Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2009

#74 - Bottled Water

#74 - Bottled Water

Bottled Water
Price: Two Parts Hydrogen, One Part Oxygen

Water is the proverbial elixir of life. Like the nouveau riche, its natural form is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Water is the perfect drink on a hot summer day, can be frozen and for billions around the globe turning on the tap is as complex as water needs to be…unless you are wealthy. The rich know that nothing less than bottled, carbonated and occasionally lightly flavored spring water imported from the European Alps will satiate their thirsty yet sophisticated palate although champagne is a close second.

As any butler and some maids know, rich people are an interesting bunch when it comes to wetting their whistles. Despite installing commercial grade water filtration units in their luxury penthouses, country estates, lake houses, ski chalets and private jets the rich are more likely to raise a child without a nanny than drink water from a tap; the horror. Fortunately, enterprising minds with glass bottles, a nose for capitalism and an extensive distribution network have solved the agonizing task of turning on a tap and replaced it with the satisfying crack and familiar hiss of twisting a metal cap. It is this exhilarating release of gas that reminds the rich that they are able to spend more on water than the average household budgets for gasoline.

Rich or not, an appealing attribute of H2O is that, unlike seasoned wine snobs, an appreciation for expensive water requires no special training, no acquired taste and no heightened sense of smell that rivals a bloodhound. Instead, the ability to distinguish whether or not carbonated bubbles are dancing upon your tongue is all a connoisseur of dihydrogen monoxide really needs, making it the perfect addition to any table. All the same, it is important that you always comment on how refreshing it is; this despite tasting no different than chilled water from your Brita. In fact, a surefire way to ingratiate yourself with wealthy hosts is to comment on how much the water reminds you of a particularly exotic destination, be it Fiji, France, Amazonian rainforests or Norwegian Fjords. This will provide them the opportunity to inform you of the great distance the bottles have travelled and the rarity of its contents. Strike the right chord and it will be like a baptism into their wealthy circle and you will be welcomed one of their own! Santé!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

#73 - Cooking Classes

#73 - Cooking Classes

Cooking Classes
Price: Trip to the Lipo Clinic

Despite the trappings of fabulous wealth, life can become predictable and eventually dull for the rich. Fortunately there is a world of exhilarating hobbies available to the wealthy that aim to inspire before the doldrums of life consume them. For most people, hobbies like skydiving, bungee jumping, scuba and rock climbing add the joie de vivre missing from their mundane existence. Not to be outdone by middle class thrill-seekers, the wealthy also like to step it up when choosing hobbies by throwing caution to the wind and selecting activities that they never thought they would do. These include driving themselves, working eight hours a day and cooking. While your evening likely includes preparing dinner, the wealthy consider this an unfathomable task that the chef, butler or, as a worst case scenario, the nanny will take care of. As such, signing up for private cooking lessons can be a thrilling way to spend a summer and an excellent excuse to visit France, Italy or perhaps Switzerland if checking on the private bank account is required.

While cooking classes are not an impenetrable bastion of the wealthy, rich people tend to have a different set of expectations for these courses. For the rich, being surrounded by world renowned chefs, fresh ingredients from around the globe, the finest kitchen implements and closely guarded cooking secrets is occasion to uncork another bottle of red while the pros create their masterpieces. Spending a month drinking in the Tuscan sun while observing a veteran of the dutch oven fold egg whites, fabricate port reductions and spawn the perfect soufflé lends the credibility required to authoritatively critique a Michelin four star restaurant and is therefore an invaluable experience. Cooking classes are a little like the Dummy’s Guide to becoming a New York Times food critic without the need for a sophisticated palate, experience or a cynical writing style. Nonetheless, such an experience will promote Bunny McCooking-Class to head of choosing restaurants and ordering lunch for her country club ladies group. Like port with chocolate, this newly developed expertise is best served with tales of Fabrizio the pool boy and his prowess in sunscreen massage.

