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A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand

A 60-ished broker is walking down Wall Street one evening when he spots a pan-handler, a somewhat younger man in battered Vietnam-era fatigues. As he passes the guy, the broker pups a couple of dollars in the man's cup and asks, "You were in the 'Nam?"

The panhandler looks up, says, "Yes," then pauses, looks closely at the broker, and says, "Major? It's me, Spec-4 Wilson!"

"My God, Wilson! What the hell are you doing here?"

"Well, sir, after I got out of the Army nothing seemed to go right for me. I drank too much, couldn't hold a job, got into trouble. But I'm OK now. Folks help out." He pauses, and then says, "Major, you look great!"

"I got out as a lieutenant colonel. Went into the market and I've been doing really well."

Wilson says, "Well that's great sir. You have a great day. And thanks."

The Major starts to walk off. Then he stops for a second, thinking. He turns around, and says "Wilson, you were the best orderly I ever had. I'm a rich man now. Let help you out."


"Look, come work for me. You can be my valet. I've got a big house in mid-town, with plenty of room, and my wife won't mind."

"Sir, I really don't want to be a problem."

"No problem, and you'll just be doing the same sort of thing you did when we were back in the 'Nam. You know, keeping my stuff in order, making sure I'm up in the morning -- just like in the old days."

"OK sir."

So the Major hails a cab and the two pile in. On route uptown, they stop at a men's shop and the Major buys Wilson some good civilian clothes. Then he takes him for lunch at McSorley's, where they have a few drinks and talk about old times.

They get to the Major's house, a large brownstone in the East 60s, fairly late. The Major gives Wilson a little tour, shows him were various things are stored, gives him a room, and says "I'll see you in the morning."

At 4:00 a.m., Wilson wakes up. At precisely 4:15 he opens the door to the master bedroom, walks in, smacks the Major's wife on the behind and says, "OK baby, here's five bucks, time to get back to the village."

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