What have you done this week to make the planet a better place?
Let me guess. You watched television and complained about the government. Maybe you took the dog for a walk. You sighed a lot. Did a bit of daytime drinking. What did I do? All of those things and more.
I also helped to make Jeff Bezos R600 richer. No doubt he’s busy with the thank you card. You don’t get to be the wealthiest man in the world by forgetting your manners. Jeff is worth $184 billion (more than R3 trillion). He will add another $40 million to his name in the time it takes me to write this column.
I, on the other hand, will have lost partial sight in one eye and come one step closer to a liver transplant. My contribution to Jeff’s bank balance came in the form of a paperback I ordered from Amazon. The price sticker on the book said $9.99. Fair enough. Cheaper than some of the books in my local Wordsworth.
The meat of the bill, the heft of it, lies in getting it to my front door within a reasonable period of time. And so a R200 book costs R400 to get here. Jeff would never go near that kind of deal. In fact, he might not be writing me a thank you card at all. I think he’s drinking unicorn tears from a goblet crafted out of raw gold from Tutankhamen’s tomb and laughing at my folly. Jeff earns $3 700 a second.
He earns my R600 in considerably less time that it takes him to blink. Truth is, he’s so rich that he has other people to do his blinking for him. If my maths brain had been allowed to develop at its own pace, without teachers humiliating me and parents beating me, I might have been able to calculate precisely how long it takes Jeff to earn the dollar equivalent of R600. That particular unit of time probably doesn’t even exist. If it does, it’s, like, half a zeptosecond.
I encourage all of you to do your bit and support Jeff. For a start, his already fabulously wealthy wife took him for $38 billion in their recent divorce, instantly making her the richest woman in the world and setting the bar impossibly high for gold diggers everywhere. She married him for his money. How do I know this? Have you seen pictures of Jeff? He’s not exactly Jason Mamoa, whoever that is. His name came up on Google. He sounds like a rugby player. I don’t want to know.
Jeff’s wife’s name is MacKenzie. If there’s any doubt as to her heritage, her surname is literally Scott. Whenever the Scottish are around, you can be sure trouble isn’t far behind. Clan MacKenzie had feuds with everyone from the Earl of Ross to the Jacobites and anyone whose name wasn’t MacKenzie. They did have a thing for Robert the Bruce, though. Of course they did. Everyone loved Robert. Apart from the English, but the less said about them the better.
Would I go on a date with MacKenzie? Of course I would. I’ve always had a thing for raven-haired billionaires irrespective of gender. Jeff, on the other hand, has no hair, raven or otherwise. Some women say bald men are sexy, but that’s only because they look like giant willies. I could be wrong. For all I know, women don’t find giant willies at all sexy. I like to think that’s the case.
Perhaps Jeff did have hair once, but it seems unlikely. If not for his money, then MacKenzie married him because of his drive and determination. Jeff strikes me as a man unafraid of hard work. Obviously he has legions of slaves to do the heavy lifting now but back then, he must have gone out and got things done.
I’d hazard a guess that Jeff’s right eye is the only lazy thing about him. Perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps it’s his left eye that’s overenthusiastic. The reason I became an Amazon customer is because I think it’s important to encourage those who are striving to achieve their goals. People who work hard to realise their dreams.
Just because Jeff has a couple of bob in the bank doesn’t mean his quest is any less deserving than mine or yours. Well, yours. I gave up on mine because what I had in mind involved stuff that will probably only be invented in a thousand years. Jeff, though, is a man whose objective is absolutely achievable. To become the world’s first dollar trillionaire! And I am helping to get him there. Now that’s something I can tell my grandchildren without fear of blushing or arrest.
A recent study found Jeff could reach that mythical milestone by 2026. All he has to do is … well, nothing really. If you’re making $321 million a day lying in bed, you just have to sit tight and don’t get married again. In fact, when he did go in to the office on 20 July, he made $13 billion. It was the largest single-day increase in his net worth.
If all goes according to plan, Jeff will hit the magical target when he turns 62. That’s older than I am now. I don’t know what you would do with a trillion dollars at that age. There’s nothing to buy that you haven’t already got. I suppose you could build a city out of compressed hundred dollar bills. But then what? When you’re in Jeff’s position, it must come as a bit of a surprise to realise you are going to die just the same as a man with $7 to his name.
Sure, the $7 man probably wouldn’t have a fireworks display worthy of Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve at his funeral, or have a thousand white doves garnished with Swarovski crystals released into a sky perfumed with gallons of Christian Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. Nevertheless. There they are, one as dead as the other. If I were Jeff, I would make my trillion and then set about spending it with the fierce intention of dying penniless. No, that wouldn’t even work. I would need to spend millions every hour just to avoid getting any richer. Jeff is going to die stupidly rich and I really don’t see the point in that.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s evil genius, Mark Zuckerberg, is also heading for trillionaire status. It’s predicted that he will get there a decade later than Bezos, so suck on that, Zuckerberg. On the other hand, he will only be 51. Not being entirely human, money is wasted on Zuck.
What will he spend his trillion on? T-shirts spun by genetically modified silkworms ejecting a radiant combination of palladium and jadeite while Taylor Swift entertains them with a private performance? Hoodies made from rhodium and crushed diamonds? Sneakers crafted from the foreskins of baby dinosaurs grown in his very own private dino-lab? Frankly, I’d rather give my money to Jeff.
With Amazon, we at least get to choose what we want and he delivers the product. There’s an element of free will involved. In Zuck’s apocalyptic world, his algorithms get to do the choosing. And us? Well, we are the product.
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