his memory problems, he obtained his pilot's licence.
To no surprise, the man was busted and is facing a variety of legal woes.
Another man claimed he couldn't work delivering newspapers because of injuries sustained in a car accident. The insurance company bought it, and he received monthly payments as well. But the man returned to his job on the sly while still collecting the payments.
However, one of the places he delivered the newspaper was the same insurance office he was scamming. He was soon recognized and will also be nominated for the Meathead Hall of Fame.
There's no shortage of people trying to pull off scams, just as there's no shortage of people who prove to be dumber than a paving stone.
Darren Handschuh can be reached at
. For more of his ramblings, check out his blog at www.therudemonkey.blogspot.com.