Carl actually chose to live on the street. It’s been his home for over nine years. On the street he’s known as Aristotle. You don’t pick your name on the street. It’s given to you, like a rite of passage or a badge of honor. The street is a dangerous place, but Aristotle carved out his niche. He’s known a street philosopher, a wise man.
In his old life, Aristotle was a high level economist for Royal Bank. He loved the game of commerce, but the excesses and abuses of high stakes finance drove him away. He couldn’t bear the fact that his decisions often ruined lives of innocent people. Still, he loved the game.
Aristotle taught three of his friends how to play the stock market so he could continue to play a harmless version of the financial game. Bahama John, Shady Bob and Skank were his best street friends. They were also some of the few on the street who were clean.
At the beginning of each month the four of them would sit in a coffee shop with the Financial Post and a stack of Monopoly money Skank found while dumpster diving. Each of them would start with five thousand dollars to invest in the market. At the end of the month the one who made the most money would get that month’s profits from the deposits of scavenged liquor bottles.
During one of their weekly meetings Bahama John noticed two suits sitting at the next table eavesdropping on their game. The following week they were there again. This time Skank noticed they were writing down Aristotle’s canny investing tips.
“That’s what I hate about the normals,” whispered Shady Bob. “I noticed them last month. I bet they made a killing off us.”
“Don’t worry about Ren and Stimpy over there,” said Aristotle. “Greed kills. I know their kind from my old life. They’ll get theirs. I have an idea.”
The group continued to play the game in full view of Ren and Stimpy. Following Aristotle’s lead, they implemented their plan. For the first three weeks they played the game as usual. The fourth week they shifted their portfolios to stocks with highly dubious futures. The group saw catastrophic losses.
At the the end of the month they all lost money. Ren and Stimpy were no where to be found.
“I saw them on the corner bumming money for coffee,” said Bahama John. The others laughed.
“The morals, my friends, are these,” said Aristotle. “The stock market’s like gambling. Don’t spend what you can’t afford to lose. But more importantly, never trust a homeless economist.”