Seaton: Crowdsourced Smart-Assery (Times Edition)

The New York Times, a former newspaper*, ran an article last week with the apparent goal of making average Americans feel bad for ultra-wealthy New Yorkers slumming out the pandemic in second homes. I am not making this up.

Some passages in the article are so mind-numbingly tone deaf one wonders how this ever made print. Emphasis in all this is mine.

“I’m working more than normal, and there is no downtime,” Ms. Smith said. “I used to leave the office and go to Starbucks for a vanilla latte, or just take a walk around the block. Now, if I want coffee I have to walk by my son into the kitchen, so there is no break between work and being a mom.

 Ms. Smith spends her days working from her bedroom — locking the door when she doesn’t want to be disturbed — while during the school year, Dylan attended classes on Zoom from the butler pantry.**

“We were there, looking up during a rainstorm, for example, and saw rain coming into the skylight, and thought, ‘Maybe now is a good time to replace it.’” So far, the construction has been going well. “There isn’t a lot of new construction right now, so the builders were wonderfully accessible.”

Cry me a fucking river. In between gasps of incredulity at this bullshit, I began thinking of various “quotes” the hack writing this piece might’ve missed when outlining the first draft. This led me to come up with a game:


SJ readers, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with a quote worthy of this insipid drivel. Feel free to leave any potential submissions below in the comments. To get everyone started, I set a lightning round timer and rattled off the following.

I used to dine nightly at restaurants. Now I can’t give my personal chef the day off.

At least it’s been easy finding someone to install our gold bidets.

Between our nanny, therapist, and personal trainer, all who get rapid COVID tests daily, we just don’t have time to work on our marriage. Parenting really takes a village!

We added WiFi to the bath house. It’s important the kids have a dedicated Zoom classroom.

My new office is a bedroom I retrofitted to look like a library. One shouldn’t skimp on professionalism when meeting with clients.

At least my children will dress in Chanel when they attend school twice per week. We’ll save the Calvin Klein for remote learning.

My palate can’t take another night without Michelin Star cuisine.

How do people live without at least a monthly off-Broadway viewing of “Freestyle Love Supreme?”

Sure, you could stream “Hamilton.” It’s just not the same experience unless you’ve shelled out a grand on tickets.

Our new favorite pizza spot doesn’t have locally sourced ingredients, but that’s a price you pay to avoid COVID infection.

Yes, connecting with the neighbors is great, but I miss invites to Gucci’s latest pop-up boutique.

We want to be open minded, but every meal away from Le CouCou*** just makes life feel like “Le PooPoo.”

Have at it, my friends. The best out of touch, ultra-wealthy whiner impression wins an “attaboy” from me. Hope your weekend is better than the week before, and remember: you’re never going to be as big of an asshole as the motherfuckers quoted in the Times.

*With apologies to Andrew Klavan, who I stole this line from because it’s just that damn good.

**I have never seen a “butler pantry” and have no idea what one is, but this sounds like the most frou-frou shit anyone could imagine.

***For the purposes of this exercise I asked my mean-ass editor to give me the name of a super expensive, pretentious NYC restaurant where rich people would go to be seen. I thought he made this up. Turns out he didn’t.

37 thoughts on “Seaton: Crowdsourced Smart-Assery (Times Edition)

  1. shg

    I was all set to play this cool new game, Christopher, but then I realized that the pool boy and gardeners were scheduled to come to Casa de SJ at the same time, and I didn’t have enough bottles of sparkling water for everyone, so I had to send the butler to Trader Joe’s immediately lest anyone tell the neighbors how they left here parched.

  2. Miles

    What kind of house doesn’t have a butler’s pantry? Where the butler keep the china and sterling, for crying out loud?

  3. Bear

    I can’t believe I have to get a driver’s license just because my chauffeur is quarantined.

  4. Howl

    I have to drive my own car, prepare the meals, wash the clothes, clean the toilets (all SIX of them), mow the lawn, walk the dog, change the baby’s diaper two, three times a week . . . this is hell.

  5. Sue

    It was awful. I was all set to go to dinner at the Morgans with Sarah Rao, and then the nanny called in sick with COVID and I couldn’t attend.

  6. delurking

    I need more variety to maintain my mental health. It’s been really rough that yachting on Long Island Sound has been my only outlet for months, since we couldn’t get out to Aspen this winter.

