There were two men sitting directly across from me on the Metro train. One man was the typical arrogant, impeccably dressed lawyer type: navy blue pin stripe suit, starched white shirt, cufflinks, suspenders, silk tie, polished, tasseled loafers, with his legs crossed and work stretched out with no regard for the person seated next to him. The other man was a much older guy, dressed kind of shabbily, small and thin, and he was getting annoyed at being tapped with the bottom of the expensive shoe from the Master of the Universe with the crossed legs next to him.
The train was very crowded, and when the old guy was ready to exit the train, he excused himself and stood. Pinstripes didn’t even bother to stand to let him out. He simply shifted in his seat, with his legs still crossed.
As the old man exited, he suddenly reached over and slipped the offending tasseled loafer from hotshot’s extended foot. Then, he reached under the cuff of the tailored suit and pulled off his dress sock. In a second, the old man was out of the train, and the executive was so stunned that he only realized what he did after the doors had closed and he could do nothing about it.
So there he sat, in his $1500 suit and his $100 tie and his monogrammed cufflinks, wearing only one very expensive shoe and one black business sock, staring at his bare foot while turning crimson and purple.
I looked out the window and saw the old gut holding up the polished shoe and the sock and laughing. He looked like a hunter holding up a trophy.
I laughed my head off, as did several others who witnessed this. He was smart enough not to look for sympathy from any of us.
Another old guy looked at him with pity, though, and tapped him on the shoulder. He pulled something out of a plastic: it was a pair of plastic flip-flops! The man explained that he didn’t need them, and suit-boy took them without speaking, and took off his remaining shoe and sock, replacing what had been a pair of $500 shoes with $2.98 flip-flops.
Now THAT is a humbling experience.
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