Monday, January 8, 2007

The Wall Street Man Cometh

Andrew Porter, financial exec
Walked up to the door of the shack
He was here to stop a lawsuit
And he feared there'd be plenty of flack

A couple wanted a million
And they just refused to take 'No'
Now they were threatening 'LAWSUIT'
So Andrew said ' I HAVE to go! '

He didn't tell his colleagues
Or anyone else he had gone
Then he could boast of his triumph
When returned to his office alone

He drove down from Wall Street to Georgia
To tell them 'Forget your big plan
If you think I'll give you a million
Then you're talking to the wrong man! '

He spoke to them on his cell phone
He said he was on his way
This was a special visit!
He would see them later that day

He parked his Lexus and made his way
Through the slime and the greasy dirt
He held on to his briefcase and cell phone
And straightened the cuffs of his shirt

Dressed to the nines in his pinstriped suit,
With his briefcase, and black polished shoes
His professional, confident manner that said
'I'm controlling this talk with you! '

'How can anyone live like this?
They really have nothing to lose
On the phone they were friendly this morning
But I guess they won't like my bad news! '

'I can't wait to get back to the office
That merger will bring in the cash
Tomorrow it's back in Manhattan!
Today it's meeting White Trash'

The door opened up, and there stood Bubba
His hand reached out; he said 'Hey'
His wife, named Bertha said 'Come on in!
It sure is a beautiful day...'

'But wait Mister Pinstripes, 'cause we have rules
and our guests gotta follow 'em too
Now you can't come in to our home as long
as you're wearin' them socks and shoes...'

'My shoes? ' said Andrew, embarrassed, surprised
'But my dignity? What about that? '
'Leave it outside with those fancy shoes
AND socks, then we'll have our chat! '

'But I just had them polished' cried Andrew
'I CAN'T take them off. It's unjust!
You have no RIGHT to do this!
I MUST keep these shoes on! I MUST! '

Andrew was in a panic
A barefoot financier?
'I'll make this meeting a short one
Then I'm getting right out of here....'

Bubba looked him up and down
And grinned with a touch of spite
He looked like the type who if challenged
Would put up quite a fight

Andrew shook his head, and argued
and said 'But this is absurd! '
'Sorry - bare feet are all we allow.
Now don't say another word! '

'You're in Bubba country, not in New York
And we do things different down here
Now lose those shoes' said Bubba
His grin went from ear to ear.

The high and mighty executive
Begged 'Please let me keep them on'
But when he saw it just wouldn't happen
He groaned but acknowledged they won

He took off those Ferragamos
Well polished, expensive and new
And then his brand new Brooks Brothers socks
Embarrassed, he took them off, too

His soles now rested on dirty floor
He shook his head with disgust
His shoes lay abandoned and shiny
His socks were now covered with dust

'Now come on in, Mister Porter, sir! !
Make yourself comfortable!
Now set right down on our sofa here
Prop yer feet on the table! '

'Oh, no - I couldn't do that! ' said the
upper class businessman
'Put my feet on your formica table? '
But Bubba said 'YES! You can! '

'You're too high and mighty there Pinstripes! '
So Andrew swallowed his pride
Up went his feet, but he hated to do something
Foolish and undignified

'And here is your beer, and NASCAR is on
My feet sure itch! Mister Suit
Those nice gold cufflinks sure would help...
To scratch the itch on my foot! '

'NO! ' snapped Andrew, 'How DARE you! '
But Bertha grabbed both his sleeves
She pulled off his monogrammed cufflinks
'It's time for me to LEAVE! '

'My cufflinks are used for my shirt cuffs
GENTLEMEN know what they're for!
To use them to scratch is repulsive
I wont stay here anymore! '

Then Mister Porter looked 'round, 'My phone,
and the keys to my Lexus! My CAR!
I put them down on the table here, but
I don't know where they are? ! '

Bubba grinned. 'Never you mind that Lexus!
You CAIN'T leave until we are through!
Now approve our claim, Mister Pinstripes, sir!
We got some business to do! ! '

'And my shoes and socks that I just took off
They've disappeared from the floor! '
Where have you put them? ' cried Andrew
'They were right there by the door! '

'Those city boys shoes shined up so nice?
Those socks? Don't be thinkin' bout those
They ain't right for a redneck meetin'
In fact you got on the wrong clothes! '

''Cause we have rules you gotta follow
OVERALLS are all you can wear
So lose that high and mighty suit
Yer much too well-dressed! It ain't fair! '

'My CLOTHES! ' yelled a stunned Andrew Porter
'I REFUSE to take my suit off!
You force me to dress up in OVERALLS? !
This is really MORE than enough! '

'You're a city slicker' said Bubba
And we're just a couple of hicks
You got a fine education
We're as dumb as two bricks! '

