Barbara Cosgrove, eighty-five, of South Florida, recently found an insurance claim check in her nightstand drawer. The check was dated January 23, 1978, and was in the amount of $17,500.
Cosgrove told the Associated Press she'd looked inside the drawer "a thousand times" for other things, and didn't know why she only saw the check now. As it happened, she was looking for a photo of her ex-husband. Ex-husband? Hm. Perhaps the check was God's recompense for whatever she went through with the man.
Here on earth, the money was recompense for an accident in which a rainwater-filled tarp dropped two hundred feet onto her car, damaging the vehicle. This happened under the Brooklyn Bridge, the forty-third wonder of the world.
Alas, the insurance company that issued the check has been declared insolvent and liquidated.
Pity. In today's dollars, $17,500 would roughly come to $58,159.85, according to an online inflation calculator posted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That would be enough, certainly, to get Ms. Cosgrove out of South Florida. She could have moved to New York and bought the Brooklyn Bridge, under which she could have filled tarps with rainwater and dropped them onto cars to her heart's (and her bank account's) (but not her insurance company's) delight.