"Hey, mister, could you spare a billion and a half dollars to get me through 1980?"

"Out of my way, you bum. Why don't you get a job like everyone else?"

"I have a job making Chrysler cars."

"Then why are you standing here with a tin cup asking decent folks for money?"

"Nobody seems to want to buy my cars."

"In the capitalist system, my good man, it is the survival of the fittest. If you can't sell a product, then you don't deserve to be in business. Suppose I do give you a billion and a half dollars. How do I know you won't use it for drink instead of building better cars?"

"Don't worry about that, mister. You give me the money and I'll go right to the plant and produce one of the most beautiful automobiles you've ever seen."

"Why didn't you produce one before if you know how to do so?"

"That's a long story. I'll tell it to you if you put a billion and half dollars into my tin cup."

"It seems to me that is a lot of money to pay for a hard-luck story."

"I'll also give you a new pencil if you give me the money."

"This is ridiculous. I don't approve of panhandlers, even if they make automobiles."

"Don't think it's much fun being out here on the street, mister. But panhandling for car money is all I can do. The banks won't give me none, and a lot of people think I'm a loser. But if I can just get a little nest egg, you won't see me on this corner again."

"You were going to tell me your story."

"Only if you gave me a handout."

"I want to hear your story first."

"Okay. What happened was that once upon a time, I was a happy, prosperous automaker. I made some of the best cars on the road. The kids used to whistle when I went by."

"Get on with it. I'm late for dinner."

"But then something happened. I guessed wrong on what people wanted. I made little cars only to discover they wanted big cars. Then I made big cars just when everyone decided they wanted small cars. I couldn't figure out what the public wanted, and it drove me to drink. I started cutting costs -- a little here and a little there -- and pretty soon not even Ricardo Montalban could move them out of the showroom."

"If I give you a billion and half dollars, what will you do differently?"

"I have great plans for the new models. I even have an updated slogan: 'Buy the car that is guaranteed by the United States Treasury.' How does that grab you? Look, a billion and half dollars is tip money for someone like you, but it could change my whole life."

"I guess I'm always a sucker for a hard-luck corporation story. You know, if you had been a little guy I'd have let you starve to death."

"I appreciate that, sir. The minute I saw you walking down the street I said to myself, 'There's a man who cares about the big guy when he gets in trouble.'"

"Let's see what I have in my pocket -- one hundred million, two hundred million, three hundred million, four hundred million, five hundred million. You don't have another cup, do you -- this one seems filled up."

"Yes, sir, right here."

"Six, seven, eight, nine -- one billion -- one hundred, two hundred, three, four, five. There you are. Now you be careful how you spend that, you hear?"

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. God bless you, sir -- and, sir."

"What is it?"

"Don't forget you pencil."