Wednesday, August 29, 2012

As Through this Life You Travel ...

Isn't it amusing how childishly competitive many really successful men are - successful in the eyes of the world that is.   I can think of a number of CEOs of major companies, chairmen of high-profile boards, and many well got barristers who demonstrate this trait.  It can manifest itself in sport, especially sailing or golf, but it also springs up around art acquisition, or even who gets the last of the canapes. They just can't stop themselves trying to win all the time.  My house, my car, my yacht, my gorgeous second wife.  And they also respond very badly to any questioning of their sheer superiority in all matters.  Petty petulance is always close to the surface.

I was at a party last week in a very smart part of ***.  The attendees included an arrogance of barristers, the chairman of a semi-state, a famously scruffy film director, a once famous property dealer and a host of glamorous women  - a number of them second wives to fat cat husbands.  My involvement with these people was peripheral - I was there as a friend of a friend.  During a lull in the conversation I provocatively asked if anyone in the company had been responsible for a particularly insensitive piece of development that had spoiled the lines of a nearby group of houses. A canopy had been built over a terrace. A small fat man to whom I'd spoken earlier said that it was his doing and what of it.  This guy is *** of *** and well known in *** circles.  When I opined that it was an aesthetic disaster he rejoined that he didn't give a hoot about the opinions of the hoi polloi.  I let it pass for a while.  As he was leaving I stopped him and asked was he going home to polish his canopy.  He seemed to get annoyed at this and said he wasn't interested in the views of troglodytes.  I do tend to react badly to hubris so I moved towards him threateningly (but theatrically) saying "don't fuck with me fat boy".  At which he turned tail and scuttled off to his desecrated domicile nearby.  A chastened chairman.