Beggars Can't Be Choosers

April 16, 2010
By OhSnapple GOLD, Concord, New Hampshire
OhSnapple GOLD, Concord, New Hampshire
13 articles 0 photos 20 comments

"Decisions, decisions" he said. "In the end they are both quality cars. "Two beautiful choices."
"If you don’t mind me adding Mr. Cunningham, now that you’ve narrowed it down to two, I would honestly go with the black one. It’s a very unique model, and it surpasses the red one in maneuverability, safety, speed, control, and acceleration. There really is no reason why the red is more money, and many people are buying them up at the dealerships for just that reason."
"I’ll take the red one." replied Roger Cunningham after just a few seconds of silence. "It really compliments the image I was going for."
"Ok…it’s your choice."

At the moment, Roger Cunningham resides in Roger Cunningham’s study at Roger Cunningham’s estate. He slowly sips away his problems. The main problem right now being that Bernard, his butler, has asked him the last three days in a row if he wanted any cream or sugar with his coffee. The wretched fool should know by now that he wants his coffee black. No cream, and no sugar. He knows that it sometimes helps to laugh at the stupidity of others in situations like this, but being the third mistake in a row it is no longer comical.
Although it may seem crazy, this is just one example of the problems Roger Cunningham faces on a daily basis. His secretary might ask him what day he would like her to schedule his meeting with the C.E.O of Dow Company, or his maid might ask him what time she should come around to clean his sleeping quarters, or his personal assistant would present him with only a small amount of different suits to decide to wear that day. His frustration is encircled around situations like these. All these people are supposed to be aiding him, but he now realizes that they are merely limiting his choices. His choices are infinite. And although his annoying finance director may beg to differ, so is his fortune.
Roger Cunningham became rich by what he sees as a truly ingenious invention. He devised a bag made out of plastic that has a snap on the top that keeps food fresh while it is in the fridge. It’s most commonly known as a Zipper Bag. He patented the idea and then sold it to Dow Company. He receives one cent for every bag that is sold, and millions are sold daily. As a result, his fortune is always growing. It’s Roger’s realization of this that is his weakness. He feels that there is no limit to what he spends his money on, and further, no limit to the options presented to him.
Roger Cunningham was, once again, sitting in his study. He was set in a luxurious leather arm chair in the corner of the room. He had his legs crossed, and was reading the sport section of the newspaper, when a page slid slowly, much like a snail in a hurry, out and away from the others. It fell to the floor. He made no hasty moves. A man with time and options never rushes. He just gradually uncrossed his legs, bent down, and picked up the missing page. The page was a catalog for a local electronics store. He scanned through all the televisions, DVD players, sound systems, cameras, and any other gadget you could think of. It was the most expensive items that caught his attention, items on sale might as well be invisible.
"Sharon." he spoke without taking any concentration away from the catalog.
"I’m at your service, Mr. Cunningham."
"I’m aware of that. Could you send Henry on a little mission for me?"
"Yes I’m sure, Mr. Cunningham."
"Ok good. Now listen carefully, Sharon, I want my exact words to reach his ears. I want him to go out and buy everything that I have put a little black dot next to in this catalog."
"It will be done, Mr. Cunningham."
"Oh, I’m sure. And before you do that go fetch me a cup of coffee."
"Yes, Mr. Cunningham. But would you like any cream or sugar?

Fredrick, the annoying finance director stood in the doorway of Roger Cunningham’s study peering in at him, smiling at how happy Mr. Cunningham looked at the moment. He buried his smile.
"Are you in here Mr. Cunningham," he said.
"Yes I am, Fredrick."
"I feel there is some unfortunate news, that, as your Finance Director, I have no choice but to bear upon you." Fredrick did his best to hide his smirk, as Mr. Cunningham looked up from the catalog that he was putting black dots next to the items he wanted to purchase in.
"What is the news, Fredrick?"
"I have just checked the Global Market Database, and Dow Company has received a black dot."
"What is a black dot, Fredrick?"
Fredrick walked up to Mr. Cunningham, who was set in his luxurious arm chair in the corner of the room, and pointed with his finger at one of the black dots Mr. Cunningham had drew on the catalog.
With gritted teeth, and tension in his voice, Mr. Cunningham rephrased, "What does a black dot mean, Fredrick?”
Fredrick smiled cautiously, and then spoke with all seriousness. "A black dot means that an invention of a product similar to yours has been put into production, and the rights have been assumed by a company other than Dow. The production of the Zipper Bag is no longer needed, since the new Zip-loc Bag is made of higher quality and comes at a cheaper price. Dow Company has cancelled the production of the Zipper Bag since the Zip-loc Bag will take over all the profit, and then some. In simpler terms, and these terms are for you, a black dot simply means that a company has cancelled all production of a certain product. That product was the Zipper Bag. Your fortune no longer grows, Mr. Cunningham. And by the way: Under your order, Henry spent the rest of your savings yesterday on electronics. He was able to get it all because there was this huge 20% off sale on everything in the store. Unfortunately there are no refunds. I lacked to inform him that you hate sales, Mr. Cunningham. Although, you should have just enough for your morning coffee."
Several seconds passed, but Mr. Cunningham remained speechless. He thought, and figured that there was nothing he could say.
"Do you have something to say Mr. Cunningham?" asked Fredrick, no longer fearful about showing his smile.
"No? Nothing at all? You really don’t have anything to say, do you? It was only when you had options that you would speak freely, wasn’t it Mr. Cunningham? Now please answer this one question wisely. Do you have something to say, Mr. Cunningham?”
Silently, Mr. Cunningham begged for more words in his arsenal. He found only one choice.
"No." he said, for that was all he could.

The author's comments:
This short story explores what happens when someone basis their happiness on vastness of their riches, and what happen when it is all taken away. In this story Roger Cunningham discovers that beggars cannot be choosers.

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This article has 1 comment.

JeanGrey GOLD said...
on Apr. 28 2010 at 2:52 pm
JeanGrey GOLD, Mason City, Iowa
10 articles 0 photos 258 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying."-Oscar Wilde

*claps* Awesome!!! I love it!


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