The Other One Percent by William Burns

I don’t want to pay back my student loans. I don’t like foreclosures. I’m against police brutality. But how do you get from protest to sweet talk? How do you move the conversation from Wall Street to the bedroom?

It took some trial and error, but I eventually realized that what works at a bar does not work at la revolution. Take, for example, a typical conversation with a revolutionary lady when I first started:

William Burns: Hi.

Revolutionary Lady: Hello.

WB: Corporations suck.

RL: Totally.

[I move closer, try to establish bodily contact.]

WB: It’s getting pretty crowded here. Want to go to my place?

RL: No, I don’t want to go to your place. I want to occupy Wall Street.

WB: Come on. It’s a twenty-minute train ride to Queens.

[For a minute, she looks like she’s on the fence. I smile, showing a little too much tooth, knowing that it’s really a thirty-five minute train ride.]

RL: I think you might need some help…

Where did I go wrong?

Saturday night, I walked around Washington Square Park and noticed all the beautiful people holding hands, kissing, fighting the system. Something dawned on me: I was part of a very small percentage of lonely men lookin’ for a little lovin’ at the protest.

I got there around 9:30, and apparently they had already passed out the free pizza, which I just missed by a hair (missing out on pie on so many levels), so I decided to make a sign with an empty pizza box, a sign that would capture the essence of my frustration. (See Figures 1 and 2.)

Figure 1: Two people share moment of silence

I thought a few misspellings might be appropriate. I figured I needed to mimic the inarticulate tone of the movement if I was to have any chance at all of scoring, so I held my sign up high and tried not to look too educated.

Most people were noncommittal about my sign. I thought that was pretty hypocritical. They want the world to listen to their message, but God forbid someone start a movement within their own. I guess it was just too revolutionary for them.

Lots of people with serious facial expressions took pictures with me and the sign. If you want to expose someone, take pictures of the food trucks that conveniently follow the protest. They’re actually turning a profit on the ninety-nine percent. I’m just a dude holding some cardboard.

Plus, I’m technically helping the cause. I’m occupying, and without me and my adorable sign, the movement would be minus one person. That’s not a lot; but I guarantee you, if you took every guy out of the protest who wants to get laid, you would have half your numbers. I’m just the one speaking up about it, the one percent of the ninety-nine. So put that in your pipe and smoke it and get arrested for it, like me.

Figure 2: Relatively important citizen holds sign in Lower Manhattan

Around eleven o’clock, when the assembly decided on a ten minute social break, I thought this was my ticket; but it turned out to be a series of forced handshakes, like that time in church when you greet your neighbor. I often harbored unpeaceful sexual thoughts when I shook those ladies’ hands at church, and Washington Square was no different, except here, I had a bitchin’ sign.

People were mostly trying to talk about where to continue the march, or whether they’d go home at midnight, so I tried to blend in. I infiltrated a group, half guys, half girls, introduced myself and said, “I am neither a fan of police brutality, nor foreclosure.”

The group mumbled their approval. I was in. I took this as an invitation to hold up my sign and appeal to the feminists. “Why Manhattan? Why not Womanhattan?” For some reason, the group didn’t appreciate this.

A guy with skinny jeans and a revolutionary scarf said, “It is our right to occupy public spaces. Check the Constitution.”

The girls liked this. I took a mental note. I then tried to make eye contact with each woman in the group. They read my sign and dispersed, one by one, leaving me alone with the guy.

“What am I missing?” I asked.

“Dude, what are you here for?” he asked.

“La revolution!” I said, nudging him with my elbow, unaware of my half-mast erection, which may or may not have brushed his arm.

He walked away in a revolutionary huff, and I thought, well this guy’s definitely getting laid tonight. Le sigh.

NYPD announced at 11:52 that the park would close at midnight. If people chose to stay, they would be arrested. I decided that I was not going to leave. Well, I was not going to leave without a partner. (See figure three.)

Figure 3: Man arrested for possession of love

There were hardly any revolutionaries in my jail cell. It was filled with mostly mean and unfamiliar faces, but it didn’t take long for me to remember my loneliness and for a certain prison-style cabin-fever mentality to kick in. I soon met a nice man named Ulysses.

They didn’t let me bring my sign into jail, so I described it to him. He appreciated it, and it turned out that he was also part of my one percent. I asked what he was going to do when he got out, but he didn’t answer. He just started touching me, so I was like, “Ulysses, you dog, you’re just like me—one track mind.”

“I’m just a squirrel, tryin’ to get a nut,” Ulysses said, unzipping his fly.

“I’m a revolutionary squirrel,” I said, spitting into my palm.

At least someone appreciated my zest.

I never called Ulysses when I got out. I felt like a dick, but c’est la vie pour un mec qui essaye baisser des belles revolutionairres.

I learned in jail that it’s not what you say to people. It’s how you say it. Ulysses taught me a little bit after all, and I feel more confident in my game than ever before. Plus, I’ve technically been to jail for the cause, so that’s a big bonus for my revolutionary resume. I just need to find a pair of broken glasses, an American Apparel scarf, and skinny jeans.

I don’t mean to beat a dead horse off, but since we’re comparing Occupy to the French Revolution, I think it’s about time for an inner city Marie Antoinette to step up and say (in a beautiful Bronx accent) what’s on everyone’s minds:

Let them eat pussy.

We’re all part of the same movement, and we need to stop treating it like a high school dance. So, in the immortal words of The Notorious B.I.G., rub your titties if you love your right to free speech. Rub your titties if you love equality. Rub your titties, my lonely one-percenters, because you now have a voice. And if, by chance you want to spread some of that lovin’, I’ll be on the corner with my sign held high.

William Burns was born on September 9, 1786—a mouth breather and environmentalist. At the tender age of 225, he decided to relinquish his seat as Central Park Prophylactic Recycling Program Wizard and devote his days to pizza box art and the sexily unrestrained personal narrative. He currently lives in a mansion made of black ice. He briefly moonlit as the Zodiac Killer, but now his vocational mistress is social work. He mainly caters to children who suffer from Multiple Elvis Personality Disorder (MEPD). He really knows how to turn a phrase down. He has written 1,002.3 novels, none of which have been published. He can
wink with both eyes.