A Republican Banker Meets His Destiny

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A factory worker, a fervent Democrat dressed in overalls, sat down to have his lunch in a park across from his office.

Then he noticed a very distinguished and dignified man step out of a top of the line BMW, walk into the park and sit down a few feet away on the grass; he was extremely well dressed in a hand tailored Brioni pinstriped business suit, perfectly tied silk necktie, starched white dress shirt, monogrammed cuff links, silver tiepin, Rolex watch, immaculately polished black leather shoes and silk socks. He placed his expensive briefcase next to him and prepared for lunch.

"One of those Republicans, I'll bet" thought the factory worker, and after introducing himself, he found out he was right not only a Republican, but an investment banker!

The factory worker glanced at the banker's shoes, glistening in the sunlight.

"You have those polished every day, don't you?" he asked.

The Investment Banker nodded "Just about. I have to look good for the clients. These were handmade for me. The first thing people notice are your shoes, at least in my line of work."

The factory worker snapped "What about the poor? A few shoeshines would pay for a lot food. You "suits" are all alike! Tell me something. How much money did you pay for those fancy shoes?"

The Investment Banker looked surprised and said calmly "Eight hundred dollars"

The factory worker yelled "Just for ONE pair of shoes! How are you helping out other people? Never trust a suit! And how much was that suit?"

The banker said quietly: "Well, it's none of your business but it was two thousand for the suit and two hundred for the tie and two hundred for the shirt, since you ask. I help them through taxes, but we all have a personal responsibility. Brioni pinstripes are expensive."

The factory worker said "I'm telling you, the poor only need a chance! You should be GIVING them money; they haven't had your advantages!"

The Investment Banker shrugged and said "We all have to work for what we have. I have worked very hard for what I have."

"I saw you get out of that car. Pretty classy!" said the factory worker. "That BMW would pay for several cheap cars!"

"Yes, it is a classy car" said the banker smiling and pulled out his computer. "I am trading stocks so I would prefer some privacy"

The factory worker said "Stocks! Look, poverty can happen to anyone! There's no way you can know that from where you sit with your high and mighty job and your car and your hotshot clothes! If you were not a SUIT, you would KNOW that! You need to know what it's like to NOT be a suit!"

The Investment Banker smiled and said "Keep talking if you want to. When I sleep, nothing wakes me - and I mean NOTHING! I sleep like a rock."

The investment banker put down his computer, sighed, relaxed on the grass and fell into a deep sleep.

Then a barefoot homeless man appeared, and asked the factory worker for change. The factory worker apologized, and said he had nothing, but then he saw the investment banker's wallet in his suit pocket.

He had an idea. He slipped the wallet out, and handed it to the homeless man, ID, credit cards and all.

Then he had another idea - a riskier one. He looked at the banker's feet.
Why not! This is a Republican who needs to give to society! The homeless man needs shoes, and the banker definitely needs to be humbled.

He looked again at the feet of the sleeping investment banker. "Wait! I'm sure you need these more than he does." He then started to slowly untie the investment banker's mirror polished $800 shoes and very slowly and carefully pulled them off his feet.

"You have to have socks to go with these shoes!" he said, and even more carefully, he reached up under the banker's suit cuffs and peeled the black dress socks off the banker's legs, heels, soles and finally his toes, and held them up like trophies. He handed both shoes and socks to the homeless man, who grinned.

The factory worker said: "With my compliments! They are handmade and they were just polished! Somebody told me that the first thing people notice are your SHOES!"

The investment banker, now barefoot, yawned, stretched, but continued to sleep; soon he started to snore again, while the bum walked off in the banker's shoes.

"I guess he won't be seeing any more clients today, and he'll have to miss that board meeting", said the factory worker to himself, "but he'll be a much better person now that he's humbled! I'm changing his destiny!"

An old man walked by and stared at the sleeping banker and the contrast between the tailored suit and his bare feet; he laughed out loud and walked on.

Then a mugger ran by, holding on to money he had just stolen. "A victim of society!" thought the factory worker.
He slid the keys to the BMW out of the banker's pocket, threw them to the mugger, and pointed to the car.

The mugger didn't stop to ask questions - he just drove off.

Then the factory worker saw a sad woman with a baby walking by. "Can I help you?" he asked her. When he found out that she needed money for her rent, the factory worker again approached the snoring investment banker and removed his cuff links; then he slipped the tiepin out of the silk tie.

