As everyone knows, I am a hypocrite. I disdain excessive displays of wealth, yet I feel my financial future will be secure only if I win a major PowerBall prize, like in excess of $300 million. (But I would so totally do wonderful things with the money, it would be like starting a philanthropicaledical foundation, I'd give to sick kids, homeless people, Africa [how do you write that check? Is it: Pay to the Order of: Africa? Just wondering so I can be prepared.]) As you can imagine, knowing what a compassionate person I am, I'd make the lives of so many people better--give till it hurts they say, and I'd be in unbearable pain. What with all the giving, and all.
After all the giving, then I'd buy a house on the beach. Hence the hypocrisy.
Every so often some dickweed comes along that make wealthy people look bad, even to other wealthy people. Someone with such insane wealth that not only do they frivolously spend their money on frippery, they reinstitute the caste system in such a way that it's a wonder the "help" doesn't pee in their coffee on a daily basis. (Maybe they do. Maybe the boss thinks that's what expensive coffee tastes like. In which case: HA!)
On a frigid Sunday afternoon, we were flipping back and forth between home improvement shows and the Travel Channel; some show called, "Wildly Wealthy People and Their Yachts Made Out of Beaver Pelts," or somesuch. Featured was the afore-mentioned dickweed, so offensive in his status-seeking, that as he golfed off the back of his boat with his buddy while his staff retrieved the balls and kept score, he indicated that he always competes with friends at this game and always emerges victorious, because the staff, "knows who signs their paychecks. I'm undefeated." In his case, I think his staff and friends are urinating in his coffee.
Next up is the Christina O, which Aristotle Onassis converted from a navy frigate into a luxury yacht, for the 1954 bargain price of $4 million dollars. After his death, it sat unused for twenty years and fell into disrepair, and was refurbished by some friends of his (who likely had some guilt after their own incidents of coffee-urination) at a cost of $50 million. They shined it up like a new penny, saving some of the original touches, Baccarat light fixtures, mementoes of Maria Callas, JFK (how weird was it that JFK was frequently aboard the yacht of his wife's future husband?) and other celebrities. A teak deck restored to its gleaming original self, a dining room outfitted with Limoges china and Waterford crystal, the helipad, and who could forget Ari's bar? Gleaming wood and glass showcasing models of ship development, ornate carvings on whale's teeth, and oh yes, the barstools covered in whale foreskin.
The barstools covered in whale foreskin.
The poor whale! The poor guy who had to retrieve the poor whale's foreskin! Evidently, this was Ari Onassis' own personal F--- You to the animal kingdom. Whose idea was this, and how on earth was it not illegal? Or was there a booth for animal foreskin coverings at the boat show? Can't you just picture perusing the offerings, making choices? "Let's see honey, should we get the silver-encrusted knobs for the bridge, or the platinum? And the couches in the lounge? Should we cover it with elephant or whale foreskin? Oh, such decisions, this is just too difficult! I need a cocktail!"
As you'd imagine, Ari used to chide ladies about this when they'd sit on the stools. "Excuse me, madam, did you know you're sitting on the world's largest penis?" Classy, that. The only difference between behavior like this and a frat boy at a sports bar is the fact that one of them uses woven gold for toilet paper.
Everyone swears they'd keep their values and remain unchanged upon coming into a large sum of money. I don't think I'd remain totally unchanged. I think I'd buy more expensive shampoo, and maybe get pedicures more often. But covering furniture in whale's foreskin? Who does that?
Everyone knows the best people use panda bears.