This was your life: A Billionaire

This comic strip is the 9th episode in a series in which Loki and his supernatural friends taunt the recently deceased.A Billionaire

See who else Loki and his friends have taunted:

Transcript:

A man with a long white beard, wearing a blue trench coat and a green hat, stands in front of an ornate set of gates in the middle of an endless cloud. A man wearing a metallic heat/cold resistant suit approaches.

Billionaire: I’m waiting. Is anyone coming?

Loki: Oh, you’re going to get served.

Billionaire: You there, I require assistance. The last thing I remember was my hot air balloon crashing into the ocean. I don’t know how I got here, but I need to get back.

Loki: You died in the crash, mortal. These are the Pearly Gates, and I am the Key Master.

Billionaire: Well, mister Key Master. You may open the gates for me.

Loki: Only The Gatekeeper can open the gates, and only if I give him the key. But before I alert The Gatekeeper, you and I need to have a little talk.

Billionaire: Luckily for you, my schedule seems to have become open. You may proceed.

Loki: Let me just start by saying that I’m really impressed by everything you’ve accomplished.

Billionaire: Naturally.

Loki: You were born poor, but through hard work and single-minded dedication, you built a multibillion dollar company and died one of the richest men on earth. With all that money, you lived like a playboy, broke multiple world records for extreme feats, and donated billions to medical research. You’ll go down in history, and your story will inspire countless children.

Billionaire: Tell me something I don’t know.

Loki: There is on little thing that bugs me though.

Billionaire: And what’s that, prey tell?

Loki: You were always really rude to waiters and waitresses.

Billionaire: Excuse me?

Loki: People who serve you are human beings. They’re infinitely valuable cosmic miracles. Why on earth would you ever treat another human being with indignity, especially when they’re busting their butt to serve you?

Billionaire: Well, I’m sure if I was ever short with the staff, it was because they made and error in their duties and needed corrections.

Loki: Oh, so you were just helping them out by tearing them down and taking your anger out on them?

Billionaire: It’s nothing personal.

Loki: Right. I mean, how can it be personal when you just see the working class as subhuman creatures who are lucky to live in your world?

Billionaire: I don’t appreciate your tone, but since you raise the point, yes, they are lucky to be alive and working. They’re lucky I created their jobs and spent the money that paid their paychecks. Millions of people are alive today because I let them suckle at my teet.

A loud alarm blares from nowhere: WOO WOO WOO WOO

Billionaire: What’s that infernal noise?

Stranger: I heard the bullshit detector going off and came as quick as I could! What happened?

Loki: 21st Century Jesus over here was just patting himself on the back for letting the world suckle at his teet.

Billionaire: Who are you?

Stranger: I’m The Gatekeeper, and our interview is off to a bad start.

Billionaire: But we were just talking about how much good I’ve done. Think about how much more poverty there would be in the world if I had never built my business empire.

Stranger: We’ve put a lot of thought into that, actually.

Loki: According to our calculations, there would be less poverty in the world if you have never carved out your little empire.

Stranger: Because your business model creates poverty. You’re literally the creator and sustainer of poverty.

Loki: Just call you Darth Vader.

Billionaire: But I’m a job creator! What about trickle down economics and the guiding hand of the free market?

Stranger: Your entire life revolved around money. You know exactly where every penny you made came from. You knew exactly how much money you would make personally by cutting employee benefits and paying all your workers as little as the law and market would allow.

Loki: You were gleeful as a fat kid on Cake Day when you found out how much money you would pocket by moving your factories overseas to sweatshops.

Stranger: And you were pissed when you found out how much it was going to cost to install suicide nets around your slaves’, and mean employees’, miserable dormitories.

Loki: Should we even list all the ways you screwed your customers over with your shoddy products, planned obsolescence, high prices, manipulation through marketing, fees, fines and worthless warranties?

Stranger: I don’t want to be here all day.

Billionaire: You make me sound like some kind of monster?

Stranger: Well, you kind of did use every unethical trick in the book to take money from the poor and horde it for yourself, knowing full well the misery you were inflicting on countless people just so that you could use hundred dollar bills to wipe up your splooge when you jerked off.

