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Republican Banker Meets Democrat

A factory worker, a fervent Democrat dressed in overalls, sat down to have his lunch in a park across from his office. He noticed a very distinguished and dignified man sit down a few feet away on the grass; he was extremely well dressed in a tailored Hickey Freeman pinstriped suit, silk tie, starched white shirt, cuff links, tiepin, Rolex, highly polished black leather shoes and silk socks. He placed his expensive briefcase next to him and prepares 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: “Two thousand for the suit. I help them through taxes, but we all have a personal responsibility."

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 hard for what I have."

The factory worker said "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!"

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

The investment banker sighs, relaxes on the grass and falls into a deep sleep.

Then a barefoot homeless man appears, and asks the factory worker for change. The factory worker apologizes, and says he has nothing, but then he sees the investment banker's wallet in his suit pocket. He has an idea. He slips the wallet out, and hands it to the homeless man, ID, credit cards and all.
Then he has an idea… Why not! This is a Republican who needs to give to society! The homeless man needs shoes, and the banker needs to be humbled.
He looked over at the feet of the sleeping investment banker… "Wait! I'm sure you need these more than he does." He then starts to slowly untie the investment banker's polished $800 shoes and very carefully pulls them off. "You have to have socks to go with these shoes!" thinks the homeless man, and even more carefully, he peeled the black dress socks off the banker’s feet, 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 continues to sleep; soon he starts 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!" An old man walks by and stares at the sleeping banker and the contrast between the tailored suit and his bare feet; he laughed out loud and walks on.

Then a mugger ran by, holding on to money he has 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 points to the car.

The mugger doesn'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 and the Rolex wristwatch off his 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, socks, car, ID 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 cell phone and the password on a piece of paper. He called the number and sold all of the banker's stocks, and gave the money to a charity.
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!" he asked the man, after carefully removing the jacket. "Sure!" cries the man. "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 gives him the banker's cell phone. Then he looks at the investment banker's expensive silk tie and white shirt. Could he manage it?

He had to move the investment banker a few times, but he only snored and slept. Then he undid 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.
Ten minutes later, the man was holding up the pinstriped suit with admiration while its former owner was reduced to wearing the polyester trousers.

He thanked the factory worker profusely and ran off, who brushes 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, 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 is nothing left of the perfectly dressed banker he had been when he left his office. 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 and briefcase have all been stripped from him.

He turned to the factory worker in astonished fury. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WHERE IS MY SUIT, MY TIE, MY SHIRT! WHERE ARE MY SHOES AND SOCKS!? MY BRIEFCASE! MY WALLET! HOW CAN I GO BACK TO MY OFFICE LIKE THIS!? I LOOK LIKE A BUM!” 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, “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 gleaming black shoes and socks, but now there is a new panhandler with him, 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 are gone, along with everything else, and the former investment banker is now an unemployed homeless bum with a criminal record; he has been thrown out of his condo and his wife has 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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