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Eric Porter was a stockbroker and late for his office appointment. He pulled out his wallet to check the business card of his client and it fell out of his hand - and into a hole in the ground, between the street and the curb.

He took off his Armani suit jacket and knelt down, put down his briefcase and reached, trying desperately to reach it. His hand grasped hold of it, but he could not pull his hand out.

He tried again, and again - but without success. For a moment, he was sure he would be able to disentangle himself. It was just a matter of coordiniton. But no - he could not.

So Eric sat in the street in his Armani pinstriped suit and his polished Brooks Brothers shoes and his silk tie and asked for help.

Few people passed by; looked the other way from the curious sight of the well-dressed man with his hand in the street, asking for help. A few laughed. No one stopped.

The hours wore on.

A beggar appeared, with a bottle of wine.

He stopped and looked at Eric.

Then he took a swig from his wine.

He sat down on Eric's lower legs, and started to untie Eric's business shoes. He pulled them off. Then he took off the black socks Eric had bought that day for the meeting.

The stunned executive yelled "What are you DOING?! HELP ME!" there was nothing he could do to get away.

The beggar slapped the soles of Eric's feet and said "I bet it will be a different world for you now - barefoot! And I'll take the Rolex and the cufflinks and the suit." He had no trouble wrestling all of this away.

He dropped the bottle.

Eric drank the wine until he was drunk. Eric fell asleep and woke wearing just his shorts and a shirt, thirsty and hungry and needing a shave.

The beggar gave him water and food and some old jeans. He gave him a cup for begging.

And eric learned to say "Spare Change?"

Date Written: January 27, 2005
Author: browserman
Average Vote: 2.8333

02/16/2005 The Rid: Withholding a vote to see if I'm the only person who feels this is a two-star job.
02/16/2005 TheBuyer: So we're clear, it was his wallet he wouldn't let go of, not the business card?
02/16/2005 Litcube (3): It's not clear to this reader that the reason he can't remove his hand from this "hole in the ground" (!?) is due to the fact that he won't let go of the wallet. If that's the case, extra credit; that's kind of funny. Also, was this man mute, blind, and retarded that he’d let a wino wrestle his wardrobe off his person? I mean, sure he’s got a hand stuck in a “hole in the ground” (!?), but weren’t there pedestrians walking by? And, why would this wino drop a bottle of wine with enough contents to get the executive drunk?
02/16/2005 The Rid (2): What Litcube said, except minus a star. Plus, Eric is a total pussy. I mean, why couldn't he get away? Author?
02/16/2005 anonymous: Withholding a vote to see if Rid withholds his vote (per usual).
02/16/2005 TheBuyer: Hi anon_a! Um, what?
02/16/2005 Jon Matza: Pony: please welcome this new author to acme.
02/16/2005 The Rid: Why is it that when someone wants to write something snarky, they puss out and post it anonymously? Just a question, you anonymous cunt.
02/16/2005 anonymous: It makes my nips hard.
02/16/2005 anonymous: Anonymously yours,

02/16/2005 Jawbreaker (2):
02/16/2005 TheBuyer: Speaking of New Author, if it didn't say First Publication right at the top of both of the Guest shorts for today I would swear the same person wrote them.
02/16/2005 Mr. Pony: I'd be glad to, Matza. Welcome to Acme, new Guest Author. On behalf of most of the Authors, I'd like to wish you the best, and hope you will find happiness, success, and some modicum of order and sense here in these halls. We're so glad that you've decided to post a short. It takes a great deal of courage to take that first step, and from the looks of things, you've thrown your hat into the ring with confidence; you have something to say, and you've said it. If you are an existing Author or Guest Author in a new persona, I sincerely hope you have a good reason for creating a new identity (like when I did it) other than to create a convincing identity to trade fives with. If you are an actual new person, we welcome your new voice. It will be added to the diverse tapestry of ideas and thoughts that make up the fabric of our microcosm of humanity. It will be a bumpy ride. At Acme, everything you do will be questioned, everything you say will be criticized. Acme is not for the thin of skin (except Dick Vomit) or the faint of heart (except qualcomm). In this robust community, expect to be picked apart and set on fire. Accept this. Rejoice in this. Here, in these halls, you will find, above all else, honesty. I have never known any of the Authors (and this applies to several of the Guest Authors as well) to ever give criticism that they did not honestly believe and were not willing to explain or defend. You will hear words that you will recognize as harsh, as mean, as vindictive. Purge these simple definitions from your brain. Not just your writing, but your ability to think and reason will be tested. Acme is a crucible that burns away the nonsense, a cleansing fire that will spread across the fields of your very mind and leave only ashes, and shiny, metallic lumps of something resembling Truth. Not actual Truth, which doesn't exist, but something close enough for our short mammal lives. At Acme, you will get exactly what you deserve. So welcome, new Guest Author. Welcome.
02/16/2005 qualcomm: i really like the idea of a dude getting his hand stuck in a hole in the ground. other than that, though, error.
02/16/2005 Mr. Pony: Yes, it likens us to the dumb fucking monkeys we spend our days pretending we're not.
02/16/2005 Mr. Pony: Excuse me, you all pretending you're not.
02/16/2005 Jon Matza: Check plus, M. Pony.
02/16/2005 TheBuyer: Cheers, Mr. Pony! That would make a good add-on to the 'About Acme' section.
02/16/2005 Litcube: Monkey?

I've had it, Pony. You've assaulted me on every angle since my landing here at Acmeshorts. My arrival can be likened to a newborn fawn, still slick from the womb, struggling to stand, yet you would continue to prod me in an attempt to render me off balance. Once I was down, you would (fully aware that I was incapable of defending myself) carryout your relentless barrage of fiery sledgehammers upon my tender spirit.

I've kept quiet up until now, but quite simply, there's only so much mud a kid can hold on his face before he balls his skinny fist. Know this, Mr. Pony: as you stand there with outstretched arm holding me at bay, your menacing silhouette against the 3 o’clock sun looming over me, one of my flailing scrawny limbs will, sooner or later, land the blow of reckoning that puts a halt to this relentless bullying once and for all.
02/16/2005 Jon Matza: Litcube: if you saw how Pony treats "coloreds" (as he refers to African-Americans) you'd consider yourself lucky.
02/16/2005 John Slocum (3):
02/16/2005 Klause Muppet (3):
02/17/2005 Mr. Pony: °_°
02/17/2005 John Slocum: ""__=!@!=__""
02/17/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4): I liked this. It was a little plain, but the story was good.
02/17/2005 Jimson S. Sorghum: Pony Treats!