'So we gotta do somethin' to even things out
So we ain't so different from you
That suit you're wearin' is just too fancy
But we'll fix you up like new! '

Andrew was very angry
He stomped and he yelled and he seethed
'You people have TRAPPED me HERE! ' he cried
'Give me my shoes and my keys! '

Bertha said 'Look here Mister
You owe us PLENTY of cash
Say yes - go back to your office
Say no - we make you white trash! '

'The police will be looking for me! '
said Andrew 'I'm sure even now they're quite near! '.
Bubba said 'But you told me
That nobody knows you're here'

'You mean I'm a hostage! ' yelled Andrew
Bubba just grinned and said 'Sure!
A million dollar barefoot hostage
'Cause we're tired of bein' so poor! '

'We got some negotiatin' to do
That' why you made your trip!
Now I'm sick of your whinin' and cryin'
I got one word for you - and that's STRIP! '

No one on Wall Street had ever dared
To speak like this toothless bum
Andrew muttered 'I'm trapped
Why oh why did I come! '

'I can't give them a million
It would ruin my career
My Wall Street reputation
The company too - that is clear! '

So Andrew knew he was beaten
He stripped off his suit, tie and shirt
Replaced them with overalls - overalls!
Wrinkled and covered with dirt

'But I won't say yes to your claim! Oh no! ! !
You can take my clothes and my car!
You have never met Andrew Porter before!
Executive Superstar! '

'That's fine' said Bubba 'We'll see in time
We'll just have to wait for a YES...'
And sure enough, day after day after day
They put Andrew to their test

While sleeping they gathered his mirror-shined shoes
Silk socks, Rolex, cell phone and keys
Suspenders, tiepin and silk necktie
'He sure won't be needin' these! '

In the pocket of his beautiful suit
They found his wallet as well
In his Lexus they found his laptop open
And password: they simply pressed 'sell'

Like redneck vultures they searched with the goal
Of changing the Wall Street suit
Into a bona fide bubba
They continued to strip and loot

Andrew Porter had planned that night
To stay at the finest hotel
His Lexus was filled things that only belonged
To a man who lived very well

In the trunk was expensive luggage
An Armani tuxedo, just pressed
Black bow tie and starched white shirt
Bubba was very impressed

Next to investment statements
New shoes in an unopened box
Italian shoes, size 9 and a half
Next to them, folded silk socks

They ransacked his pinstriped pockets
They grabbed his undershirts
They drove his Lexus deep into the woods
And covered it with plenty of dirt

They grabbed his electric razor
Palm pilot, stock analyst notes
Even his Wall Street Journal
And his Burberry overcoat

His address book and his toothbrush
His Ipod and even his comb
Whatever he owned they took away
This shack was now his home!

They stole everything, left him with nothing
They hid both his briefcase and car
When Andrew woke in a state of shock
He yelled 'Who do you think you are! '

'We'll make you a redneck just like us
Said Bertha, 'Now that's our plan!
If you don't give us our one million dollars
You're gonna be a new man! '

'We'll drag you down from your ladder
Into overalls and bare feet
They'll never know it was you
If you ever go back to Wall Street! '

'A redneck! A bubba' said Andrew with scorn
'I went to an Ivy League school!
I'm a wealthy corporate businessman
Not some backwoods hillbilly fool! '

But Bubba and Bertha were shrewd
They picked Andrew up and and threw
Him into the life of a Bubba
Oh, yes, they what to do

As the days went by something strange
Happened to Mister Wall Street
They almost never let him shave
'Ya gotta look sloppy, not NEAT! '

They had taken away his wallet
His credit cards, identity
Even his driver's license had vanished
He wondered 'Am I still me? '

Every day they said again:
'Are you gonna say yes to our claim? '
Andrew said 'NO! ' And bubba snapped
'Then you just got yerself to blame! '

'If you don't give us a million
You'll never slide yer heels
back inside those shined leather shoes
So think about makin' a deal! '

Every day they made him learn
The laid-back redneck way
A dramatic change from his old life:
All corporate work and no play

If he tried to put up a fight then
They wouldn't allow him to eat
They wouldn't allow him to sleep in their shack
They even chipped his front teeth

They made him start learning redneck
And stop all his high-class talk
They cut off his yuppie haircut
They made him shuffle, not walk

'I'm a redneck! A bubba! That's me'
Every day they made him repeat
'I'm NOT a fancy businessman
With an office and job on Wall Street! '

They even took away his name
'Barefoot Andy' - that was the change
For a man who had worn executive shoes
It was bitter, sad and strange

He learned to spit and how to chew
And how to roll his own
He started drinking neat whiskey
And live without a cell phone

The man who had gone to Princeton
Who lunched with the business elite
Was trapped in the home of two rednecks
Drinkin' his moonshine neat

