I used to ride the subways down to Wall Street when I worked there many moons ago in a galaxy far far away. Those days seem so distant, like they occurred during a previous lifetime. Alas, I saw blue pinstripe and charcoal gray suits hanging up in a closet during my last trip to New York City. Those were uniforms for me. Sort of like an athlete who retired and hung up their jersey for the last time. It sits on an idle hanger collecting dust.
Anyway, when you ride the subways in the morning, you're going to be greeted by hustlers. My favorites are the musicians playing/singing for tips like the trio of homeless black guys that sing different songs such as Motown classics. Just the other day, a duo of Mexican guys in black cowboys hats entered the downtown No. 1 subway train. One held an accordion and the other an acoustic guitar and they quickly belted out a song as the train raced down Broadway. At least the buskers are providing a service to the few passengers who did not hide their faces in the latest mass market paperback or thumbing through the NY Times or dicking around on their crackberries.
Sometimes, the typical panhandler passes through. Disheveled. Homeless. Reeking of urine and feces. They all have a different and properly rehearsed pitch. Some are straight up begging for loose change while others are cleverly disguised as "life bad beat stories." Like the guy who got robbed and his ass stomped by a group of rogue toughs. He needed to borrow money to get back home.
Every panhandler that shuffled through the subway car had a sob story to tell. During those dark days after 9/11 when confidence was low on Wall Street, I rode the subways every morning worrying about if I was going to get fired that day for not pulling my quota or if someone was going to unleash a dirty bomb in front of the NYSE. There I was... paranoid and deep into debt and absolutely miserable while a homeless person had the audacity to ask me for money when he was more liquid than myself.
I always wanted to stand up and tell everyone on the subway my life bad beat story...
"Hello, my name is Pauly. I'm hungry and broke and need your help. I also work on Wall Street but my job is in jeopardy. I'm having a tough time getting complete strangers on the phone to buy into the Ponzi scheme that we're running. Everyone is so skeptical these days that I have turned to my fellow New Yorkers for spare change. I am deep in debt with four maxed out credit cards and a staggering school loan because like the rest of Generation X, I was brainwashed into believing that I had to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a college education where I'd be guaranteed to have a high paying job the second I collected my diploma. Instead, I left college totally broke and in debt and zero job skills. The only real life skill that I learned in four years? How to make a bong out of an everyday object. I went to work in the sweatshops on Wall Street because I could not afford medical school or law school and let's be honest, I was lazy and didn't want to wait three or eight years to earn a paycheck. I jumped at the chance to mislead investors and pillage their life savings by churning and burning their accounts with bullshit pharmaceutical stocks and New Jersey sewer bonds. Please find it in your heart to help me out with a little something to eat or hook me up with enough spare change so I can drink myself into a stupor at the Kilarney Rose on my lunch hour. Thank you. Have a nice day and God Bless America."Little did I know, that little soliloquy that I conjured up in 2002 was just a prelude to a personal bail out speech that I prepped for Congress. The new speech was inspired by listening to too many Bob Dylan songs off of the Highway 61 Revisited album.
In short, I'd like to know... where's my fuckin' bailout?
I've been a good citizen. Sure, I test the elasticity of certain rules in society and I have been known to flaunt antiquated marijuana laws from time to time, but for the most part, I'm just one of almost three hundred million other sheep in the herd. I kept my lips pursed and bit my tongue during all of those dreary 9/11 funerals and memorials services that I attended. I kept my mouth shut even though I knew that our leaders were lying sacks of shit and that our President only repeated when was told to him by his Daddy's friends from the OBN or Old Boys Network.
Even when I didn't swallow the Obama Kool-Aid, I judiciously withheld my lack of confidence in his mantra for change, so that my demoralized friends and fellow citizens could bask in the warmth of a bright future potentially ahead of them. I could have rocked the boat, shed my self-indulgent ways, and used my powers of persuasion to inspire a revolution in this little corner of the internet. But, I'm no Che Guevara. I'm nothing more than a two-bit hustler, a cheap used car salesman with a bunch of witty one liners. I'm just another middle-aged guy losing his hair and struggling to process the influx of craziness in this world going on around me and trying to make a few people laugh along the way.
Major corporations went into the shitter and banks lost billions and billions of dollars on reckless gambling. Auto companies churned out oversized gas guzzling pieces of shit that no one wanted to purchase, so since those fat cats are lining up for a juicy government hand outs, I figure here was my chance to get in line behind homeowners with bad credit that never should have gotten loans in the first place, the crooks cooking the books at AIG, and those douchebags Freddie and Fannie. Man, if I ever see that bitch Fannie Mae walking down Nassau Street, I'm gonna punch her in the vagina.
I have triplicate photocopies of every single losing sports bet ticket that I made since 2000. College hoops. NBA. WNBA. Boxing. UFC/MMA. NHL. Even soccer. I demand compensation for my brazen wagering and acting on piss poor advice from various idiots (my gut included) who had no clue what they were talking about. That includes Beano Cook and those talking heads on ESPN GameDay.
In addition to all those ridiculous losses at the sport book, I'd also like to be compensated for every single bad beat that I incurred at the poker tables. I know that without proof it would difficult to claim live poker loses, however, I have thousands and thousands of online hand histories saved up that demonstrate the destruction of all of my big pocket pairs and all those times I flopped a set only to get sucked out on the river by a nimrod Scandi who rivered a gutshot on me.
And I'd also like to be compensated for all those bad Hollywood movies that I saw in the theatre. Heck, every time I see another insufferably annoying Adam Sandler movie, you should just send me a check for $65. And while I'm at it, I want refunds for all those whiny indie bands and redundant jam bands that I saw over the years in small clubs in the Village, or in Seattle, or in Austin.
I also get a ton of horrendous service at restaurants in Los Angeles from out of work actors/actresses that can't even fire up an appetizer ticket without fucking it up. I won't bother billing you guys for all those horrible experiences at eateries in Europe, but there's plenty of shitty meals that I endured in Las Vegas, particularly at the Rio. Yeah, I must have spent a few thousand dollars over the last four summers eating shitty dog food while working the WSOP. Those swine at Pizza Hut should be incarcerated at Gitmo for their heinous crimes against humanity including a weak attempt to pass off greasy cardboard as pizza. And don't get me started about that third-rate sugar water that the Rio disguised as an energy drink which made my urine turn an unhealthy shade of orange.
And while I'm at it, I'd like compensation for all of those flights that I took when I got stuck next to...
1. Smelly peopleSince I'm at it, the last episodes of Seinfeld and The Sopranos were both let downs. You clowns owe me at least $5,000 a piece for that tripe.
2. People who would not shut the fuck up and let me read a book
3. Crying babies
And for the love of God, I want $1 for every fuckin' email that cluttered my inbox from various Nigeria 419 scams, like the emails from a princess promising me a hefty payday if I help transfer her inheritance out of her war-torn West African nation. I want $10 for every email that I got claiming that my name was identical to the kin of a deceased person who was due a fat pay day. And I'd like $20 a pop for emails from a wealthy businessman with a terminal illness who needs my help to distribute his massive wealth to a charity of my choice.
And speaking of charities, I'd like to reclaim the majority of the money I lost in Las Vegas strip clubs over the last couple of years. It's ridiculous that I showered strippers with thousands of dollars and not once did I ever get a proper hand job.
So Obama, where's my fuckin' bailout? And by the way, I accept PokerStars transfers.
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