I have, unfortunately, never been a one-percenter. If I had $5 in my pocket, I always wanted to spend it before I went to bed. If there was a chance at any money at all, it vanished when I jumped into the red-hot Florida land market 36 hours before it collapsed. I would guess that was an easy $50,000 loss. Good thing I majored in economics.
It’s another good thing that Men’s Journal is there to remind me of my 99-percenthood, if that is a word. In the December issue, there are pages and pages of things I cannot afford, not even on my annual wish list.
To me, the L.L. Bean (rocky) Knife Edge hiking boots are the ultimate. The boots cost about $90 and have kept my feet comfy and dry for a decade or more. But that is nowhere good enough for our pals at Men’s Journal. The editors suggest a look at the Nigel Cadburn (honest) Viberg service boot. It’s “Army inspired” and offers a “soft, deconstructed toe.” That’s the least it should offer at a cost of $875. The Cadburns will never make it under the Cobb Manor Christmas tree, I can promise you. What about the Peter Nappi Julius boot, actually made of Kudu (whatever that is) and “infused with oil for softness”? A bargain at a mere $695.
About the only exercise this aging carcass can stand is bicycling. I have a nifty handlebar gauge that tells me the time, the distance and my average speed. That’s nothing. MJ reminds us that there is so much more. Consider the iBike Power Meter, which “turns your iPhone or iPad into a digital dashboard” that measures speed, cadence, and wattage, and then loads that information into the coaching website of your choice. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to do that, but if you have $749 in your account, it’s all yours. I think my mighty Trek cost $500 and that was a good 15 years ago. Imagine putting a $749 gauge on a used, $500 bike. Only a one-percenter would think of it.
While I am customizing the Trek, I could solve the problem of that certain, frightening numbness which occurs at the 5-mile mark. MJ has that figured out for the one-percenters with a Specialized Romin Evo Pro seat which allows “80 percent more blood flow” to that sensitive era, while providing “enough padding for 100-mile days.” I consider a 20-mile day an Olympic effort, but I might consider the Evo Pro for a mere $180.
The mighty, mighty Tundra has been replaced with a shiny gold Honda Accord and all is fine, at least until it snows. It was almost an even swap and saves me at least $20 a week in gas. But MJ reminds me that there are so many better vehicles out there. The electric Fisker Karma has a battery pack good for the 50-mile trip to Job Lots in Belfast, but also boasts a 260 horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder monster engine that will take you from zero to 60 in a shocking six seconds, making that trip to Rockland’s Atlantic Baking Company in record time. I will save my spare change in a jar until I have $95,900 for a new Fisker. If I live until age 312, I think I can do it.
On my manly wrist, I sport a Casio wristwatch that tells me not only the time, but the date, the tide and the moon situation. If memory serves, it came from Amazon.com and cost (with a coupon) about $25. I was perfectly happy with my Casio until MJ told me about the Nomos Glashutte, a tiny, independent watchmaker in Germany (honest) which turns out the fabulous Zurich Weltzeit which will track various time zones for you. No tide info. No moon data. But it has a “subtly excellent design,” for a mere $5,800. According to my Roslindale High School math, that would buy me 2,320 Casios, easily a lifetime supply.
I normally dress in shorts and a T-shirt, an ensemble that tops $100 with a hat and Nikes. MJ reminds me that one-percenters like the retro rock band Dawes (never heard of them) have so much more. How about Tay Strathairn in a Rag and Bone $250 shirt, Taylor Goldsmith in a BOSS Orange shirt for $225 and a Ralph Lauren belt for $195? A belt. Griffin Goldsmith chooses an A.P.C. Henley for $135 and jeans for $135. Wylie Gelber sports a cashmere sweater for $340 and A.P.C. jeans for $175.
Whatever happened to grunge bands?
I am comfortable, if not totally satisfied, with my 99-percent status in spite of MJ and its glittering displays. But I will continue to buy an embarrassing amount of lottery tickets in order to join the one-percenters such as Gary Fowlie. I have considered “occupying” his overpriced emporium in Camden because he is the richest person I know.
And when I win that lottery, I will never talk to those 99-percenters again.
Send complaints and compliments to Emmet Meara at firstname.lastname@example.org.