He was forced to hunt for possum
To eat fatback and squirrel stew
To learn to think like a Bubba
And forget the life that he knew

His paychecks no longer came
No office, no power, no car
No Pinstripes, no condo, no cufflinks,
For the man who had come so far

And the man once named Andrew Porter
Controlled, successful and tough
Tried to protect the man that was there
Underneath all the fancy stuff

He fought the change that was coming
To remain the exec that he'd been
But every day of redneck training
Made certain that Bubba would win

Bubba and Bertha were certain
They would make him a hillbilly hick
It wasn't an easy job to do
With a pinstriped and gelled-hair exec

Week after week, month after month
Andrew fought, only to find
The intensive redneck training
Was changing his inside mind

Every day Bubba and Bertha
Said 'You're not a white collar man!
Those days are gone! Just face it!
As soon and as fast as you can'

While he slept they repeated the same words
Again and again in his ear
'You've always been a bubba
This is your life right here'

Andrew battled the conquest
And washing of his brain
But he watched as the privileged life he had known
Slide slowly down the drain

If he tried to talk of ambition
Or successful investment plan
Bubba would yell 'Shut up Barefoot Andy! '
And toss him another beer can

They made sure he grew a beer gut
They stuffed him with fatback and grits
No longer trim, his tailored suits
And shirts would no longer fit

And slowly, finally, surely
His feet stopped missing his shoes
His Lexus, his stocks and MBA
And reading financial news

Belonged to another world
More than two years, so long ago
When the pinstriped and briefcased Andrew
Had arrived to tell them NO

He no longer thought of his office
His Lexus or MBA
Dressed in the same dirty overalls
That world seemed too far away

Those fancy Italian pinstripes
Belonged to another man
The man Andrew was no longer
Thanks to the redneck plan

So ended the corporate Andrew
He forgot about office and job
The man who had been so impeccably dressed
Had been transformed into a slob

Andrew whose shoes would echo
With a satisfying click
Through the corporate halls of Wall Street
Was now a barefoot hick

His will no longer resisted
His desire to fight disappeared
He fell off the corporate ladder
Into the life he had feared

They no longer asked him about the claim
Andrew's brain was a fog and unclear
Whenever he mentioned his old life
Bubba would stuff him with beer

Then one day he asked for his cufflinks
But NOT to wear with a suit!
Or a French-cuffed shirt or a necktie
'I'll use 'em to scratch my bare foot! '

He took the monogrammed cufflinks
And scratched his now leathery soles
Bertha and Bubba looked at each other
This was one of their goals!

'I CAIN'T believe I used to wear
These things with a shiny white shirt! '
Said the Bubba-ized Wall Street banker
Now at home and happy with dirt

That's when Bubba and Bertha
Saw the results of their plan
They had transformed Mister Porter into
A genuine redneck man

The struggle had finally ended
The transformation complete
Barefoot Andy had taken over
Andrew, exec from Wall Street

When the police finally caught up and found him
He told them 'I just won't return!
You see overalls really do suit me
I guess I had lots to learn! '

The police could not believe their eyes
This was the the MBA!
This hillbilly redneck who grinned and said
'It sure is a beautiful day! '

'I won't put the blame on Bubba or Bertha
It's what I want, believe me!
I don't wanna have a high-payin' job
I'll turn in my Lexus keys! '

The police were shocked as they gave him the clothes
He had worn that fateful day
For Barefoot Andy let out a loud laugh
And said 'Take 'em all away! '

'Make a slingshot from them suspenders
Those silk socks? Drop 'em BOTH in a dump
Toss my fancy suit in a trash can
Drive my Lexus into a swamp'

'You can make a spittoon from my UPPITY shoes
You can rip up my necktie and shirt!
I'll never again wear a pinstriped suit
I've learned that I really like dirt! '

'I've been livin' without my white collar
My condo, my job, my degree
It's time for me to start over again
As a junkyard man, yesiree! '

'I'll have my own shack with a junkyard
Called 'Barefoot Andy's Junk'
Bubba and Bertha told me to do it
Whoever would have THUNK! '

But Bubba and Bertha were worried
For he was reduced to white trash!
Andrew was now completely dumbed down
But they still didn't have their cash!

His identity had been stripped away
But he had to sign their claim!
Soon he would be a junkman
A man with a different name

He was now even dumber than they were
The formerly brilliant exec
Was now just a gap-toothed bubba
How would they get their check?

So Bubba said 'Hold it a minute! '
Just sign this right here for me!
Andrew did as he was told
And Bubba said 'Yesiree! '

Bertha grinned and shook his hand
'He said yes! He said yes! He said yes! '
They now had one million dollars
After all that time he said Yes!
Jim Wellington

Delivering Poems Around The World

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1/16/2021 1:11:18 PM #