When a well-known Chancellor of the Exchequer read in a humorous comment piece that his mouth was like “the clenched and encrusted anus of a constipated dachshund” he still managed a smile, despite his mouth genuinely being a bit like that. The Chancellor, who can’t be named here for legal reasons, saw the funny side, despite his children being bullied, his wife being ostracised and his friends chortling hurtfully behind his back in a posh kind of way.
Because said Chancellor had long ago, as a student, wisely invested in a then new insurance product that ensures even the most vicious comments made by the nastiest of comedians, commentators, cartoonists and satirists can turn into instant cash for the victim.
“It acts just like private health insurance, in that it adds an extra layer of protection to the already privileged” explained anti-satire insurance broker James Fazakerley. “Anyone who has the slightest intention of entering public life pays a set premium while still a member of the Bullingdon Club or the like. These premiums are low, but they soon mount up. For most people, the premiums are wasted, because they fail to become huge stars or massively famous politicians. But in some cases, where the satire has affected a big career or hurt a wife’s feelings, there can be huge payouts. Everybody thinks Jeremy Clarkson is rich because he does such a lot of telly and arsecreeping to Rupert Murdoch. In reality he has claimed millions on an anti-satire policy he took out in 1976, when he realised he was destined to be hated by so many people.”
Recently, though, the anti-satire insurance industry has been accused of dark dealings. Some public hate figures have, it’s alleged, conspired with cartoonists and stylists to create horrid caricatures of themselves, and split the proceeds with the satirists themselves. Others have set out to build themselves into monstrous self-parodies with the deliberate aim of inviting hurtful satire and collecting huge payouts.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said anti-satire insurance broker James Fazakerley. “Our industry represents the pinnacle of sophisticated insurance products interacting with the best interests of free speech. Gone are the days when you were happy, if you made it, just to buy your Spitting Image puppet. Anyway, I have never met Eric Pickles.”