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Ridiculously Expensive Items

OK, Western Civilization: I’m officially putting you on notice. I thought this would be a fun little piece to wri...

Ridiculously Expensive Items

OK, Western Civilization: I’m officially putting you on notice. I thought this would be a fun little piece to write. Maybe I’d see some interesting curiosities of art, tech, or fashion. However, I was not prepared for what I would find when I undertook the research portion of this assignment. It would seem that the privilege of having the latest this or the hottest that is no longer enough of a status symbol for those with extra cash to burn. We’ve now found ways to stop just short of actually burning it. If you thought you knew what disposable income was, the upscale merchants of this world want you to think again. Brace yourself, then, to learn about the most ridiculous items inordinate amounts of money can buy.

 

If you’re looking for a new iDevice sound system, but hate the ease with which you can dock it and listen to music, then Jean Michel Jarre’s AeroDream One ($565,000) docking station is for you. Standing 11 feet tall, with the charging port at the very top, the custom-made tower comes with an integrated 10,000 watt stereo system, perfect for a small festival concert or just perforating your eardrums in the privacy of your own living room. The eroDream includes a built-in ladder to access the docking station, which you’ll awkwardly climb while saying, “I don’t know how that got on there” every time Slim Whitman shows up on your shuffle.     

 

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Sometimes you’ve got to take a metaphorical approach with your disposable income, while other times literally disposing of it just seems like the right thing to do. For those times when you can’t decide which way to go, the Australian company Toilet Paper Man has just the item you’re looking for. It’s a roll of toilet paper—but it’s not just any paper—and the comfort of its three-ply construction is only its first selling point. See, each of those layers is made up of 22 carat gold leaf paper, and the roll sells for about $1.376 million.     

 

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On the flip side of the digestive process—or is it?—is the Kopi Luwak coffee bean that goes through a special flavour-enhancing process prior to packaging and shipping. The coffee berries are foraged and then eaten by the Asian palm civet of South and Southeast Asia. These little mammals eat the fleshy part of the berry and swallow the bean whole. The beans then make their way through the civet’s stomach and intestines, where the flavour is said to improve drastically, before being harvested from the droppings. They are then roasted, bagged, and sold at $400 a pound. Of course, you’ll want to use the finest water to brew your caffeinated delicacy, and a bottle of Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Mogliani fits the bill. The gold-covered 750 ml bottle is filled with water from different springs all over the world, and will set you back $60,000.

 

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Finally, if you’ve got a postmodern sense of humour and the desire to spend your money on a meta level, why not consider the $18,871.93 receipt available on Etsy. Billed as the World’s Longest Receipt, and displayed inside a clear plastic box, the receipt in question is from an old-school cash register and simply shows a list of individual item prices. All the items were bought in a single trip to one grocery store in New York City, by a group of artists who arrived with a suitcase full of cash and bought every item on the shelves. The total they spent, as shown on the receipt, is also its selling price. This begs a question, of course: Since this is a work-related expenditure, what will the artists use to prove the deduction they took on their taxes?

 

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