Expensive Enterprise

Billy was a hustler
A hustling boy was he
He had his first concession
Around the age of three
In retail distribution
Of cookies and of crackers from
His household pilfered be

In preteen years he offered to
His friends and family
Of laundry and of groceries
Door to door delivery
He made himself so awf'ly cute
And so personable be
Many ladies paid him just
His pleasant face to see

In high school he began to check 
The world of business out
Making himself so useful
Local offices about
So very purposeful at
Everything he went about
Soaked up knowledge like a sponge
Of that there was no doubt

He was no academic
Not the cogitatin' type
He wanted in on action
Blinking lights and brighter hype
So when he thought to walk 
Toward those lights the time was ripe
He wrapped six sets of shoelaces
Around a narrow length of pipe

He put one foot upon the road
And then the other foot as well
Meeting with his trademark smile
Everything which him befell
Encouraging the folks he met
About themselves to tell
Till, happily enough, each one
Fell under his bright, cheerful spell

After all, a pair of laces
To a man upon the road
Might bring relief in places where
A sudden breakage bode
No good the trav'ler to, nor to
Carrying of his load
To wherever be
His temporary next abode

It didn't take him long at all
To unload that first six pair
And buy six more replacements
He just took them everywhere
Elaborating folks' discomfort
Should they not take care
Discoursing on color and style
With a witty, urbane aire

Pretty soon when he went to
Replacement laces buy
He ordered by the dozen
In every style he spy
The which he thought might be adored
Those lonely ladies by
Who never failed to ask him in
And sit him down for pie

Then when he'd made more money
Than it took to get from day to day
Invested it in things he thought
Event'ually would pay
A dress suit, but conservative
So he could go to play
Where even richer men were found
Eventually in that way

One of those men decided
He would make a good lieutenant and
Reached down from august lofty height
To give our Billy boy a hand
Up that corp'rate ladder
To position of command
The ins and outs of business
To better understand

To make a lengthy story short
Our Billy blossomed -- he became
In the heady world of finance
Recognizable by name
That name, along with him, had
Just refused to stay the same
As it in childhood was before --
"Big Bill"'s what he became

By thirty years of age he had
Acquired serious clout
As someone ruthless who for sure
Knew what he was about
No victory he won from life
But total panicked rout
Of all of those were unwise enough
His coming not to have looked out

The next step was political
That realm with power fraught
Where as he saw was logical
That pow'r he basely bought
He had not come so very far
To find himself with naught
And so "respect" in form of fear
His adversaries taught

We won't speak of the families
He kept in poverty
Whose heads abjectly slaving
In dread service to him be
Nor of what came to those who
Spoke up some protestingly
That their beloved infants 
Food and medicine might see

What's left to be discovered
Are the laws he paid to pass
Making it impossible
Similar wealth to amass
When he got through, a shoestring
Could not be retailed to lad or lass
Without paying a business fee
Certificate, inspection, pass

Costing a hundred, thousand times
More than Billy'd paid
For those first steps he took toward
The fortune that he'd made
Ensuring only wealthy sons
Future happiness bade
Just like the Britain we came from
Let's call a spade a spade

Let's call our vaunted enterprise
Exactly what it be
Because whatever it's become
One thing we know most certainly
Who dwell in everlasting
Prohibitive poverty:
What enterprise we're offered isn't
Even close to "free"



		
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