FORBES MAGAZINE LISTS 400,000,000 POOREST PEOPLE
The Mexican sharecropper said he had hoped to move down the list this year, or downright out of it, but yet again his crops were wiped out by drought. Then came the floods which took away his shack and only donkey.
"I'm sick and tired of being number one," Garcia said, "It's some kind of a sick joke."
With millions if not billions of poor people in the world, counting the 400,000,000 poorest is no facile task.
"It's not easy," admitted Steve Forbes, the magazine's President and Editor-in-Chief. "There are only 538 billionaires in the world; the poor are countless."
Nonetheless, Forbes Magazine insists its findings are accurate.
"Oh yes," concedes Garcia, "Those boys at Forbes know what they're talking about."
Worknesh Yitbarek of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, came in second. "My brother lent me a penny for a day so I wouldn't be on the list, but the Forbes guys found out about it, and here I am again," she lamented. "It's ironic, really, as my name means, 'you are gold.' My mother played a practical joke on me."
Warren Buffet came in at number three. The man who came in at number two last year on the richest list, suddenly finds himself at number three on the poorest.
"This is just great," said Buffet via satellite phone (he insists it isn't his) from Bora Bora, Tahiti. Buffet recently gave away his entire fortune to charities and moved to Tahiti to become a painter. "It just feels good to be here, you know? Goes along with my new persona as an artist."
Yitbarek said she didn't really think Buffet belonged on the list. "Suffering's real, not feigned. You can't just suddenly pretend to have nothing. I think he bribed Forbes."
"What? That's complete b------t. I'm suffering. Baby, I'm suffering like a son of a b----," shot back Buffet, while sitting in the sun and getting slowly sloshed on absinthe. "Now where did my maid-uh, I mean, where did I put that goddam paint brush?"
A surprising many on the list were American. Joe Huntley of Crossville, Alabama, came in at 147.
"I was just born under a bridge on the wrong side of the tracks, and I just ain't moved over to the other side," he said.
He added that often he dreams of owning a box of his own to live in.
"When I walk by other homeless peoples' real fancy boxes, well, hell, I admit it, I get jealous. I'd just love to have one a my own."
The TV talk show host Jerry Springer said he'd like to have the top twenty on his show and let them fight it out to see who really is the poorest of the poor.
"I'm not convinced it's Garcia," Springer said. "I'd like to see a free-for-all, and so would our audience."
Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw
TheShortStraw is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. All contents Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.
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