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Wise Men Say, Only Fools Are Poor

Everyone at the office was getting concerned.

The Big Guy had not been seen for days. This was very unusual for his work ethic.

It took him decades to take a vacation. Now, he had been away for a couple of weeks, returned and apparently went away again.

The worst part was that he seemed a bit down.

OK, the guys around the office were somewhat responsible. After all, they had taken advantage of the Big Guy’s absence to party all day and all night… and more importantly, they were giving everything away practically free. Envision a black and white spy cam for $29.99! Imagine a Vanguard Camera cheaper than a Tivo! Even a kit with four cameras for just $299!

The Big Guy always had a head for numbers, and now the numbers were exploding in his head. He was like the Dutch boy with a finger in the dyke, trying to stop all the financial bleeding caused by weeks of bandit give-a ways, wacky weekends, and his vacation. He had done all he could to raise extra money that wasn’t coming from sales. He had even spilled his own blood.

A middle manager was assigned to watch for the Big Guy at freeway entrances where he had been known to stand with a cardboard sign reading “Will install home automation for food!” But by now, it seemed, the Big Guy was on to something else.

There were stories that the Big Guy had gone crazy with financial worries. Reports were that he had traded in his Hummer for a mountain bike. It wasn’t that he had suddenly learned the benefits of environmentalism, or that he had just seen Al Gore’s movie. “The bicycle doesn’t burn any gas except for my own,” the Big reportedly told Mrs. Big Guy.

There was another story that the Big Guy had run off to a local Indian casino, using every Blackjack and poker skill he had ever learned to recreate the wealth that had slipped away from X10 in these times of unexpected generosity. Finally, it is said, he gave up at the poker table and went straight to the slot machines. He put in a quarter and up came two cherries. “WOW! I’m 50 cents richer,” the Big Guy was heard to exclaim.

Then, suddenly, his next quarter netted him a real fortune. In seconds, dozens of quarters spilled out of the machine. His spirit came back as his face turned back to its jolly composure that showed through when he was counting X10’s fortunes long ago. Moments later, he did it again.

Before the evening was out, he had managed to accumulate more than $10,000, according to casino authorities.

Still, even after his reported good fortune, he was not anywhere to be seen.

Finally, the call came in. The Big Guy had pushed the button on his alert medallion.

Minutes later, we contacted the Big Guy at a Tibetan phone booth.

“I’m in the Himalayas,” the Big Guy said. “I am meeting with a Tibetan wise man at this moment.”

“Uhm, that’s great, Big Guy,” I said. “So, what did he have to say?”

“He spoke directly from the Big Book,” the Big Guy said. “He said it was written by the great American Philosopher Samuel Clemens…”

“You mean Mark Twain?” I said.

“Yes, that’s the one!” the Big Guy Answered.

“What did he say?”

“Get money. Get it quickly. Get it in abundance. Get it in prodigious abundance. Get it dishonestly if you can, honestly, if you must.” The Big Guy’s voice was brimming with confidence. “That’s It! I can go back to work now!

That’s wonderful!

“I’m going to get that bandit,” the Big Guy said, more confidently than ever before.

“That’s great news, sir.” I said. “We look forward to your return!”


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