was a rich man. This level was not the "a few
million in the bank and I have nothing to worry about" rich but rather
the "I have so much money that I only thing I know is that I so rich
and so well set that nothing matters at all" kind of rich. William
McMillan Foley had not worked too hard or inherited too much, but he
person who didn't make mistakes or waste money. A living example of
playing not to lose, William McMillan Foley had piles (and piles and
piles) of money and
He had married well, had friends of vision and courage,
listened well and did not spend money until he was sure of a return on
investment and did not waste money because he was too lazy to be
prepared. As the years went on, his bank balances and investment
portfolios climbed impressively and consistently and as he moved into
his fifties, he was wealthy at a level which numbered less than fifty
others in the world. When his wife died too early, he did not rush to
re-marry because large amounts of money and several small children were
a bad combination when he was not a risk taker. Paul McCartney was far
more talented (not richer, just more talented) than he but it did not
stop him from making a bad mistake in the widower department. And as
the years went on, the children grew up and out and he remained sitting
quietly between life's in-betweens.
What separated him from the other self-made über-billionaires was his lack of drive and complete anonymity. It was commonplace for members of lucky sperm clubs and inheritance recipients to lack the drive because they never did anything anyway, but for a person who did it himself, the fire rarely burned. William McMillan Foley fell into some opportunities, risked little and had the good sense to stay out of the way and keep his thoughts to himself. Many of his colleagues would congratulate him for his success but when pressed, couldn't for their collective lives come up with any reason for his success. William McMillan Foley was an affable person with no real enemies so any negativity targeted for him rarely had enough momentum to make any noise. He was a rich guy with not much to do and sometimes that suited him just fine.
However, there were days when his inability to maintain any interest or generate any excitement in his work life did grind on his nerves. It was tough when flying from one fabulous locale to another, driving some exotic sports car, sipping some rare vintage or squiring around a stunning starlet to complain but just like the guy who lived over the bakery.....the steady diet of anything dulls one's general approach to life. Being that rich, he had a large office full of busy, good-looking people attending to his affairs and schedule. The two top floors of one of the most impressive buildings in the city made up his holdings and his office was on top of all that. The suite of offices for William McMillan Foley was nothing but stunning views, impressive decor, a staff of beautiful assistants and every wish or desire was literally as close as his finger buzzing someone somewhere. William McMillan Foley could have been a real dickhead but his needs were simple and while bored, he was a reasonable person. A legitimate philanthropist, a patron of the arts, impressive donor and all-around decent fellow, his foundations were busy placing money and resources into a variety of worthwhile charities and causes but he was making far more money just by sitting still that the laws of physics made it clear he could give it away fast enough.
While rich, William McMillan Foley was not technically famous. A few insiders knew him but for the most part, he stayed out of the public arenas and when he did venture out, the name rang bells but his generically pleasant face did not. His lawyer called him "the Steve Miller" of billionaires because he could walk almost anywhere and no one would know who he was. They could sing his songs but couldn't pick him out of a lineup. However, he is issue was not with his own lack of notoriety, it was the fact that he had not contributed positively to anything as his fortune grew. He gave lots of money but that was easy; his only skill was to find talented people, give them some money and stay out of their way.
As he sat in his office, looking at piles of reports or playing with one of his numerous toys (gifts from financial houses around the world), he realized he was bored and tired. The day was spent opening up a case of Montblanc™ pens, picking through a pile of luxurious cashmere sweaters, quickly scanning premium tickets for important sporting and cultural events, reviewing a variety of requests for his time (read: his money) to sit on corporate and foundation boards and other passive attempts at either his conscience or his vanity. As he sat in his office, watching the large screen news feeds and banks of world clocks impressively informing him of information of no interest, he realized it was time to bust a move. He decided to disappear for awhile, armed with nothing but a generic sedan, some comfortable clothes, a few electronic tethers and a few hundred thousand dollars in cash. At best estimate, he had well over two hundred billion sitting around so that shouldn't burden too many of his lieutenants.
He reached over to his impressive phone bank and lifted the receiver. "Come on in, I have an idea to bounce off you."
William McMillan Foley did not trust many people but he trusted one of his early friends, Martin Moser, and the son of Martin's first adviser, Ansolmo Pederasty. The son, John "Johnny" Pederasty was whip-smart, highly paid and completely loyal to William McMillan Foley. He had a great job and found pleasure in helping this freakishly wealthy but good-hearted person navigate through life.