Loki: Have you ever heard of Abraham Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs? You kept millions of people stuck at the bottom of the pyramid, their lives revolving around financial fears manufactured by you.

Stranger: You ruthlessly kept millions of people from fulfilling their potential, and humanity can’t fulfill it’s potential unless every individual fulfills theirs. So… your life was a metaphorical boot crushing down on the throat of humanity.

Billionaire: But what about all the money I gave to charity?

Stranger: I’m curious. What kind of a reward do you think you should get for swindling from the poor to give to the sick?

Loki: I might cut you some slack if you had gone full “Gospel of Wealth” and reinvested all the money you swindled out of your employees, customers and tax payers, into making the world safer, more sustainable and enriching for everyone.

Stranger: But you only gave away as much money as your public relations firm said was necessary to improve your image. You spent even more bribing politicians into passing laws that made it easier for you to exploit your customers and workers, but most of your money went to buying toys for yourself.

Loki: Actually, most of the money he swindled just sat in his bank account where he could feel good about having it while countless people died in the streets every day.

Billionaire: I’m sorry, but any of those people could have pulled themselves out of poverty and became a billionaire, just like me.

Stranger: Assuming they were willing to swindle everyone they ever met out of as much as possible.

Loki: But even then, you and your cigar buddies made the entire system so exploitative that most poor people can barely survive.

Stranger: You got to spend money to make money, and you took everyone’s money… along with their ability to build a business that could compete with yours.

Billionaire: Hey, I didn’t invent the game. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Business is war, and war is hell. I’m just living by the law of the concrete jungle.

Stranger: Okay. We’ll give you something for following the rules of the concrete jungle.

Loki: But you would have gotten something else if you had invested your fortune on say, building self-sufficient cities.

Billionaire: I have no patience for vagueness. If you have something to say, then say it plainly.

Stranger: Since you’re in such a hurry, we’ll just cut to the chase.

Loki: Buddhism wasn’t divinely inspired. It was the musings of an entitled rich brat, much like yourself. But unlike you, Buddha wasn’t a sociopath. So when he saw the suffering his lifestyle was causing others, he denounced his wealth and devoted his life to searching for a more meaningful purpose.

Stranger: The mortal, Buddha, just happened to be right about two things. Karma and reincarnation are real.

Billionaire: So I’m going to be rewarded for all my hard work by being born to wealthy, powerful, loving, mature parents?

Stranger: Actually, our records show that your new mother will be a prostitute who lost her job at a Kenyan sweat shop for fainting on the job from the extreme heat and long hours.

Loki: Not that you’ll ever meet him, but your father will work at the same sweat shop. He’ll spend most of his evenings coping with the hopelessness of his existence by drinking himself to death as quickly as possible.

Stranger: You’ll spend your entire life trapped in abject poverty until you throw yourself from the window of your dormitory. Luckily for you, this will be at one of the factories you built in your past life. The cheap suicide nets you installed will fail, allowing you to plummet to your death.

Billionaire: What happens after that?

Loki: You’ll keep being reborn a hopeless wage slave until you’ve experienced as much suffering as you’ve inflicted on others.

The pearly gates open.

Loki: Look! The Gatekeeper has opened the way to your new life! You may proceed.

Billionaire: I refuse! You can’t make me go through there.

Loki: You have two choices. You can either walk through those gates, or we’re going to beat the crap out of you and break your knee caps and throw you through the gate.

Billionaire: What!? You’re just going to be beat me up like common street thugs!? What kind of barbarians are you?

Loki: We’re not barbarians. We’re Vikings.

Stranger: And it makes me angry when people call Vikings, barbarians.

Billionaire: I shan’t give you the pleasure of manhandling me. I will walk through this gate like the high class gentleman I am.

The Billionaire walks through the gate and disappears.

Stranger: Man, I wish we could really send guys like that to work in their own sweatshops and live under the boot of their own economic oppression.

Loki: On an unrelated topic, what would happen if say, a human soul were to accidentally be sent through a rat gate?

Stranger: Well, let’s just say that humans and rats go to different underworlds for a reason.

Loki: Hmmmm.

Stranger: Why do you ask? Loki? Why do you ask, Loki?

Loki: Humm dee dumm.

The End


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