The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don't get a mistress
Tom Smith

There is a lesson in John Edward's troubles, and it is I think that having a mistress just isn't a hobby any sensible man would undertake.  Here is a fellow, far better looking and richer than I and probably you too, and the best he can manage is a woman of a certain age who is not, unless I am missing something, even all that good looking, and who has managed to get him into a heap of trouble.  And, I can only imagine, expose him to considerable expense as well.  There must be plenty of lawyers billing $500 per hour over this thing, and Edwards will end up picking up the tab for that.  On top of all that, it isn't going to make his home life any jollier. 

Thoughts along these lines occurred to me the other day as I was contemplating whether I would want the life of a Russian billionaire oligarch.  It's not a simple question.  I read in Forbes (I will try to dig up the link) about the life of the typical Russian oligarch.  Apparently the thing you really need to have is a gigantic yacht.  You put your mistress on your yacht on the Rivera, and your wife and kids in the summer palace on the French coast.  Then after a while they switch places.  You might think this sounds great, but I think it sounds like a problem.  Everybody knows, or should know, that the only hobby more expensive than having a mistress is having a boat.  To combine the two strikes me as complete folly.

I read somewhere about the controversial yacht some Russian oligarch has recently launched.  It sounds like your total Bond villain yacht.  Instead of lots of decks for your mistress to sun herself on (and normally they do that a lot), the thing is totally enclosed, and its hull is designed like that of a war ship.  Various people in the yacht world are offended by it.  But the interesting thing I think is how the ship's interior is decorated.  Apparently the whole thing inside, furnishings, walls, everything, is in pale leather, all the same shade.  Why?  Because that is how the mistress wanted it.  She is some former super model or something.  So here you are, a Russian billionaire, who kills people if they get in your way, and you can't even decorate your yacht the way you want to.  If I had a yacht, I would decorate it with lots of fine wood and those nautical bookshelves that keep the books from falling out.  I would have seascapes and pictures of great ships of the past on the walls.  But Mr. Russian Billionaire has to decorate his yacht the way his mistress wants, presumably because if he does not, he will be sorry. If you think there's nothing your mistress could do to make you sorry you didn't let her decorate your yacht the way you wanted to, you don't know much about mistresses.  All super model mistresses seem to be interested in interior decoration because it is the closest thing to clothes which are about the only thing a super model knows about.  So, you go from your palace where your wife and kids are, to your yacht, which looks like the inside of a leather condom, because that's the way your mistress wants it.  Needless to say, the entire object of your wife's life is to make you feel bad, as you should, for having a mistress, while the entire object of your mistress's life is to figure out stupid ways to spend your money.  No wonder you kill so many people.  Nor is this limited to Russian oligarchs.  Years ago I saw a photo spread in the New York Times Magazine of Donald Trump's personal jet, which was decorated on the inside like the ladies room at the Plaza (or what I imagine it looks like).  Who had decorated it?    His then girlfriend, of course, some supermodel.  So instead of showing the world what an incredible stud you are, your yacht ends up showing the world how whipped you are.

Just as a little icing on the cake, I doubt very much that Edwards's mistress or that of your typical Russian oligarch is all that much fun to be around, apart from the obvious, which is why you can't decorate your own yacht in the first place.  My lovely wife Jeanne had some friends once who were wealthy Latin Americans in NYC.  Through them I met this woman once who had had a job lounging around in her bikini by the pool on the estate of a drug lord in Panama.  So she was your basic Bond villain bikini girl.  While she was good looking in an extremely skinny sort of way, I have to say she did not strike me as very good people.  She was for example, a thief.  She would steal anything that wasn't nailed down.  My guess is a lot of these mistress types would have a bad influence on your character, in addition to making your yacht look stupid.

I am not aware that Edwards has a yacht, but if he did, I am willing bet it would be decorated in some thoroughly embarrassing way.  Traditional values are once again vindicated.

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Comments

Man, you are on a roll!

Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2008 1:05:37 PM

He is on a roll. The clincher is the last line, which is excellent.

Posted by: Skeptical | Aug 20, 2008 4:10:11 PM

While your points still apply, the yacht at issue is actually being mis-decorated by the oligarch's wife (who is a supermodel and the yacht is ugly). What happens when you (understandably) take a second glance at the oligarch's wife - that just seems unfair?

And Edwards' legal bills are probably more like $750-$800 an hour. You can't get the help he needs for just $500 - not anymore.

Posted by: Randy | Aug 21, 2008 9:02:47 AM

Points taken. I was working from memory, but I think you are probably correct, that the very ugly yacht was decorated by a supermodel wife, not a supermodel mistress. It may be ugly decoration is a risk that goes with consorting with supermodels under any flag. I don't follow you on glancing twice at the supermodel wife, however. What is unfair?

Posted by: Tom Smith | Aug 21, 2008 11:15:10 AM

I pooped my pants reading this.

Also, you are a gay, gay man.

Posted by: Ibod Catooga | Aug 30, 2008 10:40:15 PM

I would think that the relative disadvantages are greater for a public figure like Edwards, than for the common mistress having gentleman.

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