Johnny Pederasty walked in his office, in his stocking feet, and sat down. He always carried a notepad and a pen because he had no idea what his boss wanted. He had a million contacts, successfully took on a variety of tasks and had a world-class poker face. William McMillan Foley trusted him and if Johnny gave him a worried face, he would back out the deal. This time as he sat down, Johnny felt something was coming; nothing bad but something interesting. As William McMillan Foley contorted and twisted himself around in the chair, Johnny knew he was doing some rich man's yoga or had something in his craw.
"I need a walkabout," said William McMillan Foley. "I got to hit the road and hang around some people who don't know me."
"You only know about thirty people," said Johnny. "That bar seems kind of low."
"Either way, I need a road trip."
"Okay, what do you need? A pile of cash, a nice car, a few safety precautions?"
"Good start but let's just kick around a few ideas."
"Fair enough. How long do you want this walkabout to last?"
"Two to three months with an option on a fourth month."
"Domestic or globe-trotter?"
"Level of risk?"
"Level of lifestyle enjoyed?"
"Above average to good."
"Any absolute 'have to haves' or 'must avoid at all costs?'"
"I don't want to visit Texas."
"Just keep the whole thing on the quiet side. I don't get that many calls so whatever comes in, can be forwarded to me without any fuss."
Johnny nodded and got up. He asked for one day to come up with William McMillan Foley's walkabout and wandered out just as he wandered in. He waved his hand, without looking, and said, "You know, this might be a good idea."
The next morning, William McMillan Foley walked into his office and he found Johnny Pederasty sleeping on the far couch. Johnny historically accomplished a task all at once so it was not uncommon to find him tucked into some corner, sleeping after delivering some time consuming task. William McMillan Foley decided not to wake him and began his day as usual; reading a few emails from a small circle of financial advisers, scanning a few standing reports and drinking out of a large coffee cup. William McMillan Foley had paid attention to Martin Moser and hired a few ex-military types, including a retired Navy steward exclusively focused on making his coffee the way he learned in the Navy, keeping people out of the office and being his general no-nonsense assistant. The steward had run the back of the house of several aircraft carriers so this work was a walk in the park.
"Good morning, Tommy" said William McMillan Foley quietly as he pointed to the corner. His point and sideways glance formally clued Tommy into the sleeping Pederasty and Tommy just nodded. He had known Johnny was sleeping there, in fact, the pillow and blanket on his chest had been put there several hours earlier by Tommy himself. No one did anything in the office without Tommy's approval but it made William McMillan Foley feel better to give Tommy a heads-up, even on a topic that was old news. Tommy noticed a bound office envelope in Johnny's hand and he took it and walked it over to his boss.
"I assume this is what you want to see," said Tommy. "And it is time for another pot of coffee."
Tommy headed through a hidden door and William McMillan Foley opened the envelope and spread the contents on the desk. The contents included two sets of car keys, a smart phone, several flash drives of different color, a variety of credit cards, Foley's passport, drivers license, insurance information and what appeared to be about one hundred thousand dollars in cash: neatly bounded, non-sequential used fifties, twenties and tens.
"Good, I'm up..." said Johnny. "And I see you couldn't wait to open the first package."
"It seems interesting but appears incomplete."
"That is one reason I didn't hand it to you yet," said Johnny. "You had your inside man do the dirty work for you."
Tommy was pouring them both fresh cups of coffee and said, "Damn straight. Nothing is closed in my world; it is either on table or brewing in a pot."
"I can't argue with his logic," said William McMillan Foley. "When will you be ready to share?"
"Later today, I need to figure out some security and medical contingencies and some time-savers such as making reservations for you before you get there. That will take any the burden of any lame backstory you decide to cook up."
"True. Let's meet back here later today."
At the end of the day, Johnny came back with a small carry-on bag. He was waved in and he sat down.
"I think I am ready to let you go."
"All the answers are in there?"
"Yep. I got a bag full of useless items that will allow you to take a walkabout for a distance and duration undetermined. You will be safe, free and outfitted appropriately."
William McMillan Foley had straightened his posture. He sat upright and appeared excited to get moving on his adventure; the road was beckoning. He began to look at a map of the continental United States and started fantasizing on where he was going and what the road had to offer. Being anonymous to the entire outside world made the security discussion very short; his well-being would be addressed with discrete and periodic surveillance, GPS trackers in his car, on his person and anything of value and a panic button that was assured to bring the calvary to any concern within six minutes. He would have any planned destination paid for well in advance so the plan was to break up the cash into smaller, more flexible chunks for his distribution as necessary. Technically, with his credit cards and advance planning, out of pocket expenses were minimal but it was nice to know that if needed, cash remained king.
He was finally free.
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