The Little Man

A while ago a coworker and I were loading sheets of plywood into the back of his pickup truck at my second home (aka, The Home Depot) when a man wandered by and noticed that I had bought the more-expensive, coated type of plywood.

I don’t know anything about this man – where he was from, what his politics were or anything else – except that he looked like a troll: 5 feet tall, balding, greasy white tank top. I don’t know what his name was either, but for the purposes of this discussion I’ll call him ‘The Little Man’.

“Sumbuddy’s got sum munney, eh?! Eh?!”, The Little Man shouted. “Sumbuddy’s got sum friggin’ munney!”

OK, now keep in mind, I was buying plywood here, not a Rolex. Not a 22-karat gold medallion on a braided gold chain. Plywood.

But with the economy the way it’s been, I’ve seen this guy pop up in the news over and over again. Well, not that specific guy, of course, but people like him. White people. Black people. Men. Women. Old and young. And they’ve all been ‘The Little Man’.

From what I’ve seen in the news over the past year or so, here’s what I’ve gathered about The Little Man:

  • The Little Man thinks the system is rigged.
  • The Little Man cares what people think about his car and clothes.
  • The Little Man thinks life is a lottery.
  • The Little Man takes a small but certain reward now over a larger, more uncertain reward later.
  • The Little Man thinks he could have made tens of millions as a sports star, but that a woman who earns a tenth of that as the CEO of a company she founded is a “fat cat”.
  • The Little Man wonders why no one will give him a good-paying job that’s secure and doesn’t require any special skills.
  • The Little Man wears a big gold ring, so that everyone knows he isn’t poor.
  • The Little Man thinks that talented people were just born that way.
  • The Little Man thinks that your gain is his loss.
  • The Little Man thinks lottery tickets are an investment.
  • The Little Man thinks he’s unsuccessful because powerful people are holding him down.
  • The Little Man wants his motorcycle and his stereo to be Big and LOUD.
  • The Little Man wonders why he wasn’t lucky enough to be the boss.
  • The Little Man can’t pay his rent, but always has a few bucks for some smokes and a box of Bud Lite.
  • The Little Man thinks he could have done that, too, if he wanted to. He just chooses not to.

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