How to be an eccentric billionaire: An easy, at-home course for the 99.99%
Everyone knows the first step. Get a billion dollars!
But what if I don’t have a billion dollars yet? Will I be ready? Should I work on the “eccentric” part?
OK. How can I prepare to become an eccentric billionaire?
You wouldn’t believe how glad I am that you asked that question.
Background: What exactly does “eccentric” mean?
Eccentric means “crazy” but in a different and special way.
Regular people are crazy. Wealthy people are eccentric.
Do you see the difference? It has to do with having money.
I don’t understand. Crazy is crazy, no?
You confusion is understandable. Let me explain.
Crazy When Clem and Bobby sit on the back porch of their mobile home shooting at cans full of gasoline with a flare gun, that’s crazy. Neighbors complain. The police get involved. Clem and Bobby are clubbed a few times and packed off to the local pokey. The incident is written up for the police blotter and possibly shared with some reporter buddies.
Eccentric When Clive St. Parker-Swithens III stands on the back veranda of his mansion every morning and shoots his quail gun at rustling sounds, which may or may not turn out to be servants in the bushes, it’s different. The police understand completely. Clive is eccentric. The police help discretely fill out the paperwork and transport the wounded. If necessary, they quietly discuss the matter with the neighbors. Reporters are not alerted.
Analysis: Clive’s mother appreciates this fine police work and holds a ball every year for the Chief’s re-election campaign. Clem and Bobby don’t. Clive contributes generously to the charitable causes of other wealthy individuals. Clem and Bobby don’t. Clive has a fancy European quail gun. Clem and Bobby have an Navy surplus flare gun. Clem and Bobby are crazy. Clive is eccentric.
What steps should I take to be more like Clive?
Now you’re getting the picture. Let’s begin:
1. Dress the part
Clothes make the man. Well dressed hobos are “travelers without funds.” A full tuxedo with spats turns a crazy bum into a possible eccentric billionaire. Get a top hat and a vest. Wear them all the time. But you have to do more. Much more.
2. Start a charity
All billionaires have pet charities, such as homes for wayward millionaires, or most often, diseases. Cancer, AIDS, heart disease. Ho hum. Do you want to just get on the bandwagon of someone else’s disease charity? No! Be bold. Pick a disease that is “out there.” Like toe fungus.
Ew, toe fungus? Yes, your crusade against the scourge of toe fungus sets you apart. You’re a maverick, a leader, a lunatic, that is, an eccentric.
3. Support an endangered animal like the unattractive and misunderstood fruit possum.
Pick an animal. It doesn’t matter what animal. No one ever checks. Find an animal that might be endangered and tell people that you support it’s fight to be recognized alongside cute, “charismatic” species that are getting all the money. Often people will give you money just to stop you from showing them more pictures.
4. Collect things
Wealthy people don’t have jobs. Instead they collect valuable objects, which they later give away to museums. The only thing stopping you is the “valuable” part. But value is in the eye of the beholder. You are eccentric. That means you don’t care what other people think. Go to garage sales. Hang around trash bins outside beginner art classes after finals. Go on e-Bay. Collect whatever crap you can afford.
You must always speak in hushed tones around your collection, gaze wordlessly in contemplation, and then mutter “so misunderstood” over and over.
As your your collection grows, you must drop hints at the future value of these unrecognized works, but never openly discuss their true value. Fly into a rage if anyone asks what your collection is worth,
“Worth? Only a soulless barbarian would put a price tag on ART!” Then storm off muttering, “I need a drink.”
Eccentric billionaires party like it’s 1999. After a long week of collecting, charity events, and resting, they need a belt. You need to find a billionaire party. Put on your fanciest duds. If you have been following directions, you already have them on.
How do I find a billionaire party? Look for dead foxes. Where there is a dead fox, there are usually wealthy fox hunters celebrating. Walk in and apologize for missing “the fun.” Blend in and talk fox hunting. It’s not that difficult. Grit you teeth and talk about the “jolly good whippers-in” and “stalwart terrier men stopping a riot near the covert.” Throw in a hearty “Tally Ho!” at every opportunity to get another drink. Drink absinthe. Go nuts. You will blend right in.
6. Shoot large animals
When you have all the money in the world, it only makes sense to travel widely, discover the planet’s rich fauna, and shoot it. Those with wealth seem to prefer parts of the world where people have no money and there are plenty of big animals.
Since your finances prevent actual travel and you only have a flare gun, you will need the next best thing. Trophies. Get yourself some stuffed animals and start making up great hunting stories.
Stare wistfully at your trophy collection as you relate how much trouble it was to shoot each creature. Emphasize your personal risk facing an understandably pissed-off beast armed only with your steely courage and a large caliber rifle. The closer you were to being devoured, trampled or badly licked the better.
That’s it! You now are prepared to be an eccentric billionaire. Except for the billion dollars. Good luck with that.