But how does this help you? The best way to leverage this champagne fountain of knowledge is to grease the baking sheet of inquiry. You must walk the fine line between asking questions about the cooking school without broaching the subject of cooking technique; a surefire approach is to ask about the region in which the class was held. This enables them to speak about the setting without being put on the spot about class content. Bonus points if you can steer the conversation to the Le Creuset and Emile Henry cookware they outfitted the estate kitchen with afterwards. After all, their staff deserves the best when cooking for a discriminating palate like their own!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#72 - Scotch

#72 - Scotch

Scotch
Price: Years of practice

The first time that you tried scotch it may have tasted like the perfect blend of paint thinner and ass. As every frat boy knows, if it tastes like ass, turn it around. While this advice may work in some situations it is unlikely to alter this alcohol-based assault on your taste buds and olfactory senses. Despite this apparent flaw, rich people love scotch. To the uninitiated, rich people will insist that scotch is an acquired taste and break into a polished soliloquy on the finer points of this pricey malt beverage as an explanation of why you should love it. A scotch aficionado can block your exit with their knowledge of Scotland’s pride while a room of aficionados can ruin your evening by peppering you with unpronounceable distillery names and heated debates around chill-filtration. If being bombarded by terms like single malt, mash, Scotch Whisky Order of 1990, Glenlivet and Auchentoshan sounds like a nightmare, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

As with all things alcoholic, the more that people ply you with booze as a means to convince you of its superior taste, the less likely you are to know what the hell you are drinking which makes the evening progressively more palatable. Such is the case with scotch thanks to exacting standards that mandate a minimum 40% alcohol content. Getting through the last glass makes the next all the easier. Is swallowing your first ounce of Oban getting in the way of making friends with your wealthy companions? Think about the difficulty that Cinderella must have had the first time that she got to the ball. The red headed stepchild worked through her gag reflex before she and Prince Charming lived happily ever after and so can you.

You may be thinking, why scotch? All spirits have a distinct personality and therefore appeal to specific subsets of the population. Thanks to the Russian Mafioso, vodka represents mystery and new money, tequila goes hand-in-hand with cougars looking to bag an unsuspecting twenty something, cognac with rappers and bourbon with interfamily marriages. Scotch, since 1495, has perpetually represented the sophisticated statesman with elegance, taste, class and ambition; it is like a Rolls Royce among Cadillacs. For this reason, the rich will learn to love this aged liquid and speak of pungent and potent malts, with richly peaty, deep, smoky flavor that has an intense, long ambrosial finish. Such knowledge is a means to highlight their station in life and knowing this can help advance yours. Who knows, drink enough scotch at the country mansion and the trophy wives may recruit you to help them with their case of Patron. Bottoms up!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#71 - Professional Blow Drying

#71 - Professional Blow Drying

Professional Blow Drying
Price: A Keratin Intervention

A notable difference between upper class fabulous and soccer mom drab is perfect hair. While men are oblivious to their better half’s new hairstyle, all women know to the minute how long it has been since a member of the sisterhood has had her hair professionally washed and blow dried. For most, working or tending to the children gets in the way of paradisiacal hair; for the wealthy a trust fund or a sugar daddy, a nanny, a housekeeper, a chauffeur and a personal chef keep responsibilities to a minimum providing ample time to stay perfectly coiffed. The rich do face a conundrum of sorts; given that hair grows approximately 4mm per day it is hardly justifiable to dip into the salon for a daily trim. Fortunately, the geniuses at the Global Council for Beautiful Hair, a lesser division at the UN, deemed it appropriate to sanction salons that offer professional blow drying for roughly the same fee as leasing a BMW.

Daily “wash and blows” are a godsend for the rich and a potential addiction although they will claim that they really can stop anytime. Not to be confused with a rub and tug, these niche salons are a destination for sophisticated women and remarkably flamboyant men hell bent on flawless hair. The artists that operate these luxury in-and-outs are seasoned veterans that have delivered countless blow jobs and therefore have an aptitude for delivering style that far exceeds even the most accomplished trophy wife. It isn’t only experience that plays into the equation; these experts save the taxing, physical strain of blow drying one’s own hair. The wealthy know how tiring it is to point air straight down the shaft when operating a blow dryer. Thanks to the hair-dressing equivalent of clean-shaven or lightly bearded blond Jesus, the couture flock is provided for and such exertion is a distant memory.

By now, you should be asking how this can help you befriend the fabulously wealthy. An invitation to the blow-and-go is simplicity at its finest. If you face resistance, tell them you have always envied their style and would love their advice on your hair. In a hop, skip and a jump you’ll be racing to the salon district in their freshly waxed Bentley. There are of course other benefits that these salons provide. The sheer volume of the blow dryer will make it impossible to hear your wealthy companion wax on about their most recent “hardship” but the absence of scissors makes it safe to nod attentively as though you can understand every important word they are saying! The blow dryer will mask their hot air, they will appreciate your attentiveness and in thirty minutes you will look and feel fabulous with your new BFF. Cappuccino anyone?

