Many years ago, if history books are to be believed, the very wealthy were a lot more fun to be around.
Whilst the modern rich are content to judge the World’s Biggest Arsehole contest from a boardroom (I think the official title is “The Apprentice”) or bring us free lectures on physics, the wealthy of yesteryear would amuse themselves with outlandish wagers.
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In 1872, for example, former California governor Leland Stanford had an argument with friends about the way a horse runs. Specifically, he was convinced that, when moving at a gallop, there were moments when all four of the horse’s feet left the ground. In order to settle the argument once and for all, he spent twenty five thousand dollars paying someone to invent motion pictures, at which point he found out that he was right. History does not record how much of a dick he was about this, but we can all agree that he probably spent several months prancing around in an “I-told-you-so” manner in front of everyone who’d argued with him.
These days, entertaining rich people are harder to find, so hats off to Virgin boss Richard Branson and AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes, who both happened to own their own Formula One racing team, and their own airline.
This led to a friendly bet as to whose team would finish ahead in the 2010 Constructors’ Championship, and it didn’t go well for Branson.
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This week, the time finally came for him to pay the piper, and as the loser, he had agreed to work on a specially chartered flight as a stewardess.
True to his word, Branson arrived in full drag and served drinks to passengers on the charity flight from Australia to Malaysia.
On the one hand, it’s nice to see that someone as rich and powerful as Richard Branson has a sense of humour about himself and isn’t above doing something silly for fun. It’s also nice to see people doing something for charity.
On the other hand, it’s got to be said: Richard Branson is a hideous god damned woman.
Branson reportedly asked assembled reporters “Have you never seen a stewardess with a beard before?!”
No Rich. No we haven’t. And as it turns out, there’s a very, very good reason for it…