We all dream of winning the lottery and turning our own lives into The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (only in our version, we own the house, damn it). But once you live in a rich neighborhood and replace your friends with an entourage, there are certain pleasures you'll surely miss. The homemade fireworks that were such a hit in the trailer park won't go down so well in your gated community, and none of the fancy dinner parties you attend will serve hot wings.
After all, sometimes you don't want hand-massaged braised duck kidneys. Sometimes you want the shit you used to get at the Quik-Stop and eat in your car on the way to Steve's house. Fortunately, there is an entire industry catering to rich people who still have minimum wage tastes. They make things like ...
You know what they say about hot dogs, don't you? That they're made of pig fetuses and bear manure? Yet how many times have you gone into a convenience store, stood in line behind a trucker as he picked out a link from the rotating slow cooker and suddenly desperately wanted one? Not even the nagging feeling that those rotating grease tubes doubled as overnight roach bait could stop you, because no matter what, hot dogs are delicious. Even if eating one makes you hate yourself a little.
The little American flags obscure the fact that it's mostly anus.
Now, imagine how much harder that will be once you're a wealthy tycoon, with wealthy tycoon friends. You can't be caught eating that shit at your fancy operas or charity balls, even if it is the food of the gods. But who among your snooty friends could look down on you for eating the $69 gourmet hot dog at Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York. Look at it!
What, no relish?
The only problem is that, knowing how competitive rich douchebags can be, eventually one of your friends will boast that they have found a better, more expensive dog. They are speaking of the $80 "McMullen dog."
If hot dogs have a god, this is it.
First, half a pound of beef is rolled into a tube. Next, it's "... deep fried and rolled in truffle oil, then coated with porcini dust, sprinkled with white truffle shavings and topped with dollops of creme fraiche, caviar and fresh roe." Unfortunately, the only place to get it is at the stadium of the Brockton Rox baseball team. So you'll probably have to send your butler to go pick it up.
Totally worth it.
"And there had better be relish, Jenkins. God help you if there isn't."
Ramen is a bowl of noodles, broth, spices and destitution that you'll find in college dorms and poverty-stricken homes across the U.S. It sells for pennies for a dried package.
In Japan, it has a better reputation -- ramen is a street food, kind of like hot dogs or kebabs. The most you should expect to pay there is $10 off a vendor in Tokyo. The most you should expect to pay for ramen in the U.S. is a simple "thanks" for your buddy's roommate down the hall.
"No problem. Maybe we could hang later? No? OK. Cool."
But no matter where you go, ramen is comfort food -- a rush of warm salt and fat that makes you wonder why people feel the need to spend actual money on food with ingredients they can identify. But once you've moved up in the world, like after your patent for the self-lighting bong goes through, you're not going to be allowed to sit down at the dinner table with your trophy wife and three kids and cram your face into a steaming bowl of ramen.
Unless you pay $110 for a super-fancy bowl of ramen. BEHOLD:
It could use a slice of Kraft cheese and a few diced up hot dogs.
You'll have to go to a particular Tokyo restaurant (Fujimaki Gekijo) to get it, and you'll need to make reservations well in advance. What do you get for your money? Well, it's ... basically the same stuff. But with more pretension, as Chef Shoichi Fujimaki has no problem telling you:
"Usually a product is 80 percent materials and 20 percent effort. But for me, it is the opposite. To be honest, my ingredients are basically the same as when I was selling ramen for 1,000 yen ($13)."
"People are so stupid it sometimes makes my head hurt."
After making that statement, Fujimaki crowed like a rooster and slammed a football that came out of nowhere into the ground, just in case anyone was doubting his swagger. So, who is buying this ramen? People who have made their way to the top of the ramen chain, that's who.
Fujimaki's restaurant is so exclusive that you need reservations at least three days ahead of time to get the good stuff. And even then, you have to have eaten at his other, cheaper restaurants first or else he won't accept your reservation. And if you get in, you still have to follow his Soup Nazi-ish instructions on how to eat it.
Brett Bull Photos
"You have to eat it alone in a tiny, unfurnished bedroom, wearing nothing but underwear and crying silently."
And that is why you need to work hard to earn that extra money. So that your former simple pleasures can be made much harder.
So, your closet is full of tuxedos and your bar features bottles of $3,600 Glenmorangie scotch. You're drinking from a top-of-the-line glass, you're wearing your special whiskey-drinking gloves. But then you reach for the ice in your "real hollowed-out mummy head" ice bucket and realize that's just regular poor people ice, the stuff you can get from bags from a gas station.
Clearly it's time for Glace Luxury Ice, at five bucks per cube.
Glace Luxury Ice
If you're anything like us, that's more than the cost of your vodka.
Oh, and they're not cubes, they're spheres. These "perfectly spherical" (quotes theirs) chunks of ice are made from purified water and are precisely 2.5 inches in diameter, which any scientist will tell you is the exact diameter at which ice reaches maximum levels of fanciness.
Glace Luxury Ice
"I'm not addicted to alcohol. I'm addicted to class."
Serving these frozen spheres isn't as easy as just putting the ice into your drink; that would be too simple for such a luxurious product. First, you have to carefully remove the ice from the luxury pouch it comes in. Then, you have to wait three or four minutes for a "frost" to form on its surface before finally putting the ice in your guest's glass. It's up to you whether or not you add the roofies then or later.
So who are the people willing to pay $5 per cube of frozen Dasani? Here's one of their clients:
"I use it to cool off my Metamucil."
You want to be like Hef, don't you?