Gentlemen, welcome to the annual Millionaires Club Rainforest Expedition. Before we begin, I’d like to run through a few quick reminders to avoid problems we’ve encountered in the past.
The jungle is a dangerous place that can be tamed by no man and no amount of money. No, Charles, not even by $4.5 million. It is important to defer to the proper authority. At times we will be traveling dangerous waters on canoe-type vessels. Please do not try to commandeer these vessels or convince their captains to “let you have a quick go of it.” Yes, Edmund, I understand that you were captain of the Yale rowing team. I will remind you of what happened last year when you fell into the water and were bitten by dozens of tiny little water bugs.
Please refrain from catching a fish and immediately tossing it overboard, announcing that you “thirst always for the bigger fish.” Remember that this is a strictly non-hunting trip and none of you have licenses. To that point, please do not attempt to catch and slaughter any black caiman crocodiles. A rumor has developed within the Millionaires Club that their blubber is expensive and delicious. In fact, as a crocodile, the black caiman does not have blubber. It is also protected under Brazilian law and I can only say that you are all lucky that you haven’t succeeded in even slightly hurting one. Yes, Donaldson, I know you got pretty close one time. We all know that.
Please refrain from putting black spider monkeys on your head.
During this trip we’ll be exploring ancient caverns, and proper safety gear is required. I hope you’ll all learn from Francis, who last year was caused great discomfort after being hit on the head by a rock while wearing only a fedora. Yes, Adolphus, a fedora just like the one you are wearing. What, Edmund? Edmund, I can clearly see that you are wearing not a fedora but a black spider monkey.
I feel like I make this announcement every year but please do not ask the group to stop hiking for a spontaneous wine tasting. We will have scheduled wine tastings every night at the resort. Also, please do not bring any baguettes. This has been a problem in the past. No, Henry, it’s not because they “won’t fit through crevasses.” Henry, please just eat that baguette now.
Please do not attempt to participate in a “spirit journey,” especially one that, Adolphus, if you’ll remember, leaves you running through town screaming, “Viva consumer culture!” and “You can’t kill me, I’m a rich boy!”
Please do not even joke about the classic short story, “The Most Dangerous Game.”
I’ll ask that for the duration of the trip you refrain from buying people’s land, attempting to buy people’s land, asking people if they know anyone who might be selling their land, mentioning that you know someone who is looking to buy land and that person is you, or casually saying that you sure do have a lot of money that would buy a lot of land. Please also do not ask anyone if they know where the nearest silent auction is.
This should go without saying, but please don’t litter.
Finally, to answer a question many of you have asked me in the last 15 minutes, no, we haven’t imported any polar bears for hunting purposes.
Alright, off we go! Fasten your seatbelts and hold onto your black spider monkeys! Goddamn it, gentlemen. Of course I meant hats.
Blythe Roberson is a writer and art tart living in New York.
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