Rich Rags

Image by Alexandre Prévot

“I’m the richest man in this city” the placard read. He was the notorious homeless man who walked the streets of the suburb, but no one knew his name. He made the sign because he was sick of people giving him condescension money. This sign led many passersby to laugh, or read it again. No one could believe what it said, but the condescension money definitely stopped flowing, to his delight.

A couple days later, while sitting near the supermarket’s sliding doors, a man in his business suit approached to ask how the sign could be true. “Hey man, how are you the richest man in this city? How much money do you have, really?”

The homeless man responded, “Hi, how are you? What’s your name?”

“Ha, I’m good. My name is Chris.”

“Well Chris, now that I know you, I’ll tell you how much money I have.” He pulled out a bag full of coins and began to count. Chris began to look around with discomfort growing with each minute that passed. Eventually “Fifteen dollars and thirty seven cents,” rang out from the homeless man’s mouth.

“Well, you’re definitely not the richest man then,” he said tossing down a twenty to soften his statement. “It’s better the be quiet than to lie, you know.”

“Tell me Chris, which car is yours?”

“That black Mercedes.”

“How much do you owe on that?”

“Uhh, about 15,000, but I should have it paid off by the end of the year.”

“Do you have a house?”

“Yes, up on the hill in the new development.”

“How much do you owe on that?”

“Well, uh, $700,000, give or take.”

“Chris, I think you need this more than I do. Thanks for your generosity though.” He handed back the twenty with a look of pity.

Chris’s face froze as he stood for a minute completely silent, with the twenty in hand. He then sat down beside the homeless man and said, “Hi, How are you? What’s your name?”

“Hi, I’m doing well today. My name is Tyson.”

“It’s a real honour to meet you, the richest man around.”

“It’s an honour to meet you too, Chris.”

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