Sunday, August 16, 2009

How The Rich Suffer!

When most people think about the rising sun, they conjure up images of early mornings with a cradled coffee, pink skies turning to blazing banana yellow, or sushi (Japan is often referred to as the land of the rising sun). When Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, thinks about the Rising Sun, he wonders where the hell his team of nattily dressed minions will dock it.

Rising Sun is his private, globe trotting yacht. Larry's yacht is 452.5 feet long and 62 feet wide. It boasts the same amount of living space as the average sized WalMart. It has 50 000 horsepower under the hood which can propel it to a top speed of 52 kilometres per hour. It's hard to imagine the enormity of this man's bateau, so to put the yacht into some meaningful context, I'll compare it to a recent ferry on which I was a passenger.

When traveling to and from les Iles de la Madeleine, I drove my 14 foot long, 136 horsepower car into the commodious M.V.Madeleine. I parked my car next to a hundred other cars inside the cavernous hold, as well some buses, RVs and transport trucks. My yacht for the 5 hour crossing was 400 feet long, and 60 feet wide. Too small for Larry!

Here's an image of her....

She's not as pretty as Larry's launch, but she's home to 700 passengers. Larry's boat was built for one man, his ego, 38 crew and undoubtedly a litter of sex kittens. For all I know, Larry has been married for 35 years to a chubby woman who likes to knit, but somehow I can't imagine that yacht without a lot of deck fluff. I hope the laser thin ornaments don't blow into the ocean when the chopper lands on the basketball court which converts to a heli-pad.

I recently came across an article that shocked me. Apparently Larry's yacht was too big for his ego, or perhaps his wallet, so he sold a share to Dreamworks SKG co-founder David Geffen. In any event, there will be some under-employed and unhappy deck fluff wandering the docks of St.Tropez, at least Admiral Geffen's turn at the helm. Life sometimes just doesn't seem fair.

I hate to see the rich and beautiful languishing. Here's a quote from the Wall Street Journal's Wealth Report which nicely details the atrocities suffered by the ├╝ber rich Mr.Ellison:

As Wealth Report readers might remember, Mr. Ellison has been complaining for years that the boat he built specifically to be the longest in the world — or at least to be longer than Paul Allen’s — turned out to be rather impractical. He can’t dock at most of the world’s marinas, since his boat exceeds size limits. When he pulls into shore, he has to tie up with oil tankers and container ships at industrial ports. (Not very posh.) Or he has to anchor offshore and take tenders to the dock.

Larry’s other complaint, according to friends, is the “lack of intimate spaces” on the boat. With its Zen-like, modern design, the boat feels cold and imposing both inside and out. “It’s like walking in an empty mall,” says one friend who’s been on the ship.

I'm a leisurologist, plain and simple...simple and plain. My personal yacht is 12 feet long and can carry a load of 325 pounds. I'm tipping the scales at around 185 pounds these days, thanks to the hundred mile diet. That leaves 140 pounds of legal wiggle room for a passenger. But yacht carries around four gallons of fuel, which adds about 40 pounds, so now my passenger had better weigh 100 pounds or less. I'm not sure that there's room for one Olsen twin, let alone Tori Spelling with a full complement of makeup. Maybe I need a bigger boat to be fluff worthy?

Ellison sold David Geffen a stake in his why shouldn't I buy a piece of the action? Larry's yacht cost around $200 million to build. Perhaps I could buy an inch of his yacht. I just did the math and 1 inch would cost me $36 791 U.S.. My foot is about 12 inches long, so to even stand on my share of the Rising Sun, I'd have to fork over $441 501.

Rich men and fragile egos are a dangerous combination.

Many men, three rungs below Larry, are trying to climb the boarding ladder to see the rising sun. Fools, all of them.

Who in their right mind needs a 400 foot yacht? The largest yacht in the world, owned exclusively by a woman, is the 321 foot Carinthia VII. Now that's far more reasonable, don't you think? It's also much prettier than Larry's floating WalMart, so there! As is often the case, it takes a woman, or a leisurologist/house-husband, to bring the madness of mankind to light. Mourning light.

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