6 Absolutely Insane Perks Of Being Ultra-Rich
The rich tend to have the best possible lifestyles available. They get the best food, the best houses, even the best helicopters, leaving us with only the second-best helicopters. But it's still our lives, just a bit fancier, right? They still have to put on their golden pants one leg at a time, don't they? Wrong. From buying a car to watching movies, how the truly wealthy lead their everyday, boring-ass lives can be so different from ours they might as well be on a different planet.
NSFW Warning: This article features Babylonian levels of decadence. Also, golden boobs.
They Buy Cars Out Of A Giant Vending Machine
If you're ever standing in front of either a vending machine or a car dealership, you're probably not having a great day. One of them is a shiny glass cage filled with empty promises and regret, and the other gets your Snickers bar stuck against the window. But if you're wealthy enough (and also you live in Singapore), combining these two things makes for a fun experience. Behold:
We promise those aren't Hot Wheels surrounded by really tiny buildings.
That's the home of Autobahn Motors in Singapore, where you can stand in a building across the street and pick a luxury car from a hollowed-out complex. The process of buying a two-ton automobile from a skyscraper-sized vending machine is fairly simple: You take a closer look at the cars on a tablet computer and punch in which ones you want to order, because let's face it, nobody gets just one thing out of a vending machine. The car then pops out of its slot and gets delivered down to you through an automated "fishbone" delivery system. Couldn't be easier, if you're the type of person that puts as much thought into buying a car as the rest of us do in getting an afternoon snack.
The guy behind this idea, Gary Hong, needed a way to both stand out from other luxury car dealers (because those are all the same, apparently) and make use of limited land offerings in Singapore. So rather than spend a lot of money on a flashy showroom, Autobahn Motors instead went with buying an apartment block and punched out its sides. All this so that when one rich guy asks another rich guy where he got his fancy car, he can casually say, "Oh, you know, a vending machine in Singapore."
They Market Their Houses Like They're Porn
When most people try to increase the value of their homes, they build a pool or install hardwood floors. Not the owner of Opus, "Beverly Hills' most expensive property," who tried to entice buyers with the finest luxuries known to man: tits and ass. In order to sell the $100 million mansion, they let film producer turned realtor Nile Niami shoot a sexy movie trailer for it. If you ever wondered what one-percenter niche porn would be like, look no further.
Inside Opus, every dream is a reality. One woman, who we think is supposed to be the owner, is awakened by a gold-dipped bondage slave. The golden girl is about to perform her daily oral duties as the camera pans away to reveal the great view of L.A.'s beau- ... kinda nice skyline. As we tour the rest of the place, there's suddenly a small army of golden women. They're serving gold champagne out of an enormous wine cellar...
... and sexily standing next to a golden Lambo*.
*"Lamborghini and golden prostitutes not included in the list price."
Back to the real estate. It takes so long to showcase this lavish house that the sexy golden women keep putting on more clothes to fight off the rapidly increasing cold. By the time they reach the master living room, winter has come and they bundle together to watch a movie with their mistress, Lady Who Looks Kind of Like Kate Hudson:
The only thing playing is that one scene from Goldfinger on a 24/7 loop.
But! She's now wearing a gold dress herself! Something must be u- oh no, what are they doing? They're making her a gold woman too! The queen of the gold women!
OK, this whole thing was just some weird GoT cosplay.
To celebrate, she starts spraying champagne everywhere, enjoying her new status as Divine Ruler of Opus and All the Other Gold Women. They toast her. Scene. Buy this house.
They Smoke Never-Touched Weed Out Of A Work Of Art
Doesn't it suck that you have to touch your weed? Takes away from the purity, brah. Hmm? That's never been a concern to you? Well, then you must not be the kind of real marijuana aficionado willing to cough up a hundred bucks for an eighth of an ounce. Allow us to introduce you to canned cannabis. Canned-a-bis. Can o' bis. Whatever. This stuff:
For when Popeye needs to chill.
Coming from Top Shelf THC, the Isla series of weed actually cures in the can. After harvest, nobody touches it until your Cheeto-stained fingers pop it open. It's also fairly difficult to come by -- your average "medical" dispensary in Portland or Seattle isn't getting its grubby hands on this exquisite kush anytime soon. Rapper 2 Chainz, on the other hand, was kind enough to try it for us, the pauper public.
According to 2 Chainz's doctor, this weed comes in at about $800 an ounce, which casual stoners will notice is just too much, man. But what about those of us who don't want to bother rolling our millionaire weed up in golden leaves? What about bongs? Well, capitalism's got that covered too.
Well ahoy there.
Artisan glass blowers are now dedicating their craft to luxury bongs like this pirate ship, which costs around $30,000. An art collector who goes by "Mister Grey" put together an entire show of "Functional Glass Art" after taking some trips to pot-friendly places. He decided he wanted to see bongs displayed somewhere other than head shops, and if you're rich enough to go by the pseudonym of Mr. Grey, you might as well go ahead and put together an art show of expensive bongs.
