bitch is back -- and shopping
by Mad Dog
As hobbies of
aging British rock stars go, shopping until your accountants drop
isn’t so bad. After all, he could have gotten into total body
fluid replacement like Keith Richards.
Elton John was in court recently where he testified that he spends
as much as $2.15 million a month in living expenses. That’s
$71,666 a day, $2,986 an hour ($4,479 if we assume he’s not a
member of Sleep-spenders Anonymous), and $74.65 a minute. Not bad
for a piano player.
I have to wonder how he
spends that kind of money. Isn’t there a point where it’s hard
to find anything to buy that you don’t already have? Obviously
he’s an impulse shopper on a
big scale. I don’t think I could do that. If it was me
spending seventy grand a day I’d still have to be the smart
shopper, doing some comparison shopping and carefully considering
whether I really needed another solid gold tissue dispenser, even if
this one does look like John Goodman in “Normal, Ohio” and the
tissues come out his butt when you pull his finger.
But apparently Elton John
doesn’t have these decision-making problems. I suspect he walks
down the street pointing at things in shop windows while staff
purchasers scurry behind him. “Have it. Have it. Buy it. Have it.
Buy one of each size and color. Have it. Have it. Buy the store. I
already own it? Buy it anyway and make sure I give myself a good
The only reason we know all
this is because John is suing his accountants and former manager for
negligence in handling his financial affairs. As if he’s not doing
a good enough job of that himself. He contends that if they’d done
a better job he’d be able to spend $3 million, even $4 million a
month. Life just isn’t fair.
A recent survey of Brits by
NetDoctor.co.uk found that one in three was “downright
miserable” and one in ten thought they’d be better off dead. So
much for jolly old England.
His lawyers say the singer’s an “overly generous man with
a poor grasp of his financial affairs.” I can’t help but wonder
if some of it is that he’s English, because you know how they love
standing in line, especially if there’s a cashier at the end.
Recently millions of English drivers lined up at gas stations across
the country for as long as thirty minutes, causing some of the
stations to run out of gas, and all the while there was no gas
shortage and no reason to be doing it. The Straits Times
quoted an engineering professor who was waiting in line as saying,
“I saw this queue and suddenly, I decided to join in.”
Parliament is considering changing the national animal from the
hedgehog to the lemming.
As hobbies of aging British
rock stars go, shopping until your accountants drop isn’t so bad.
After all, he could have gotten into total body fluid replacement
like Keith Richards, performing at state fairs alongside diving
mules like Peter Frampton, or gone the way of Gary Glitter and
ex-Bay City Roller Derek Longmuir and been arrested for kiddie-porn.
Instead Elton John buys
happiness, which apparently is something the English need more of.
It might be something in the air—maybe too much rain?—but a
recent survey of Brits by NetDoctor.co.uk
found that one in three was “downright miserable” and one in ten
thought they’d be better off dead. So much for jolly old England.
There are 2˝ million
millionaires in the United States. That’s more people than live in
West Virginia. Of course it would take an idiot to prefer living in
West Virginia to being a millionaire, but that’s not the point.
could also be that Elton John just has too much money. I don’t
begrudge him this. After all, he earned it fair and square by
writing songs, selling records, and making a fool out of himself
wearing ridiculous outfits and outrageous glasses in public. Of
course he could have taken another career path to make that money,
like posing for Penthouse as Paula Jones did, so let’s be
thankful for small favors.
The problem is he’s
setting a bad example for the youth of today. Well, those who
accidentally stumble across his CDs while looking for the new one
from Britney Aguilera and stop to wonder why Uncle Dudley’s photo
is on the cover. Teenagers already think that the pursuit of money
is a goal unto itself. They want to grow up to be Bill Gates. They
think they’re a failure if they don’t sell an Internet start-up
to AOL by the time they’re eighteen. They know there are 2˝
million millionaires and 267 billionaires in the United States and
they want to be one, unlike me who has a low seven-figure income
only if you count the two zeroes to the right of the decimal point.
That’s a lot of people
with a lot of money. In fact, it’s more people than live in West
Virginia. Of course it would take an idiot to prefer living in West
Virginia to being a millionaire, but that’s not the point. Is it a
lofty enough goal that there should be books like Wow the Dow
to teach teenagers how to invest in the stock market? Come on,
aren’t there things teens would rather see rise than the Dow Jones
Luckily there’s a
mini-trend going on which may help steer them away from this
thinking. Magazines like Real Simple are promoting the
“simpler life, home, body and soul.” They promote a life filled
with less “stuff” and more quality time, focusing on things that
matter. Of course the publishers hope this business venture will
make them U.S. billionaires number 268 and 269, but that’s only
because they want to go on a shopping trip with Elton John the next
time he’s in town. I sure hope they have plenty of stamina.
©2000 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while waiting for the credit card bill to arrive.