Tontines and M*A*S*H

RE: the article on tontines found at

This made me think of the tontine Yanks would be most familiar with, and that is the one mentioned on an episode of MAS*H many years ago. Col. Potter recieved word that one of his old army buddies had past away, leaving him the lone survior of the group and the benificiary of the tontine. Only his reward wasn’t money, but a bottle of liquor they had saved. Since this isn’t a tontine as Unca Cecil describes it, is it really a tontine?

Patty Marvel

No, Pattycakes. Just a promise some old friends made. A tontine was specific in it’s rules, which are usually misrepresented in most movies and every television show that attempted to explain it. Actually 1. It was not necessary for there to be only one survivor for the pay-out to begin, and 2. Tontines are now illegal in most countries, for reasons that are self-evident.

They call me MISTER Wizard!

Come on, the most famous tontine was the one between the Fighting Hellfish. Montgomery Burns and Abe Simpson were the last two surviving Hellfish.

dhanson posted 09-23-1999 11:56 PM

I agree that that’s pretty famous, but get real. Medicare is much more famous.

slythe posted 09-23-1999 10:34 PM

Are you sure? (see above)

" ‘Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter.’ " -Kurt Vonnegut, * Breakfast of Champions *

TheRyan’s comment on Medicare and tontines reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw and love:

(in Big Old English Type): Thou Shalt Not Steal

(in smaller modern type): The government doesn’t like competition

A tontine would be illegal in most US states as an unauthorized form of life insurance.