July 15, 2011

The Daily Mail reported this week how one middle aged lady archivist mining Uvavu’s dusty Norwich archives has conclusively proved that, bizarrely, bizarreness didn’t begin with The Sun’s John Blake in 1982. No, people have been making bizarre insurance claims since, like, Victorian days, and that.

Wildly freakish claims found in the Uvavu archives include:

1878: Lancs grocer in Blind Man’s Buff tragedy paid £15.

1887: Rat bites farmer. Farmer gets £132. How weird is that!

1887: Cornish tailor sits down. Lands £58 after missing chair.

1892: Essex trader claims £50 for rice thrown in eye at wedding.

1910: Yarmouth man nets £1000 after swallowing fishbone.

Olden days generally: Many claim for discarded fruit slips. Relief as chewing gum invented.

Archivist Anna Stone has spent literally months fruitlessly searching for something half-interesting in the vast collection of “fascinating documents” stored in the Uvavu vaults. “It has certainly proved to be very interesting reading material,” Anna insists loyally.

Alongside the fruit slips, sports injuries are common, with many “golfers rupturing legs getting out of bunkers,” she invents shamelessly out of desparation. “Not to mention the clerk who received £36 for an injury caused by a blow from a fellow bather’s heel sustained while diving,” or indeed Anna’s favourites “the vicar who fell while playing a game of leap frog, or the gentleman who missed a dog while trying to kick it – and struck a sofa instead, injuring his big toe.”

Mail readers added their own comments online. “I am glad the man who tried to kick the dog missed,” says Lisa from Northampton. “I laughed when I saw that one,” she confides, eloquently attesting to how very hilarious indeed were the claims-related antics of those crazy Victoriedwardians.

Insurance claims handler Heather from Liverpool tries to get in on the act, but misses the point completely, with a modern-day claim that actually is a bit bizarre, citing “a guy who was “mauled” by a Badger and had £5,000 worth of designer clothes damaged.

Now that’s what Bankstone News calls bizarre!


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