  7. Richard Kopf

    Due to COVID-19 and the shrinking number of pilots* who can prove their health to my resident physicians, the sporadic ability to use the helicopter pad to commute to work from my Ballyshear Estate in the increasingly grubby Hamptons, populated more and more with the hoi polloi of those with less than a few billion, has caused me to confront the existential question that only our kind is cursed with the heavy duty to address.

    Is life worth living for personne très spéciale?

    Michael R. Bloomberg

    * Yes, I can and do pilot my $4.5 million, six-seat Agusta SPA A109S helicopter. But when working, I prefer and, in fact, demand two pilot so I can concentrate on things like Slurpees and Trump.

    1. mjz

      While we were setting up our large BLM sign on the road side of our Traverse City lakefront home I noticed a black man on our neighbors porch. I immediately called the police and while Greg ran upstairs to grab a golf club. It turns out he was just delivering Elaine’s new Bulgari Flora Sunglasses! I was so scared I broke out the Screaming Eagle Cabernet just to calm down!

  8. Rxc

    I can’t use my yacht this summer to escape the summer heat here in south Florida. All the good restaurants and marinas up the coast are closed and it is hard to find fuel and water that the cats like to drink.

  9. Scarlet Pimpernel

    I still haven’t gotten use to shopping online. I mean, I can appreciate how hard retailers are working to make it easy but it’s not the same. Sack’s may have a 3 hours delivery guarantee and free returns, but I just remember purchasing a pair of Jimmy Choo’s and being so excited that I would wear them out, even if they didn’t completely match what I was wearing. But now, more often then not, they just go straight into the shoe closet and collect dust. Last week I tried wearing a pair to our weekly girl’s night wine tasting Zoom, but it struck me that no one could tell if I was wearing the latest Louboutin’s or a pair of Kate Spade’s. It just seemed so pointless.

      1. SHG

        Ossetra happens to be my preferred caviar, far more subtle than beluga or sevruga. And it’s “Austin Healey,” mine being a BJ8 and not a spridget. Get it right or GTFO.

  10. MLA

    I am a teacher at a very expensive private school. Allow me.

    “Mr. Moohead’s greatest concern is that Jayden will fall behind in the skills that will make him competitive for college: equestrian training and plagiarism.”

    “‘How is Brayden supposed to develop a cure for COVID all on his own if he can’t go to the classroom? Do they even *want* to defeat the virus?’ Mrs. Snipewater fumed.”

    “Mr. and Mrs. Buckingham lie awake at night, terrified that without one on one time with her standardized testing therapist, Skayden might only get into a second-rate college, like Duke or Cornell.”

    “‘I know exactly what it’s like for those poor single working mothers now,’ wept Dr. Snottington, with the sound of the virtual Tai Chi for Tots class she uses to entertain three-year-old Glayden.”

    “The young parents distinctly recall the moment the shutdown became real for them: when Pwayden expressed happiness that he would get to see his mom and dad more often. ‘We have failed as parents,’ said his horrorstruck father. ‘Even at a time like this, he can’t get his priorities straight.’”

  11. CLS

    Okay, it’s time to declare the winner.

    This was really difficult, and I had to consult with the mean-ass editor on my decision.

    I truly did not expect everyone to knock it out of the fucking park today. All of you truly came with some high-level smart-assery and I’ve laughed ridiculously at just about every comment.

    Since this is nigh-impossible to single out a winner, I’m declaring an attaboy to all of you.
    Except Avi, because playing the game by the rules is important.

    Well done, all!

    1. Richard Kopf

      Bullshit! This is a bait and switch.

      I had my heart set on an all expense paid trip to Tennessee. Paid for by Scott, of course. You would not believe the size of the “DONATE TO SJ” account.

      All the best. This was fun.


        1. Richard Kopf

          Thank you, Scott. A real favorite of mine.

          CLS might not understand why I love that incredible banjo duel given his woke sensitivities. As an aside, it always brings to mind the scene with Ned . . .

          All the best.


  12. TomD

    My personal shopper spends the whole damn day looking for toilet paper and cleaning supplies!

  13. Jim Cline

    If you can’t have all 30 of your employees who managed to make it to work during this pandemic for my essential shopping needs stop helping other customers to locate my touch screen compatible gardening gloves that came in over a week ago now that my organic topsoil has arrived what use do I have for the topsoil? Let me speak to the manager.

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