, Gloucester, MA

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March 18, 2013

Fishtown Local: Facing the '1 percent' solution

This time of year, things can get mighty peculiar in the barnyard. But sometimes, it’s a good peculiar.

It’s been snowing so much lately, that the donkeys have had to stay stuck in their stall for whole days at a time. That big February storm was the worst and had a six-foot drift across their opening and they didn’t know where to begin to tromp it down, and the other recent storms drifted up, too. But the two intrepid beasts dealt with it in their unique logical donkey way.

Instead of their regular year round pattern of just “letting ‘em fly” all over the place as these two wild and crazy donks have been wont to do these past seven years, they have recently begun carefully depositing their little chestnuts in the same corner pile every day for the past week.

See, you can teach an old donkey new tricks. Maybe there’s hope for the rest of Gloucester, after all . . .

So why is it so disturbing that my house insurance company informed me by mail today that we can get 5 percent off our premium if we live in a gated community and another 5 percent if there is a guard.

Naturally, the gates must be controlled by guards and locked. Visitors are announced and proper identification is required to enter. Hey, better not go out for milk and forget your ID, you might never get home again. Thanks, Chubb, you are indeed a company “of the people” — just don’t ask which people.

Doesn’t that 10 percent come out of the customers who aren’t in a gated community? Isn’t it built in to the premiums of the ungated so they can give the discount to the behind-the-gates crowd?

My company prides itself that it’s the No. 1 company for “old houses.” But not that many gated communities have old houses. I wonder if they eventually might have to choose between classic old houses and new McMansions. They’ll choose with the money, probably now with the old houses, but soon to be passed by the McMansions with their discounts.

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