The Plight of a Billionairess

Back in 2008 a shoe dropped on the world economy week. The downturn was unlike anything I’ve seen since gas crisis of 1973. One spring weekend I couldn’t take any more bad news and fled New York for the bucolic hills of Dutchess County. My good friend AC picked me up at the Poughkepsie train station and we drove to a mansion overlooking the Hudson valley. Dinner was at sunset.

10 people were at the table.

Three billionaires and four exceedingly well-off scions of famed wealth.

Andrew, his wife, and I were the representative from the other 99.999999% of humanity.

Most of these people never travel to New York, except to the dog show or gala dinners and the hostess asked me how was business. She had a good heart and laughed at my stories. Sandy liked introducing me as’the entertainment’.

“I’ve had better years and worse years.” Last year was bad, but getting arrested in a foreign country is always a bad bad start. Richie Boy and I had opened a jewelry store in the basement of the Plaza Hotel. Our dreams had been dashed by bad location and a thieving partner. “But this is different. No one wants to spend. Not on anything. Luckily I have a big ruby sale in the works.”

“Really?” Sandy asked with interest. Her wealth was 9 zeroes long. The aging brunette loved jewelry, but worshiped horses. Her new stables were a statement of love for her animals. They cost more than I would see in my lifetime.

“Yes, I’m selling a 6-carat Burma ruby, untreated, unheated, blood-red.” The customer was wavering on the stone, because its color was a little pink. Just a little, but color is everything in fine rubies.

“How much?” Her eyes batted like butterflies on speed. Sandy had once been Olympian. Her beauty still held on her flesh.

“$1.4 million.” I had put on enough profit to send me back to Thailand for a good month. Even then it was a good deal for the buyer.

“Ooooh, so much.” Sandy frowned with the disapproval based on her descent from the Pilgrims. “I just canceled my trip to San Francisco, because I decided it wasn’t prudent to spend money in this economy.”

“Say what?” The words from Captain Sensible’s hit song from the 1980s. There was a recession at the time of that recording.

“Yes, I lost 20% of my wealth in the last 4 months. Mind you I’m still as rich as I was when I inherited my money, but I’ve decided to be prudent. I might even have to cut back on my polo ponies.” Tears misted her eyes, thinking about which ponies might get cut from the string in Wellington, Florida. “I have to be responsible.”

AC’s wife kicked me in the leg before I attacked the entire idea of the trickle-down theory of the GOP, where the rich would become really rich and then spend their money like lottery winners in order to make everyone else rich. I glared at Sandy, but took a deep breath and said, “I think that’s a good idea that you set a good example of economic prudence for the rest of the rich. Save and then other people will save, maybe even the middle class.”

“Yes, I’m doing my part to increase the flow of economic prudence.” She leaned over to whisper, “You don’t have a line of cocaine, do you?”

“I do.” It was a lie, but sometimes a lie is better than the truth. “But it wouldn’t be prudent for you to do any. I have to think of my finances too. Thanks for the inspiration.”

I left the table and went straight to the bathroom. All the males followed suit. They were disappointed to hear that I wasn’t holding drugs. Outraged in fact. I almost thought that they wanted to strip-strip me. I wasn’t having any of that and went into the bathroom. I faked snorting several lines and returned to a scornful table, wiping my nose.

“Economic prudence, didn’t the Beatles do a song about that?”

The revolution obviously should begin when billionairesses stop spending money.

At least on gigolos.

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