A Friend With Benefits
“Excuse me? Hi. I know this is going to sound crazy, but would you be my friend? I can offer you a friends with benefits package if you’re interested.”
“Creepy” was the first word that came to Joe’s mind, but yeah, the guy seemed to be crazy, too. Enough so that, with a hurried “No, thanks”, Joe immediately got up from the bench where he was having lunch. The bench across the street suddenly looked like a much better place to eat.
“Wait, wait. That’s not what I meant.”
“Doesn’t matter. I said, ‘No, thanks’.” And NOW there was traffic, when Joe was trying to get away from Creepo Hustler McGee. He waited for the cars to pass—why were they going so SLOW?—when, incredibly, Creepo kept talking.
“Let me re-phrase. What I—“
“Please—leave me alone. If you’re looking for a ‘friend with benefits’, that’s great, whatever, but that’s not me. I’m happily married, and you are making me VERY uncomf—“
“When I said ‘friends with benefits’—which, after saying it out loud I now know was probably the WORST possible way to phrase it, I just didn’t think it through—I meant it literally. Here’s the deal: I have no friends. I am rich. I would like to have a friend. If you’d be willing to be my friend, I can provide you with medical benefits—health insurance—as compensation.” He caught his breath.
Joe was unimpressed. “I have benefits through my job.”
“How much of hospital stays are covered under your plan?”
“I’ll do one hundred. What type of dental and vision you got?”
“Just basic dental. No vision.”
“I’ll do top-notch dental and vision. The works. And prescription coverage. No copay. Consider it done. You’re married; you have kids?”
“I’ll cover them all, the whole family: Medical, dental, vision. Full coverage, with literally no out-of-pocket expenses for you. So what do you say?”
Two weeks later, Joe was at Paul’s place watching the game. Truthfully, he hated watching sports, and Paul still seemed a bit off to him; Joe had taken to carrying pepper spray with him when he went to Paul’s place to hang out—just in case.
But he was enjoying how crisp and clear the game looked through his new glasses. Joe excused himself and got up from the couch, heading towards the kitchen. It was time for him to take his blood pressure meds, and he needed a glass of water.