Jacuzzis

Like all amazing movies, miniseries, other works of art, the clip of Richard Handler accepting and taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a slow burn to an amazing finish. Oh, to be sure, it starts out leaps and bounds ahead of any other videos of its kind: that is, in Handler’s penthouse bathroom, in front of his jacuzzi. It’s just that at every turn, it gets exponentially better, in ways you can’t imagine, ’til you’re at the end and saying to yourself, “This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.” Obviously, this must be watched in full, many times over the course of the day and possibly on loop and in place of whatever your firm is showing in TVs throughout the building. But, if we might, here are our favorite moments:

:01: We’re in Richard Handler’s bathroom. Why is that? Most of the head honchos taking part in this challenge (Marissa Mayer, senior execs at JP Morgan, etc) take the plunge on the street in front of their company or in someone’s backyard. No matter, here we are, in Richard Handler’s bathroom.

:05: Handler is narrating this video in his boxers and an old tee-shirt.

:12: He lays out the rules, we’re still in his bathroom.

:56: He nominates Carl Icahn to take the challenge, and Icahn’s wife to dump the ice (Icahn later takes to Twitter to say he’s too god damn busy.)

1:15: He starts ripping open plastic bags of ice and dumping them into the tub. It takes a while, because, again, he’s doing the challenge 1) in a jacuzzi and 2) in a jacuzzi that looks like it can seat 7. “It’s a lotta ice,” he tells the camera.

2:02: Even though he just dumped 8 or 9 bags of ice into the tub, he dumps a hotel-style wicker ice bucket into the bath, just for good measure. Read more »

As you may have heard, when the housing market collapsed, California was hit pretty, pretty, pretty bad. Particularly screwed was the town of Merced, which is third only to Las Vegas and Vallejo, CA in “metropolitan-area foreclosures,” where “builders were [once] coming into the area by the bulkload” and are now desperate to put warm bodies that can pay something, anything in the hundreds of empty houses. It’s obviously a very depressing situation, unless you happen to be a student attending school at the University of California-Merced, in which case, ka-motherfucking-ching. According to the Times, UC-M undergrads, whose school enrolls 5,200 but only has enough on-campus housing for 1,600, are moving into the nearby McMansions en-masse, creating a win-win for all.

The finances of subdivision life are compelling: the university estimates yearly on-campus room and board at $13,720 a year, compared with roughly $7,000 off-campus. Sprawl rats sharing a McMansion — with each getting a bedroom and often a private bath — pay $200 to $350 a month each, depending on the amenities…students willing to share houses have been “a blessing,” said Ellie Wooten, a former mayor of Merced and a real estate broker. Five students paying $200 a month each trump families who cannot afford more than $800 a month.

And for less than $100 extra a month, you can score yourself an even sweeter set up, new friends and the opportunity to have a major news outlet take gratuitous* pictures of you in the bath** where it appears as though you’re about to be electrocuted.

Heather Alarab, a junior at the University of California, Merced, and Jill Foster, a freshman, know that their sudden popularity has little to do with their sparkling personalities, intelligence or athletic prowess. “Hey, what are you doing?” throngs of friends perpetually text. “Hot tub today?”…Gurbir Dhillon, a senior majoring in molecular cell biology, pays $70 more than his four housemates each month for the privilege of having what they enviously call “the penthouse suite” — a princely boudoir with a whirlpool tub worthy of Caesars Palace and a huge walk-in closet, which Mr. Dhillon has filled with baseball caps and T-shirts…Jaron Brandon, a sophomore and a senator in the student government, does his homework in the Jacuzzi in his six-bedroom house, on a waterproof countertop that he rigged over the tub.

There are, of course, a few minor downsides to McMansion life, like the hobos (“Lance Eber, the crime analyst for the Merced Police Department, said vacant houses were frequent targets of theft, most recently of copper wiring. They also attract squatters, who sometimes encamp beneath covered patios, he said”), vying for parking spots (“one parks on the street, two park in the garage and two in the driveway. Whoever is getting up for an 8 a.m. class parks last”), yard work (“after an unsuccessful attempt at tending the yard with a hand mower, they now pay $50 a month to a gardener”), and the neighbors, who are having a hard time swallowing the fact that they’re living alongside kids when they were banking on stay-at-home moms of loose morals. Read more »

  • 17 May 2010 at 2:40 PM

Man Dies At Bahamas Home Owned By Louis Bacon

His name was Dan Tuckfield, and though the police say that their investigation “did not find that there was anything suspicious about the way the man died,” he did show “signs of decomposition” by the time they found him, which was almost immediately, so the neighbors are suspicious. Obviously this is very sad, but if there’s any consolation to be had, it’s the comfort we can take in the fact that Tuckfield was the happiest possible conditions when he passed: he was in a Jacuzzi and he was naked. It doesn’t get much better than that (the only way it could is if he was literally surrounded by bacon, not just in spirit, or if his tongue constantly regenerating strip of bacon). Read more »