They Set Up Trust Funds ... For Their Pets
Even the richest among us can't cheat death (yet). And seeing as how it's no longer socially acceptable to be buried with your treasures like a pharaoh or a pirate, they'll have to leave their stuff to their loved ones. No, not their asshole spoiled kids. Fifi and Mr. Snuggles.
It is now legal for the wealthy to set up trust funds for their pets. In case of their owner's death, this is to assure the pets are taken care of for the duration of their lives and don't end up in a shelter, but it is also literally the plot of The Aristocats. A carer is appointed to guarantee that these animals live better lives than they themselves ever will. And they can lead long lives. One deceased moneybags left $200,000 for the care of two African birds that can live up to 90 years. Imagine being left an animal you have to take care of until your dying day. And you can't kill it, because it pays your rent.
Unsurprisingly, leaving vast fortunes to animals has already caused a lot of tension and some really weird problems. Leona Helmsley tried to leave $12 million to her dog, only for a court to effectively tell her posthumously that she was being senile and knock that number down to "only" $2 million. The remaining money was given to charity. Fortunately, courts officially have the power to reduce the amount in pet trust funds (which are already sort of skirting the law as it is) if they're deemed "unreasonably large," like 12 fucking million dollars. Not like $2 million, which is basically chump change for a Maltese purebred.
They Can Watch Newly Released Movies At Home
Even going to the movie theater is a little bit of a luxury for some people. Lots of us will wait until a movie comes out on a streaming service, or it falls out of the back of a passing pirate website. But some people have the opposite problem: They're too rich to go to a movie theater. Conveniently, they make the movie theater come to them.
Enter Prima Cinema. Prima isn't video on demand; it's box office on demand, allowing you to watch brand-new, still-playing-in-theaters movies in the privacy of your home. You, or at least that one rich dude you know, can have the massive Prima box installed in your home for a cool $35,000. Discerning readers will note that this is roughly 3,500 months' worth of Netflix subscriptions (or 7,000 if you're "sharing" with your parents), but that's a mere pittance for someone who wants to enjoy the new Transformers with a jar of caviar.
There are a few catches, though. Because they had to cut a deal with major movie studios to get them to allow this in the first place (and let's be honest, to "keep out the undesirables"), there are some very strict requirements to even get Prima installed. You must own a home theater with no more than 25 seats, and said theater must have a screen reaching 100 inches or more at the diagonal. Your internet must also be super high speed, so even millionaires who happen to live in Farmville, USA will get left out.
Finally, on top of that $35,000 installation fee, each movie costs $500 to stream. Each purchase must also be approved with a fingerprint scan, not only to discourage movie buff burglars, but also to keep your child from accidentally pressing a bunch of buttons and racking up millions of dollars of debt in bad Mark Wahlberg movies.
They Can Pay For A Better Room In Prison
The whole point of prison, depending on whether you're talking to an American or a Norwegian, is to ensure that a criminal knows they fucked up somehow. It's a punishment, a way to show how terrible life can be if you break the law. And if you're a millionaire, that horrible punishment is to live in what looks like our first studio apartment.
Making shanks out of your gold-plated silverware.
That's not a prison cell. That's summer camp. It's part of a Californian program "pay-to-stay," wherein typically nonviolent offenders (if you think drunk driving is a nonviolent offense, which we don't) can pay roughly the price of a three-star hotel in Indiana each night to serve their time. A 21-day drunk driving sentence cost the woman in that photo $82 a night, which totals up to a little over $1,700 -- a steal for circumventing justice. At the moment, about 20 different California city jails are offering this "upgrade." That's right, these aren't special holding facilities, but a VIP section carved out of regular jail and paid with taxpayer dollars so that rich offenders don't have sit too close to the commoners. Finally, jail time is like airplane travel, only with fewer human rights violations.
Police justify this special treatment by claiming that pay-to-stay jails simply exist to sequester people who fear for their safety in real minimum-security prisons, as if the third act of Les Mis would break out the moment someone with a trust fund steps into a prison yard. But it's hard to ignore the blatant preferential treatment all of these jails dole out. Pay-to-stay prisoners get bigger cells and more time outside, and have their own TVs, fridges, and even phones sometimes. Some jails don't even close the goddamned cells. Did you have your own TV as a kid? Did your mom make you leave your bedroom door open as a teenager? Then your childhood was a tougher prison experience than most rich Americans will ever have to deal with.
To be fair, there are sacrifices. This probably the smallest flat screen they have ever had in their room.
And while this special treatment is technically restricted to nonviolent minor fuck-up crimes, the slide is already getting slippery. When Michael Keating actually killed a young woman while drunk driving, he was still allowed to do time first-class. His rich parents dropped $72,000 over two years to avoid having him stay with the general prison population. His single-person LA prison cell had a DVD player and a selection of movies, and he got his own yard out back where he could play basketball. He even was allowed to go to work and come back, only staying in the prison to sleep. That was the price he paid for killing another human being. So if you ever make bank, make sure to head to California, where the rich can finally live like they're a different species from the rest of us.
If any of the people mentioned in this article would like to contribute to Isaac's student loans, you can find him on Twitter.
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