Painful Truth: When you have billions, have some fun

After you’ve cured cancer, you don’t have to just buy a Gulfstream or a private island.

If I were a billionaire, I’d be terrible at most traditional “rich people” activities.

I don’t need a private island. I don’t want a jet. I don’t care about having $500 sunglasses (pretty sure the ghosts of my sod-house-dwelling ancestors would appear to slap them out of my hands, anyway).

I feel like I’d be good at the philanthropy side, though.

Let’s stipulate that 90 per cent of my imaginary money will go towards curing cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, developing green energy technology, and ending world hunger.

What’s left, I’m going to spend on fun stuff.

There’s rocketry, but frankly, every union-busting billionaire has his own launch facility these days. I’d invest in balloon-assisted launch! That’s where you haul your rocket or spaceplane up a couple of miles by strapping it to high-altitude balloons, and launch it in the middle of the sky!

There are real arguments for this, but mostly I just think it would be awesome.

Then there’s rewilding. If you’ve got enough money, you can get yourself a few million acres of land in Siberia or central North America. Maybe a little frozen DNA, a science team, and the next thing you know you’re sitting on your porch, watching cloned mammoths wander by.

Unfortunately, you can’t clone dinosaurs. I might invest in some realistic robot copies…

There’s always politics, I suppose. It seems that the more money people have, the more they think it entitles them to push their views on everyone.

Well, I could play that game. If I ever get really rich, here’s what I’ll lobby for:

• Cats and dogs get the right to vote (C’mon, you know they’re nicer than most people!).

• You can hunt any kind of bear you want, as long as it’s a fair fight (i.e., you’re also naked, shoeless, and unarmed).

• Commenting on an article without reading it first to be punished by five years in prison.

If you think I’ve got what it takes to be a billionaire philanthropist, please feel free to sponsor me. I accept cash, cheques, or ridiculously large piles of gold bullion.

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