"His wristwatch will be worth plenty!" said the factory worker to himself, and slipped the Rolex off the banker's manicured hand. He handed them all to the delighted woman. "Sell these!" the factory worker cried. "Oh, thank you sir" said the woman, and ran off.

"It's the least I can do!" said the factory worker.

He then thought: "Well, he has no more fancy shoes, no socks, no keys, no car, no ID or credit cards or wristwatch or license or money. I guess I'm turning him from a suit into something much better! I might as well finish the job!"

The factory worker then noticed the banker's computer and the password on a piece of paper. He sold all of the banker's stocks and bonds, and gave the money to the Democratic National Committee.

Next, a man in a janitor's uniform walked by, looking dejected.

"What's the matter, my friend?" said the factory worker sympathetically. "I..lost my job. I have a chance for a better one, but I don't have the clothes! This is all I have!" and he held up a pair of old polyester pants.

The factory worker sighed, and then looked at the banker's navy blue pinstriped business suit.

"Would this help? It's a two thousand dollar suit! A Brioni!" he asked the man.

"Sure!" cried the man "But how are you going to strip it off him?"

"Just watch and see!" said the factory worker.

He very slowly moved one of the banker's arms and then the other and the banker rolled on to his stomach, still sleeping and removed the suit jacket.

"You could use a briefcase, too!" said the factory worker and opened up the investment banker's briefcase.

He removed the contents and handed it to the joyful man. He also gave him the banker's Blackberry and computer and password. Then he looked at the banker's expensive silk tie and white shirt. Could he manage it?

He had to move the banker again a few times, but he only snored and slept as he untied the tie and pulled off the shirt. Then he unbuttoned the banker's suspenders and pulled them off.

Triumphantly he handed the starched white shirt, suspenders and necktie to the man, leaving their formerly well-dressed owner in his t-shirt.

"Wait" the factory worker said. "You really need the full suit. Give me a hand and I'll need those polyester pants. I'm getting good at this" and with great care and trouble, set to work removing the suit trousers.

Ten minutes later, the man was holding up the full pinstriped suit with admiration while its former owner was reduced to wearing the polyester pants.

He thanked the factory worker profusely and ran off, who brushed off his words: "I'm always glad to help those who need it! I've always been generous!"

"How good it is to help people!" he said to himself. "And mister hotshot isn't a "suit" anymore!"

Twenty minutes later, a policeman walks up to the formerly impeccably dressed investment banker, slapped him on the soles of his bare feet and snapped: "Hey buddy, wake up, no loitering! We don't allow bums to sleep here"

Finally the investment banker woke up with a start and looked down at himself with astonishment.

There was nothing left of the perfectly dressed banker he had been when he fell asleep. He was barefoot, and wearing only cheap trousers and a t-shirt. It took him a moment to realize that his suit, shoes, socks, tie, shirt, watch, jewelry, money, credit cards, ID, computer and briefcase had all been stripped from him.

The factory worker then told him about his car and stocks. The banker began to yell.

The policeman then turned to the factory worker and said "Is this bum disturbing you?" and grabbed the struggling investment banker by the arm and says: "You can sleep it off in the tank, buddy! Vagrancy, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, harassment!"

At that moment, his boss walked by on a stroll, saw his bedraggled employee being dragged away and cried out, "What are you doing?! You're fired!"

Three months later, the factory worker wandered into the park, and saw the homeless man on the corner, as usual, wearing the same gleaming black shoes and socks, but now there was a new panhandler with him, barefoot with matted hair and a grizzled face, wearing polyester pants and a T-shirt. "It can't be!" he says, as he walked up to him. But it is.

The homeless man looked up and winked: "He's one of us now!" he said laughing "And I'm even wearing HIS fancy shoes!"

The expensive haircut and the manicure were gone, along with everything else, and the former investment banker is now an unemployed homeless bum with a criminal record; he had been thrown out of his condo and his wife had left him. It's hard to believe this was the same confident man in the expensive suit and the polished shoes he had seen that day in the park.

"Spare change, sir?" said the banker-turned-panhandler, without looking up.

"Forget it!" snapped the factory worker. "Get a job! Those republicans! They never think it will happen to them!"

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