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Going Down the Rabbit Hole-in-One

Apparently, hole-in-one insurance is a thing. As is insuring prizes for all manner of promotional events, like, say, guessing the exact weight of a giant pumpkin, or winning a rubber duck race. Or, um, taking first prize in “cow chip bingo.”

Turns out that hole-in-one insurance arose from the custom in which the golfer who scored the ace was expected to buy drinks for everyone in the clubhouse. Because that can get expensive – and because this is America – “an industry sprouted up to protect these golfers.” Under an insurance model that dates back to at least 1933, golfers paid a nominal annual fee to cover the bar tab in the event they got lucky.

But here’s where it gets weird – for me, anyway: “Though the concept largely faded away in the U.S., it became a big business in Japan, where golfers who landed a hole-in-one were expected to throw parties ‘comparable to a small wedding,’ including live music, food, drinks, and commemorative tree plantings.”

A commemorative tree planting? At a wedding? So that’s a thing, too?

Like usual, I’m way behind the times here. (There are even scripts!) According to brides.comwhere else? – “planting a tree to celebrate a new marriage is an ancient unity ceremony recognized in many cultures throughout the world.” But then, they also point out that it’s “an eco-conscious practice that catches the eye of modern-day partners looking for a fresh twist on more traditional wedding ceremonies,” so, grain of salt and all that.

But that brings me back to the insurance story. Apparently, if something falls within just one of three categories of risk – mathematical (like coin-flipping), skills-based (the aforementioned hole-in-one), or odds-based (sporting events) – it’s insurable. But a marriage is both skills- and odds-based; heck, if you accept the argument that everyone has a soul mate, it’s also mathematical.

So if we could come up with an algorithm based on the relative skills of the bride and groom, the chances you’ll find your one sweetie among 7.9 billion contenders, and the 1/1 odds the marriage will fail regardless, we could come up with a premium – one that would cover not only the legal fees, but also the cost to dig up the tree you foolishly planted.

Wait. I just realized that a prenup is basically just marriage insurance. Never mind.



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