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Archive for September, 2009

#61 - Champagne Fountains

#61 - Champagne Fountains

Champagne Fountains
Price: Disregarding Cost

Rich people love champagne. It is exclusive, it is expensive and almost anyone looks sophisticated holding a flute of Dom Pérignon. While treating yourself to a glass of champers every New Year’s Eve and enjoying the sensation of bubbles dancing on your tongue is enough to appease the huddled masses, for the wealthy a single glass will never do. The rich turn to more extravagant displays of their class, their elegance and their boundless financial resources, champagne fountains. The endless supply of effervescent elixir is visually stunning and says that your host will go to desperate lengths to ensure their soiree is memorable and better than their ex-husband’s last gathering!

As a result, when rich people discuss a party they will always mention the champagne fountain or its conspicuous absence. It is a measure of success and a means by which to weed out the faux-riche from the real deal like Boy Scout merit badges help children pick their friends. Just as you wouldn’t want to be caught in the woods with someone who excels in computers, poetry and theatre nobody wants to spend a perfectly good night at a party where the booze trickles rather than flows. What next, should you supply your own cocaine and gold digging tramps…preposterous!

While most of the posts at Stuff Rich People Love are intended to help you make friends, champagne fountains is a pass or fail standard that you should apply to wealthy people you encounter. This won’t ingratiate you with the rich but you can build credibility by partaking in scorning parties without this vital accoutrement. Furthermore, it will most certainly gain you respect at the office when you off-handedly suggest building one for the next staff function as though it is standard practice within your circle of friends. Your newly showcased sophistication should help next time you tell the cute blond in accounting that you could use her on your staff!

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#60 - Foie Gras

#60 - Foie Gras

Foie Gras
Price: Cancel Your SPCA Card

Rich people love almost anything that is difficult to pronounce. It is all the better if it is also despised by Frisbee-throwing, Che Guevara loving, dreadlock sporting, patchouli wearing activists. Like a Hummer at a Green Peace rally, animal rights activists have a major hate-on for this tasty treat. This is why foie gras is so treasured in wealthy circles while baby seal pelts and snuff films, which anyone can pronounce, are take it or leave it items except among eccentric Europeans.

Let me put the Bentley in reverse, so to speak. It’s important to understand the essence of this delicacy to know why it is so divisive. Foie gras is fattened goose liver but this isn’t the issue as liverwurst is a favorite spreadable meat in trailer parks throughout the southern US and nobody is boycotting NASCAR. The battle lines are drawn because geese at most foie gras producers are force fed grain, corn and fat using a metal pipe shoved down the goose’s throat. To PETA this is an unethical mistreatment of the regal bird and former 007 Sir Roger Moore calls it a ‘delicacy of despair’. To the rich, this is business as usual as the goose has no gag reflex so it purportedly does not feel pain. This logic sounds remarkably similar to visits from high class escorts who likewise lack a gag reflex but just because you can cram something down their throat doesn’t mean you should.

Regardless of the ethical dilemma that foie gras production may pose there is an opportunity to make nice with the rich. There are two important guidelines; never talk about how it is made and please learn how to pronounce it. Nothing kills your chances of a second date like ordering “deux foys grays, garcon” or “a couple fozz grass s’il vous plait”. Enjoy the view of her Christian Louboutin’s heading for the exit because your date is over. However, elegantly request the “duck tenderloin tournedos with fwah-grrah” and your companion’s heart will melt as the words roll off your tongue. Showcasing your comfort with the finer things could mean your own lips encrusted with Guerlain KissKiss lipstick before the crème brûlée is served. This will help overcome any residual guilt. Last word of warning, never say down the hatch, it could prove traumatic!

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#59 - Being Condescending

#59 - Being Condescending

Being Condescending
Price: Nobody Likes You

Imagine being engaged in conversation with a relative stranger. You mention that you are taking a trip or going back to school. Now imagine that the person you are speaking with tells you they only stay at 5 star resorts, never fly economy or that unless you are attending Harvard you’ll be wasting your time. Given that you are staying at a Holiday Inn, travelling by bus and attending state you are likely thinking, “what a dick!” You aren’t wrong; rich people are condescending!

For most people a conversation like this is a disaster but like rich people say, when life gives you lemons have your chef make lemonade. A common response to condescending rich people is to blush and mumble about how nice that sounds. At the other end of the etiquette spectrum is abruptly ending the conversation with a few choice four letter words. While both are options, it is much more fun to play the one-upmanship game. Here’s how it works; they say 5 star, you say 5 diamond. They say Harvard, you prefer the London School of Economics. They won’t fly economy, trump first class by asking if they own a private jet. While this doesn’t immediately seem like a suitable tactic to forge friendships you will be surprised how effective piquing their interest can be.

A little mystery can go a long way when engaging in one-upping, so tread softly. You will want to verse yourself in the finer things in life. Conversational knowledge of Bugatti automobiles, French Chateaus, armored vehicles and private islands will provide ample material for sparring with your conceited adversary. An important point to remember, never lie about partaking in such luxuries. Alluding to enjoying the lifestyle is much more effective and keeps the sharks from smelling weakness. While you don’t want to be known as the jackass that fabricates stories about climbing Everest without oxygen or setting free dive depth records, it is perfectly acceptable to showcase your knowledge of pampered wealth. Finally, this knowledge is like achieving a black belt in martial arts; only use it in self-defense. With a little training you will be as lethal as Bruce Lee and as debonair as James Bond.

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