I keep it succinct, telling my father, I’m going off to war and the money is vital for my survival. He will get the loan back in six weeks. Larry says he can’t loan me the money because he has to, “pay the water and power bill.” Then, without missing a beat, he says, “I’d like to take a life insurance policy out on you for a million dollars.”

I feel like I just fell through a trap door. I stare at him and let him blabber away. The urgency of catching the flight to Toledo disappears as Larry outlines his plan: “Since you’re always running off to war it makes sense to get a policy. I will pay for the policy, so naturally I’ll be the owner and sole beneficiary.” Susan, his fourth wife, exaggeratedly nods her head in agreement.

I feel the anger rising, but I betray no emotion, just to see how far he will go. “But dad,” I ask, “if you can’t afford to loan me three thousand dollars, how can you afford the premium on a million dollar policy?”

He replies, “Susan used to work in the insurance business, so we can get a discount.”

I look him dead in the eye and say, “Nobody is going to gamble on me getting killed.”

Larry jumps off the couch and screams, “You owe me!”

I jump off the other couch and head for the door. I have an uncontrollable urge to hurl Bozo and Mommy Cunt Number Four through the plate glass window of the sixteenth floor.

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