Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Mailing List Am I On?

I think we're all savvy enough these days to realize if you buy something online or in a catalog, your name and address is thrown in a big barrel and companies can pull it out whenever they feel like it. Additionally, there are smaller barrels sorted by interests and past purchases and companies can pull your information out of those ones too. "Hey, this guy just spent $200 at Radio Shack. Think he'd be interested in our Russian brides catalog?" "Looks like this family just spent $350 at jcrew.com. Better get them an Eddie Bauer mailer ASAP!"

Well, I don't know what I purchased or from who or when, but apparently I somehow ended up in the Rich White People barrel. I suspect it was an online purchase from Brooks Brothers so I could look natty. Now marketers think my house has an extra room where I swim in loose money like Scrooge McDuck. I received offers to join multiple country clubs, which doesn't make the clubs seem so exclusive, an invite to become a member of the Beverly Hills Tennis Club and the chance to purchase hundreds of acres in Montana and Wyoming for a vacation home, among other things. But the topper came when somebody pulled my name from the Rich White People barrel, combined it with my information from the Golf Digest barrel and started sending me Golf Digest Index.

If you don't receive Golf Digest Index, and I am positive that you don't because you're not a faux elite like me, let explain this publication to you. It's a quarterly publication that Golf Digest sends free to the cream of the cream of the crop. The people that will be affected when Obama allows President Bush's tax breaks for the top 5% to expire.

In past issues, I've received advice on where I should buy a summer home. Most likely Antibes, as tax rates for home servants are quite reasonable. Advice on where I should buy a winter home. When am I going to buy a fall home? Why a monthlong vacation to Bali is the perfect way to recharge, and an advertisment for the Sea Island resort in Georgia. I know they had a G8 summit there a couple of years ago, so the mattresses must be nice and comfortable. And also a recommendation to play the Kauri Cliffs Golf Club in New Zealand. Which, I know it sounds far away, but if you and four friends take a private jet, it's really not that bad. Plus, the course only hosts about ten rounds a day, so no waiting on the tee!

Speaking of which, this quarter's issue is an all-timer. There's an article on which private jet I should be looking into. New, 8-seat, ultra light jets have been described as "SUVs with wings". If you're looking into private planes, don't be a sucker and get some propeller job. Like a guy in the article says, "If you're going to spend $1 million on a plane, why not pay a little more and get a jet?" I can literally say I never thought of it that way. The article mentions that this guy can fly from his second home in Florida to an afternoon tee time in Wisconsin and back for dinner. A steak and lobster dinner with a $300 bottle of Opus One cabernet, most likely. And because he'll be sleeping in his own bed that evening, he can brush his teeth with Osetra caviar, as he enjoys doing.

Which type of plane I should buy is not one of my pressing concerns these days. I forgot my iPod on an airplane last month and replacing that is probably my first priority. But Father's Day is coming up Sunday and the bracelet on my watch is coming a little loose. Maybe I should replace it. If so, Golf Digest Index suggests an Audemars Piguet watch. Stainless steel, 40-jewel movement, $12,400.

If that is just out of your budget or if it's more than you make in a month, what about Silvano Lattanzi slip on loafers for a scant $3,175? No? I understand, the economy is making things tight these days. But you have to shave, so why not a David Hayward razor handle? To quote the article, "The nickel-played brass handle is wrapped with 200-year old leather salvaged from the shipwreck of the Metta Catharina." So I guess you can get it wet. $275. And then $15 for the Mach 3 blade you pop on it.

Also this month, there's a list of the world's 50 best golf hotels. Yes, Sea Island is on there. It's the #1 ranked golf hotel in America, actually. The list does not include the price of a nightly stay. Literally, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. There's also an article about the written histories of different golf clubs. Are you wondering if the hardback book about your country club is any good? Now you can put that doubt to rest!

And like every magazine these days, there's a feature on suits. Nice suits and the legendary golfers who wear them. There's a beautiful black and white shot of Gary Player wearing a $2,700 Brooks Brothers suit. It looks nice. Also listed in the caption is his shirt, tie, vest and wingtips. $800. And let's not forget his oyster perpetual 18-karat yellow gold Polex with President bracelet, $24,800. Did I mention that in the photo Player is shown from the shoulders up? The watch is at least two feet out of frame.

Then again, Arnold Palmer is litsted as having a a Rolex oyster perpetual GMT-master 11 watch with oysterlock bracelt for $25,550, and his shot is so tight you can't see the top of his head. I can imagine that it is a very nice watch indeed, though.

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