NETHERLANDS — An invasion of termites that completely devoured the inventory of the Clicken Cläcken Wooden Shoe Factory in Amsterdam is being investigated as a criminal act, according to a spokesperson for AIG, the company that insured the Dutch firm.
Sjon Van Dijk, owner of the nine-hundred-year-old family business, which hasn’t turned a profit since the seventeenth century, denied the allegations, saying “never have I thought to be claiming da monies from da peoples of insurance that rightfully was not to be ours.”
But Inspector Hans Hagen alleged the infestation was suspicious in origin and questioned Van Dijk’s motives. “Dis company we are having here which never has been making da money for years equalling of da hundreds,” he said. “Suddenly all of dem wooden shoes made now as they have been from dem trees have been eaten by da little bugs? Believable is not this to be ever.”
“Always we have been a wooden shoe factory!” declared Van Dijk. “Always we have been turning dem trees into shoes fer people’s feets. What sense now does make it for us to be having da little bugs to be eating our wooden shoes?”
Hagen said it made perfect sense. “Nobody is to be wearing dem wooden shoes,” he explained. “Even in dis country that is our own, nobody is to be anymore wearing dem on der feets.”
Van Dijk’s son agreed. “Never happening this would be if we are to be making the athletic shoes from da cow skin, like telling you I have been fer all da years,” said Maikel Van Dijk, the operations manager. “Da little bugs will not be eating through da shoes made of da cow skin and not dem trees.”
The elder Van Dijk shook his head and sighed. “No more we are to be turning dem trees into shoes fer da people’s feets,” he said, a tear rolling down his cheek. “What from those trees now will we be making?”
Maikel hugged his father, reassuringly, and suggested a new business model for their company. “We can be using da money that is sure to be coming from da peoples of insurance,” he said, “to be turning dis time our factory into a restaurant.”
“Yah,” said the elder Van Dijk, excitedly. “We can be making fer da little bugs a restaurant, and serving on da manu will be dem wooden shoes — in America!”
“Yah, yah” replied Maikel. “We will be using the money to be given us from da peoples of insurance to be opening fer us der wooden shoe restaurant fer da bugs in America!”
Hagen wasn’t buying any of it. “Off which of da moving trucks of tomatoes have now dem been thinking I have started on my way to be falling?”
After a thorough investigation, however, the insurer could find no occurence of fraud and issued a check to the Van Dijks for $75 million.