By Martin "The Baron' Hubley
Some people say money can't buy happiness, but obviously these folks have never been rich! Yes, being filthy rich has been the dream of every hot-blooded human being since pirate times, myself included! Due to my higher-functioning brain, my dreams are EXTREMELY vivid as well, so the money seems even more real! Often, I'll even wake up crying from a particularly beautiful dream and feel ornery for the rest of the day because I know I am trapped in the real world, and that Drak'Thul (the magnificent gold city of dragons) no longer exists, and that I can only visit it in my mind.
But I don't mean to bring y'alls down. Let's cheer up a bit by taking a gaunder at the list of the top 10 things I would do with one million smackards. Enjoy!
1. HELP THE POOR: $100
The first thing most people would do when they scored a cool million would be to go on a Toys 'R' Us Shopping spree. Not yours truly. In case you hadn't heard, there's a little disease called suffering in this world, and it's up to the rich to cure it. You can either buy a boat, or help hundreds to survive. It's not much of a decision as far as I'm concerned. So I'd give at least 100 dollars in soup, organic clothing, or energy bars to the poor and hungry folks in the local slums.
But unlike some philanthropers, I wouldn't just toss handfulls of money out the window of my limo at the poor, I'd actually pay someone to do the shopping and distribute it by hand! Like my father always said: There's no shortcut to charity.
2. GET MY DRAGON TAIL, HORNS, & WINGS - $200,000
As many of you know, my body contains the soul of an elder dragon lord (whose name is unpronounceable by humans). What I yearn for most is to live out life free and clear in the high blue sky as a dragon. Unfortunately I know this can't happen, so I've decided to settle for the next best thing: Prosthetics. Unfortunately, the surgery to implant these prosthetics is very expensive ($50,000 - $200,000) and as I am currently between jobs (by choice) I don't really have the funds.
Being a millionaire would change that. I have no doubt that with my dragon prosthetics, I would no longer be laughed at by my "fellow" humans or have nuts thrown at my head by kids during a movie. I would be respected and accepted for who I really am. So obviously, happiness is something money CAN buy. Take that George Burns.
3.FUND MY MMO: $300,000-$500,000
Although I haven't been doing too much work on it lately, my Online Multiplayer game Quest For Time is definitely coming along nicely. Right now I'm working on a system that would allow players to actually inhabit the bodies of their characters through virtual reality, and writing some quest dialogue. I'll have a more in-depth update up in a few days, so keep an eye out for that!
4. BUY A CUSTOM CAR - $20,000
I don't have my license yet, but if I struck it rich I would definitely do my best to get it. But that would also mean I would need a car. When I stroke it rich I plan to purchase my uncle's 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo (or "Carl" as I call her). It's a type of car that's used in NASCAR so you know it's fast and furious! Also, call me stuck-up, but I've always wanted a luxury car.
P.S. Not to mention that he's tricked that baby out to the max: Chrome wheels, chrome shifter, chrome engine, smokin' sexy flame paint job, tinted windows, triple exhaust, color TV in the dash, and shag carpeting. Can you say ay carumba?
5. INVEST! - $300,000
Anyone who knows anything about money will tell you that investing is the wisest thing a millionaire can do. And The Baron's no fool, so he's definitely going to be putting a good portion of his millions into investments. But if any of y'alls have been watching the news, you'll know that the stock market's not a safe place for money anymore. Luckily I've got a few tricks up my investment sleeve...
MemorabiliaSince I was a boy I've been purchasing and saving the most valuable and rare toys and film memorabilia I could find. These items only increase in value, and when it's time for me to retire I'll be able to sell them for some easy tax-free moo-la. For example, I have the entire first-run series of Episode 1 figurines (including two Django Fett's) in their boxes. Mo money, mo money!
GoldOne of the safest places to store wealth is in gold. This is because no matter what happens to the economy, gold will still be worth something (because people will still have use for it). When the acropolis arrives (and certainly it will) electronic money will be no more valuable than the bits and bytes it's printed on, and paper money will only be good for burning. Gold can be used to make spears, fillings, and armor, and as such it will ALWAYS retain it's value (or even increase in value!)
Saving BondsI have a number of 15 dollar government-issued savings bonds which I keep around for emergencies. The difference between this and a stock is that if worse comes to worse, you can simply go down to the White House and claim y our money. Since the bond is government insured, they HAVE to. Even if there is a war on and entire White House just got nuculared, the goverment still has to pay. You go to the post office, you go to the DMV, you go to the IRS until eventually someone pays you back. It's called martial law. Look it up.
