only Eleanor Roosevelt had worn a thong
by Mad Dog
you’re a rapper all you have to do is total the number of guns you
have down your pants, the jail time you’ve done, and the lawsuits
you’re involved in, giving yourself bonus points for those filed
by family members.
Everyone wonders about their self-worth, and we each have our own
way of defining it. If you’re a baby boomer or yuppie you add up
your assets, subtract your liabilities, then ask the credit card
company to raise your limit so you can go out to dinner and drown
your sorrows in crème brulée because you’re sure the
formula is Net Worth = Self-Worth and at the moment they’re both
in the red.
If you’re a New
Ager or live in California—which is only slightly redundant—you
discover your self-worth by sitting in a darkened room, lighting
some incense, putting “Yanni’s Greatest Hits” in the CD player
(available on Oxymoron Records), and staring at your crystals
wondering why they’re quartz and not diamond like your
neighbors’, the baby boomers and yuppies. Then you go online,
order a copy of “Chicken Soup For Your Feng Shui”, and drown
your sorrows in a big bowl of fat-free frozen soy milk with wheat
it easier. They don’t have to call their accountant or gaze inward
to discover their self-worth, there are signs everywhere they turn.
If you’re a movie star, for example, you can count the number of
buses with your photograph on the side, read Hollywood Reporter to
find out whether the salary you got for that last movie was ever
recouped at the box office, and see how many restraining orders you
have against stalkers at any given moment.
what are we to make of the $200 bill that showed up in Danville,
Kentucky with George Bush’s picture plastered on it? Does this
mean he’s worth more than all the other monetary Founding Fathers
If you’re a rapper all you have to do is total the number of guns
you have down your pants, the jail time you’ve done, and the
lawsuits you’re involved in, giving yourself bonus points for
those filed by family members. And if you’re an athlete, you can
use the street price of your rookie trading card, how much you gouge
fans to sign your autograph, and the number of times you’ve been
else, politicians have their own way of doing things. They use
public opinion polls to determine their self-worth, which is a
slightly more scientifically valid version of Sally Fields’ “You
like me! You really like me!” But there’s a better way: money.
And I don’t mean how much they’ve taken in from corporations and
special interest groups which want nothing in return or tax evaders
who wouldn’t dream of accepting a pardon even if Clinton did
happen to issue one on his last day in office.
No, this is the
Monetary Self-Worth Scale, and it’s based on the denomination of
paper money their picture is on. Thus, Ben Franklin is worth more
than Andrew Jackson, who’s worth more than Alexander Hamilton,
who’s worth more than Abraham Lincoln. Poor George Washington
isn’t worth much at all, and it’s only going to get worse what
with this self-prophesied recession staring us in the wallet.
So what are we to
make of the $200 bill that showed up in Danville, Kentucky with
George Bush’s picture plastered on it? Does this mean he’s worth
more than all the other monetary Founding Fathers put together? In a
word: no. The bill was obviously a fake, even though the cashier at
the Dairy Queen didn’t realize it and gave the customer $198 in
change for his double I-Can’t Believe-It’s-Not-Ice-Cream cone.
What it does mean is that Bush is a fraud, something just over half
the voters decided before the election.
Earl, co-founder of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, picked up
the bikini Ursula Andress wore in “Doctor No” for $60,000 so he
can sleep with it under his pillow at night. Just kidding.
What about presidents who haven’t been honored with their
own currency? It’s simple: hold an auction. Christie’s auction
house recently did that and unloaded some of Franklin and Eleanor
Roosevelt’s personal possessions for $2.7 million. While this
sounds like a pretty good haul, it’s not. It’s just a touch more
than Alex Rodriguez will take home each month for playing with the
Texas Rangers, which means either FDR was a lousy baseball player or
Rodriquez should run for president. Or both.
selling item was a painting of FDR’s yacht which went for
$149,000. A gold watch given to him by Argentina's minister of the
Navy sold for $58,750. And some junk Eleanor kept on her dresser,
like hair brushes, a shoehorn, and a $300 bill with Franklin’s
picture on it, went for $37,600.
About the same
time, Christie’s held another auction, this one of props from
James Bond movies. The 1965 Aston Martin which Pierce Brosnan drove
in "Golden Eye" went for a cool $228,737. Robert Earl,
co-founder of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, picked up the
bikini Ursula Andress wore in “Doctor No” for $60,000 so he can
sleep with it under his pillow at night. Just kidding. Not about how
much he paid, because he did shell out sixty grand, but the truth is
he’s going to put the swimsuit in his Time Square restaurant. And
sleep there at night.
This would seem
to indicate that movie stars are worth more than political figures.
Or maybe it’s just that sex sells, and there’s no question
bikinis are sexier than shoehorns.
Well, to most of us, anyway. But there’s only one way to
find out for sure—someone needs to put one of Eleanor
Roosevelt’s bathing suits up for auction. I don’t know how much
it will sell for, but I doubt we’ll see it displayed in a
restaurant anytime soon. Well, not unless someone opens a chain of
New Deal Cafés and serves some killer crème brulée.
Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while adding up how many restraining orders you have against
you for stalking.