There is no greater social faux pas than entering the New York social scene without being a person of culture. Some simply buy their way in because they have nothing to offer. Fools! Me though? I am a man of the world. I’ve made love under the Northern Lights. I’ve eaten the succulent Dodo bird. I am currently a god in seventeen small countries.
So, when I was accused at the most recent benefit—“Teaching literacy to those who are too rich to learn to read”—of being a standard wealthy man, I took it as an affront to my character. I am most certainly a man of culture. I have the Coronavirus!
Those imbeciles couldn’t identify my fever, shortness of breath, and obvious kidney failure as signs that I had navigated the globe. Those healthy philistines probably never stepped outside of their miniscule apartments on some destitute street below 90th.
It is a well-known fact that only the most elite, interesting people acquire specific, regional, life-threatening diseases as symbols of culture and refinement. I have stood out in the middle of Nigeria, coated in sugar water, just to join the exclusive club of those who have Malaria. I have led tours to explore the depths of the Amazon, just to catch a whiff of Yellow Fever. I even purchased a 14th-century French crypt and licked every single body to get the black plague.
While I have made a name for myself in some circles, I do not even come close to the pantheon of collectors. These men and women are living legends, toeing the line between life and death due to the hundreds of famed diseases they have acquired. Their acute cases of Spanish Flu signal the extensiveness of their travel. There are even whispers that they privately fund a lab to create diseases, infect themselves with them, and spread them around the world just to maintain their spot at the top. But these accusations are baseless, the fabrications of gutless art collectors and other cultural charlatans.
For those not as involved in the New York social scene, let me describe the echelons of the only society that matters. At the top, you have those like myself; worldly individuals who suffer in the quest for social clout.
Then, you have the Mob bosses. The heads of the various criminal organizations around the world are some of the most interesting and delightful people. Sure, their work can become slightly dirty, but the authenticity they bring to that work is what matters. There is no man I can trust more than Vladamir “Angel of Death” Smidiko, which is why I routinely hire him to babysit my children.
The third tier is saved solely for the person who invented the metal credit card. The feeling I get when I go to pay a bill and feel the weight of my wealth in my hands can only be described as orgasmic.
The fourth and final tier are those classless “patrons of the arts” who spend exorbitant amounts of money on Van Gogh’s finger paintings and George Seurat’s Connect the Dots. They simply define their self-worth through the work of others. They are the proverbial “dirtbags” of the elite. The only reason they are even considered a social tier is that we needed to make sure they were the bottom. Without us, they may have presided at the top of the mining or construction community or something else equally blue collar. We need to treat them like the bottom feeders that they are.
Art and music are nothing more than the culture of the wealthy throughout history. Those who collect paintings, sculptures, and tapestries do nothing more than peruse the giftshop of time. I want to explore the museum. I want to experience life as the common human has. And in doing so, I have collected their diseases.