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Saturday, May 14, 2011

How Much i$ Enough? What'$ Your Number?

Originally posted on Iranian.com on March 12, 2011
 
One of the things I envy the most about Jahanshah Javid, is the boy-king is the freaking definition of FREE. While he doesn't have much money, the man knows how to live. The recent Pictory of Salsa lessons in Chihuahua, the most prime example.

How many of us, can take the time to learn how to dance Salsa. Not Zumba mind you, that's obvious, and cliche, but actual Salsa? In Mexico? Hand in hand with an honest to God Latina? (I love the Latinas, mucho!)

This in stark contrast to our all too often expressed penchant for worshiping the rich and famous amongst us. I think I get at least one butt-kissing PowerPoint file listing each Iranian millionaire and their highly questionable contributions, along with stock photo. I swear if I get one more picture of Anoushaeh Ansari in her space suit, I'm buying an iPad2 just to not be able to run the flash file.

We are supposed to place yet more misplaced Omid (hope), in Omid (Kordestani), and pretend the harlet he traded Bita in for, isn't named Hiscock. No seriously, her name is Hiscock. NO, really her name is Hiscock.

And always in the mix, there's Firouz Naderi. Because although no millionaire, Space, apparently is the final Iranian frontier. Not freedom. Not Democracy. but Space. Space is worth fighting for.

During the dot com boom, I was at a party, and as is often our custom, an hour after we all arrived an hour late, in walked in a particularly happy Iranian. As he walked in everyone cheered. I asked why and was told, "The start-up company he works for just went public today, and he is a millionaire." As is often the case, you could cut the envy with a knife.

Eventually I wormed my way up to him to ask the necessary details. Namely, what is the deal, and how can I get in on it. Hey! It was the 90's and I had just gone through the 80's! So when I got the chance, I asked him about his deal, and he explained how his company had indeed gone public that day and after some nudging and refilling his drink and choosing some especially well laden snacks from the buffet for him, he told me what I had come to find out.

"So, how much is your stock worth?" I asked, with one eye starting to twitch and close up, and a ball of itchy hives building in my throat.

"About twenty-two million" he answered, gentlemanly.

"Twenty-Two million?!" I gasped

"Yes" he said quietly, trying to quiet me.

"Dude! Fucking sell it!!!" I sputtered, both eyes twitching now, and the ball of hives, having now worked their way to my crotch.

"Nah Baba!" He smirked a smirk that you smirk to an obvious idiot. "Taazeh Avalesheh!" smirk now a big shit eating grin.

Greed as falsely advertised, is not good. You see, by my estimates, a reasonably enlightened man should be able to live a well proportioned life with something like $60k. $60k is a good number, it's not $100k, to tempt you to go for $150k, and it's well below the radar of the evil eyes that tend to focus like a laser, on you once "they" know you're making above $100k.

To do this without working, you need around $600k in the bank. Any stock broker worth spit, should be able to earn you 10% regardless of Libya. So 22 Million is way above that. Hence, my drink spilling exasperation.

Have a family and want to provide them with the pre-requisite trust funds and college education? No problem, make it a cool million for yourself, your wife, and 1 for each kid. AND NEVER WORK ANOTHER DAY IN YOUR LIFE AGAIN!

So the word for a 22 Million Dollar Man, who happened to be single as well, is a bit obvious. Mucho. And as you will shortly see, Pendejo.

Billions? Hundreds of Millions? Utter nonsense and a waste of your presence on earth. An unnamed Iranian VP at the former Search engine making 10's of millions a year, was still getting up and going in at 5 and 6 am each day. His wife sighed to me that he was "...just a workaholic". "Has he heard of ClubMed?" I asked her. The look I got matched the look Mr. 22 gave me at the party. The look that says, "You would not understand." And I completely agree with that look. The "Bunny Ranch" outside Vegas is a way better alternative to ClubMed.

A couple of years later I met Mr. 22 at a similar party, except this time, he looked haggard, grisly, eyes sunken in, and of course much older than the couple of years that had passed, since my ridiculous suggestion.

Drink and snacks in hand once again into the fire Iwent. I asked, "So how is your company doing?" I expected to hear, "Great! I'm now worth 122 Million!" Instead, he looked at me with now definite pain in his eyes, "We tanked, It's only a matter of days now before we fold." he seemed to whimper.

"That's too bad" I tried to sound encouraging. "So how much are your shares worth now?"

"I'd be lucky if I got $100,000 for them now" he seemed on the verge of crying.
Then he did something I have never seen any Iranian do, he said, "You were the only one who told me to sell then, I should have listened to you."

"Wait!" I said. "You are worth $100,000?" 

"Maybe $120,000, but Yeah about that much, why?" he asked.

"Dude sell it!!!" I screamed, once again spilling most of my drink. 

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