6. GET ENGAGED TO TINA - $200
One very important part of my life is my big, bold, and beautiful girlfriend Tina (sorry ladies). This large & lovely honey has stuck with me through thick times (when I was shift manager at Suncoast) and thin (my depression after Avatar's release). Without her to give me a ride around town, clean up the house, and help my parents pay the bills, I'd probably be out on the street today! Instead, I'm writing for the internet (not on a great site, but still!) and I've managed to save up enough scritch-scratch for a 26 inch Sanyo LCD for her to watch her burned copies of Gray's Anatomy on (Sssh if you're reading this babe, it's a birthday surprise!).
But seriously folks, I do enjoy being around her a fair am mount, so if I struck a million I'd definitely consider proposing engagement to her. I have a few ideas, but the craziest one involves a trip to white castle (her fave restaurant) and a copy of Speed Racer on DVD with a "special gift" inside. And who knows, if she plays her cards right I may even surprise her a few years later with a trip down to the court house and a chicken dinner with the fam! Be careful what you wish for girl!
Note: In case you're wondering why I've got the picture of "The 'Dolf" up there, it's because it's always been my dream to have a LOTR themed bachelor party. Call me old fashioned I guess!
7. OCARINA LESSONS: $2,000
You've probably seen the videos online: Handsome young buck steps up to the camera, licks his lips, and begins to blow. He blows gently and smoothy, creating the most beautiful music you've ever heard. It might be the theme from Metal Gear Solid, a tune from Mozart, or even the song from the MASH opening credits, but any way you slice it, the Ocarina is one of the world's most loveliest instrument in the world. Tweeeeeeeeee, Sqquueeeeeeee, Treeeee!
8. SMOKE MARIJUANA: Not sure on the price, $300?
Don't worry folks, The Baron isn't turning into a dopemeister or anything! I know drugs are dangerous and illegal, and that they rot your body and mind, but I'll be homeswaggled if I haven't wondered what it would be like to take a puff and suck on the old Jesus Juice Stick from time to time. And if I were a millionaire, I'd be able to hire a personal doctor to watch over me and have an ambulance standing by while I tried it out. Safety first. Who knows, maybe it wouldn't even have an effect on me (drugs rarely do), but if it does, I might even achieve zen.
Word has it that my idol J.R.R. Tolken smoked it, and a good friend of mine Colby, (the DM for a few of our tabletop games) claims that it allows him to talk with plants and animals, but also that it makes him unable to achieve sexual release while doing so. Seems like a double edged sword, but heck, if I were rich I'd be willing to give it a shot!
9. OWN EVERY EPISODE OF NARUTO - $2,200-$3,000
Anime is the new "fashionable cool" thing amongst kids and teens these days, but I've personally been loving Japanese animation since the late 70s. And I don't just mean drooling over the lucious young blue-haired teens and teenesses, I mean getting involved in the deep, dark story line. Unlike most animes, Naturo is for adults only. It's almost like a book-style novel, except far more interesting and containing adult language and situations!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story: Naturo is a young magician who is called upon to defend his villiage from a number of gangs (ranging from pirates to evil spirits). He does so using only his wits, his handsome sex appeal, and his ninjatsu (ancient Chinese art of fighting with staffs). I only own a few DVDs of this show, but I'd like to have them all. By my calculations that would run somewhere into the $2500 range (for every episode ever), but that's a small price to pay for the best quality storytelling and acting you've ever seen. Quality ain't come cheap!
10. DONATE TO SPRING LAKE ANIMAL SHELTER - $300,000
And last (but not least!) I'd use my money to buy myself a heaping helping of love. Love for animals, that is! It breaks my everlovin' heart each time one is killed at my local shelter, and that's why I would give so much. And if anyone takes issue with this, they can drop dead and suffocate to death. You can't put a price on a life.
TOTAL: 1 MILLION DOLLARSI think that hypothetical million was money well-spent, wouldn't you agree? You might think making a list like this this is a silly exercise, but honestly, there's a fairly good chance I'll see this much money (or more) in my lifetime once I get my MMO off the ground. It never hurts to play ahead.
Anywhoo I'm not much of a religious man (aside from some light paganism), but I'd like to end this little diddly by reciting one of my favorite passages from the Christianity Bible, if you'd allow me:
There were two men that oweth money to a man. One oweth 10,000,000 dollars and one oweth 12 dollars. Neither of them had the monies to pay him back, so he cancelledith their debts both. To Moses the lord's son Jesus sayith:
" I ask you this question and this question only: Which man will love him more? you have naught but six seconds to answer lest you meet your doom at my hand."
And Moses stroketh his thorny beard and replieth:
"They shall both love him for he is a child of God and each day is a gift. Praise him."
Jesus nodded and spoke thusly:
"You are correct, and so shall I spare your wretched life."
And so moses went up into the mountains and lived out the rest of his days as a cobbler with twelve wives, two of whom were his daughters.