Jackie struggled under the weight of the wide-screen TV, working her way down to the pawn shop as her mother had commanded. The TV made it hard to see where she was going, so she wasn't surprised to be surprised by a man in a sharp suit. "That's a nice TV," the man said. "I could make you an offer."
Jackie set the wide-screen down, grateful for an excuse for a break. She scratched her head. "Mom said to take it to the pawn shop."
"Why pawn it for cash when you could trade it for something that could bring you real fortune?" He showed Jackie around the corner to a small cherry picker. "The tank is topped off. She's all ready to make you money washing windows, fixing street lights, whatever. Far more than you could get pawning it."
Eyes swimming with visions of riding the cherry picker up into wealth, Jackie shook on it and drove the cherry picker home. her mother was furious. It wasn't worth the dents it made in the dirt, she said, and she parked it out back and made Jackie skip out on the supper they couldn't afford.
The next morning, Jackie snuck out before her mother was awake and went for a ride in the basket, raising it as high as it could go. Only when she looked down and saw her mother's dilapidated roof far below did she realize she had gone higher than should've been possible.
Continuing up, the basket lifted her to the top of a skyscraper where she stepped off onto the balcony. "The CEO will be back any minute," cried the secretary. "Quick, hide in the executive washroom!" Jackie followed the secretary, but not before seeing a cadillac health plan resting on the CEO's desk.
"Dee, die, doh, dor," roared the voice of an older white man. "I smell the clothes of someone poor!" Jackie held the washroom door open a crack and saw a hundred-thousand-dollar suit burst in, wrapped around a wrinkly old man. "Is there a poor person here?"
"Oh, no, sir," said the secretary.
"Hmph. Fine. Take a letter." Hours later, after the work day had ended, Jackie slipped out and returned to the cherry picker, grabbing the cadillac health plan on her way. When her mother saw her coming down, she thrust the plan into her arms before she could yell. That night they had general check-ups for the first time in years.
The next morning, Jackie's mother sent her back up the cherry picker to see what else she could get. When she reached the balcony, Jackie saw the CEO meeting with three top executives. During a moment of high mercantile fervor, the secretary snuck her back into the washroom.
"Dee, die, doh, dor," boomed the CEO, "I smell the clothes of someone poor!" The top executives all nodded and agreed. "Is there a poor person here?"
"Oh, no, sir," said the secretary, taking notes.
Hours later, when the top executives had finished saying yes to the CEO and left, Jackie snuck back into the office and went through the CEO's desk while the man was loitering at his wet bar. She almost despaired at finding anything useful until she spotted a card labeled, "Politicians." Rushing away before the CEO turned, she slammed the lever on the cherry picker. The basket wobbled, but lowered her to the ground.
When her mother saw what she'd brought, they used their new politicians to vote for social assistance programs for the entire city.
Jackie eagerly went up in the basket the next morning. As soon as she stepped off the cherry picker, the CEO left his office and Jackie went in. "You don't have time," hissed the secretary. "He'll be back any second."
"Dee, die, doh, dor," boomed the CEO, "I see the face of someone poor!" He stepped back into the office. "Two someones, actually. You're fired," he said to the secretary. "Security will see you out. As for you, the police will be here shortly."
Jackie was quick. Grabbing the first valuable thing she saw, shining and gold, she ran for the cherry picker. The CEO ran after her. Both leapt into the basket, which wobbled dangerously, and they wrestled over the controls. The CEO tried to cut Jackie with a severance package, but missed because Jackie wasn't his employee. The razor-sharp edge hit the crane, sending the basket, CEO, and Jackie all plummeting to earth.
The CEO laughed and fell in comfort, not knowing that Jackie had, in her haste, grabbed the CEO's golden parachute. The safety net billowed open, giving the CEO a scant second to realize his fate before liquifying his assets on the pavement. Jackie, on the other hand, landed gently with hundreds of millions of dollars and generous stock options.
In the chaos that followed, no one at the company had time to pursue Jackie or her mother, so busy were they scrambling for the top position. They even forgot to fire the secretary.
Jackie now owns a fleet of cherry pickers and a national window-washing chain. She primarily employs minorities in part-time positions that allow her to avoid paying benefits.