Print Story Florida!
By CheeseburgerBrown (Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 08:36:02 PM EST) (all tags)
Put on a show in Palm Beach. Attended in person at the swank old historic hotel. Smuggled in my wife, so she could rollerskate around a while without people asking her to make them lunch or find their shoes.

The place is super swank. Painted ceilings, Cinderella ballrooms. Statues, arches. Karl Rove’s here. Also one of those fabulous tennis playing sisters. Some Trumps.

The whole culture of the place reinforces my notion that rich people exist in a travelling carnival in which they are the marks. The carnies have learned that if you properly pet a rich person’s sense of personal awesomeness they’ll happily pay double or triple for even the most humdrum service. You are distinctive and possessed of a rare taste, my liege.

The way poor people are suckers for the lottery, rich people are suckers for flattery. The poor crave to feel lucky and the rich crave to feel deserving. Work it, and they pay off. Amazing to see experts at it in action. Hats off, carnies. Hats off.

Had an $18 glass of lemonade. Didn’t pay for it. It was pretty good.

Every hotel has service corridors but these ones are gorgeous: hidden doors in the wainscoting for access, narrow wooden passages with sneaky exits to everywhere. There is always a parallel hotel, but this time it is a beautiful one. One that feels like it keeps secrets.

The ocean is eating this place while we watch. Eroding the land out from under it. Washing it away to England. Big waves crash in and take away two hundred pieces of beach furniture and a flight of stairs. “That’s where we used to have a tiki bar,” explained a Haitian to my wife. “But it kept washing away.”

The break-wall is too short. The ocean sloshes right in over it. This state’s borders are being rapidly redrawn.

My wife skates across the bridge to West Palm Beach, where all the workers live. We go there for a cheeseburger when all the fanciness starts to cramp. I have to pay out of pocket for this meal but the prices are America standard — few dollars for full plates. But then the tipping.

One night while I work late into the night an ancient man in a slick tuxedo stumbles into the production office. “Do you make movies?” he asks, noble accent heavily slurred.

“Sometimes,” I tell him.

“Do you want to make a movie about me?” he asks, leaning into the jamb but never the less fighting for his balance.

I point to my machine. “To be honest my dance card is kind of full right now. But I’m intrigued. What’s your angle, sir?”

“It’s called ‘What It’s Like to be Buggered by Hillary Clinton,’” he announces grandly.


I give him my card. He weaves back and forth across the hallway as he wanders off, hip-checking the wall when it gets in his way. “Elevator,” he comments to an Italian masterpiece in oils.

We work late. We are animating key research points to underscore the planetary CEO’s message to the senior executives. The CEO’s people work late, too, Googling things and trying to decide whether what they find supports or conflicts with the talking points.

“It says here  the biggest users of texting are blacks. That can’t be right.”

“It’s all those drug deals. Ho, ho, ho!”

“Bwa-ha-ha! Well, we can’t use that factoid. Nobody would ever believe it. What else you got?”

“Drug deals, you know? That passes for reading and writing with them. Ha ha!”

“Tee hee hee! Oh, you’re so bad.”

“I know. I am. I really am. Ho, ho, ho.”

Seriously, if there’s one thing I can put a finger on that’s comparable everywhere I’ve been in these very diverse United States, it’s the strong impression that it must really suck to be black. Like, even more than at home. White people acting like dicks is totally normal. They’re not even sheepish or embarrassed about it, the way Canadian racists would be. It’s all cool.

Coming home is rude.

Blizzard. Black ice. Ditched cars at the side of the highway. Emergency flares. No palm trees at all.

The children tell us the balcony door blew open during the storm, but neglect to mention that they weren’t able to close it. So our bedroom is a winter wonderland. Snowdrifts, frost graffiti filigree on every surface, the air glistening with dancing crystal motes. In…our…bedroom.

Jesus fuck. I dig out the door and force it closed, but we sleep in the living room by the fire.

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Florida! | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
American Racists by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Jan 07, 2015 at 09:37:17 PM EST
 Here in New England there was a brief window where people hid it. 

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Everywhere Racists by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 03:57:24 PM EST
My Facebook feed this morning in light of the Paris attacks is so chock-a-block with homespun Canadian racism I really shouldn't be pointing fingers based on nationality.
Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.
[ Parent ]
Shades of Dr Zhivago by ana (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 07:16:21 AM EST
 snowdrifts in the bedroom and all.

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

Now as Then, Vokda Helps by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 03:57:54 PM EST
I should kind of mention by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 10:05:19 AM EST
that ahole banker ex-bf K moved to...(West) Palm Beach. I can't imagine why... eye roll

Anyway, my sister who lives in South Florida said that Boca Raton and Deerfield are the same way. The rich people live in Boca but the workers live across the intracoastal in Deerfield. You literally drive over the bridge.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

A travelling carnival in which they are the marks by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #6 Sat Jan 10, 2015 at 04:07:07 AM EST
Sounds right, but with less of that slightly queasy feeling that you just spent half your money on a four minute ride or a stupid big stuffed purple rhinoceros.

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That Queasy Feeling by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:54:16 AM EST
I think that feeling is a part of buyer's remorse -- specifically the strain that is concerned with throwing too much money away for too little return.

I don't think this is a common feeling among the rich. Maybe the borderline rich, but not the richity-rich. They get a high from spending large amount, and are repeatedly reassured that spending a lot on a little is a sign of their unmatched "taste" and high standards.

Perhaps very rich people feel buyer's remorse only when they get a really good deal, because it makes them feel middle class and dirty.
Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.

[ Parent ]
Buyer's nausea by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #8 Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 10:16:21 AM EST
That's about right, and I think rich-rich people only get it from pissing a few million away on a bad investment. I get it from dropping a fifth cent ice cream from McDonald's.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
fifty by Scrymarch (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 08:57:48 AM EST
Crappy magic phone

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[ Parent ]
Rich people by Herring (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jan 12, 2015 at 08:40:26 PM EST
Balzac said "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime". Which might be true.

Iain M Banks tells the tail of the 100th idiot: ‘One hundred idiots make idiotic plans and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot, whose plan succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he is a genius’

Both good points, but it's interesting to note that there are very, very few really rich people in the West who didn't have rich parents.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Florida! | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)