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#70 - Personal Chefs

#70 - Personal Chefs

Personal Chefs
Price: Saving the gratuity

If you are like most people, you know that dinner can be as simple as boiling water, opening a box of macaroni, adding milk and butter then mixing orange powder to creamy perfection. At worst, choosing fancy ketchup is as complicated as any meal gets. Sadly, rich people do not have the luxury of simple meals. They must choose a restaurant that is posh, exclusive and on the cusp of becoming trendy. While menus are often ignored, it is important that the restaurant be well-stocked with obscure ingredients so the chef can begrudgingly whip up their wealthy patron’s fanciful whim. All this is complicated by choosing the right car from the fleet in the garage and deciding whether the chauffeur will accompany them. If this sounds like a nightmare, you are not alone and it is the reason that 4 out of 5 rich people recommend retaining a personal chef at their estate.

If you have watched Hell’s Kitchen you already know that ego and incredible kitchen skills go hand-in-hand. It may be a surprise to learn that personal chefs are a special breed of culinary genius; they are talented and patient. Without these key ingredients the chef is as useful to the rich as a mistress with herpes. Fortunately, while money can’t buy happiness it can help choose one’s misery and there are plenty of suitable ginsu masters ready to create mouthwatering menus. They endeavor to provide the wealthy with the nourishment needed to lounge poolside and inform their broker about how to do his job.

Of course, just because rich people have a personal chef is no reason for David Chang and his staff at Momofuku Ko to press the panic button. Rich people will still dine out but knowing that they don’t have to is a paradigm shift. Now, when the hostess at Masa or I Sodi informs that there is a three week wait the wealthy can set aside andger and resentment, casually accept the reservation and enjoy homemade coniglio in padella in the comforts of their quaint 7,000 square foot residence in the Hamptons thanks to their chef’s outstanding talents. Just be sure that the only sampling going on in the kitchen is related to the meal! It would be a shame to have to choose between one’s spouse and one’s chef…good help can be so hard to find. Bon appétit!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#69 - Butlers

#69 - Butlers

Butlers
Price: Tolerating Fake British Accents

Most people will never understand the trials and tribulations that rich people cope with daily. While country mansions, yachts, wine cellars, exotic cars and private islands sound appealing to most, it is easy to forget that not having a job means plenty of free time which “simply must be managed, darling”. Whether this is lunch at the club, high tea, shopping or attending galas for the latest cause, it is nearly impossible for one person to shoulder that much planning without the specialized training that an eight week butler course offers. In exchange for this extensive and specialized training, butlers are offered a six-figure salary and the opportunity to live where they work by way of a room in the vast estate. Often this is augmented by keys to the wine cellar and the head of the household looking the other way when Jeeves smuggles a full bodied cabernet back to his lonely living quarters.

Butlers’ duties do extend beyond scheduling the lives of their wealthy employers. In fact, the breadth of skills they display is impressive and may include cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, valet services, secretarial work, event planning and personal shopping. While these qualities are important, the real reason that rich people love having a butler is because it is akin to achieving a Cub Scout badge for self-importance. A butler illustrates to friends, family and acquaintances that a rich person’s time is so valuable that nearly every household and personal task is beneath them. Hired help thus frees their time to focus on “high value” tasks like testing martinis at lunch or having their hair professionally blow-dried at ten o’clock each morning.

The question you should be asking yourself is how does this help you to make friends with rich people? As Yogi Berra once said, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”; get to know a butler or become a butler! Kissing up to the butler is an art but when performed correctly you will secure social invitations to stately soirees. Becoming a butler is more time intensive but may lead to ingratiation and a lifelong association with the family; think Alfred and Bruce Wayne, Smithers and Veronica Lodge or Geoffrey and the Fresh Prince of Belair. Over time these gentlemen became as important to the family as Lassie was to Timmy. Be warned, as the butler you can never forget your place in the household as wearing a white tie to dinner rather than the hired help black will certainly mean ending your tenure with your tail between your legs but at least you will finally know when to use the small fork!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: