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This is a question Conspicuous Consumption

Have you ever been photographed sat on a balcony eating a croissant; or wallowed in luxury just for the sake of it? What's the most ostentatious thing you ever seen or done?

(, Thu 28 Jul 2011, 13:18)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Indian Weddings
By an extraordinary stroke of luck, I got invited to the 'Wedding of the Century' in Paris a few years back. The entire Opera region of the city had been hired out, as well as the Palace of Versailles and the Jardiniers Tuilerie. However, as none of this was *quite* perfect, a palace had been built for that night only in the Bois de Boulogne. Kylie Minogue jumped out of a cake.

It went on like this for 6 nights.... /croissant
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 11:29, 5 replies)
I once ate
two six packs of salt and vinegar Snack-a-Jacks in one sitting, and was immediately sick afterwards. I did not feel like the king of the world.
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 11:18, Reply)
I went to the seaside in Belgium
it was Ostend-atious
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 11:08, 1 reply)
Honour amongst thieves
It’s a little known fact that there is a code of honour amongst jailed criminals; a code which, although not formally acknowledged, prevails in prisons around the world. The code recognizes behaviour perceived as brave, courageous, and honourable within the world of the convict and rewards such behaviour with gifts, respect and other acts. Standing up for the rights of another prisoner, refusing to be bowed by debasing or inhuman punishment: such things are the subjects of the code, and stories of prisoners prevailing against prison guards are legion.

Some years ago this code was unexpectedly brought into the open when the international journal of prison officers – Gaolers Today – ran a competition to identify acts of honour within the worldwide prison community. Although aimed at prison officers, such magazines circulate freely within many jails and are the subject of some fascination by prisoners. Consequently a large number of phone votes were cast by convicts.

Amongst the acts cited were tales of convicts defending weaker prisoners or jailers against unprovoked attack, convicts protesting against conditions in older, crowded jails, and convicts accepting punishments on behalf of others.

The story which received the largest number of votes was of a convicted murderer in an Alabama prison who was instructed to clean out a drainage sump as punishment for damaging prison property. The sump was filled with a years-old fetid mixture of rotting rubbish and mud, and overrun with rats. Despite being threatened with ever-worsening punishments the prisoner refused to get into the sump without breathing apparatus, proper protective clothing and safety procedures being in place. He ended up in solitary confinement for several months rather than accept the punishment. All convicts have access to a jail lawyer, and the convict in question complained. Working in the sump without protective equipment was clearly in breach of numerous health and safety laws, and the case eventually lead to the prison guard involved being sacked, exposing a pattern of abusive behaviour amongst staff, and ultimately improving conditions in the prison for all other prisoners.

It was clear to the editor of Gaolers Today that the outcome of the vote had been swung by the votes of prisoners themselves and eventually the competition was cancelled. However the journal reported the events under the headline “Cons pick US con’s sump shun.”
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 10:58, 7 replies)
champers fail
I once bought my brother a REALLY expensive bottle of champagne from a ridiculously expensive and pretentious bar we were in celebrating his 21st birthday....

My brother doesn't even LIKE champagne
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 10:46, Reply)
After all that unpleasantness in the early twenties I took a job in lovely sanatorium, high in the Swiss Alps.
It was a charming place, with exquisite views, wonderful food, and some of the most attractive nurses I've ever had under me.
After a few years I began to get homesick, and with the growing shadow of fascism threatening all of Europe I handed in my notice, and prepared to leave.
On my last day at work a patient presented with a chronic cough, blood-tinged sputum, fever, and night sweats. He had previously worked as a blacksmith, but had wasted away to only eight and a half stone.
It was the most conspicuous case of consumption, or tuberculosis, that I had ever seen.
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 9:56, 3 replies)
I got a single ticket on theThe Underground
from Leicester Square to Covent Garden.

Are you questioning whether this qualifies?

It's a 300 yard journey. At £4.

Which gives it a cost per distance that would make the 3461 mile journey from London to New York cost £812,181.

So yeah, it qualifies.
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 9:48, 16 replies)
None of you will beat this.
I'm going to the Edinburgh Festival.

Nothing on god's earth is as expensive as the fucking Edinburgh Festival*

*OK, this is clearly not true, it just feels it when you realise you are paying the best part of £500 to stay in a shitty Premier Inn for three nights.
(, Mon 1 Aug 2011, 9:42, 18 replies)
i once gave my wife 12 inches of hot throbbing pleasure
i kicked her in the fundus
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 21:17, 5 replies)
We used to play nalgene soccer inside and outside the school. Looking back, I'm not sure how we saw kicking $20 plastic bottles full of water and bought by our parents up and down the stairs of a newly built school as a reasonable activity.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 15:34, Reply)
And another one.
I bought Joker Brand toiletries instead of Brand X.

Boy was I happy I did that.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 13:36, 1 reply)
I bought name brand Frosted Flakes the other day
instead of the store brand.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 13:33, 1 reply)
How to impress a small boy.
When my fifth birthday rolled around, we were living in Hong Kong. I don't know to this day how Mum and Dad managed it, but my birthday dinner was in the Mandarin Hotel www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong/.

We had a table right on the edge of the floor, but that early in the evening the place was nearly deserted. I got to see a full-on Chinese Circus, had a ham sandwich presented on a silver salver by the maître d', had my orange squash topped up by what I now know was the sommelier, and to top the whole evening off was taken by taxi all the way round the harbour to see the lights (which even in the mid-sixties knocked Blackpool into a cocked hat).

Fuck know how it was done on Dad's RAF salary.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 11:58, 3 replies)
Underpaid worker ants...
We were seriously badly treated at my old place. Nice enough job - call centre work, but extremely underpaid and not very well looked after. The boss started it up, and is now worth an awful lot of money.

So one day, we were settling in at work, when we all got an email, asking for us to move our cars. So, cars were moved, then we saw why.

The boss had a meeting in his office. The guy attending the meeting arrived, in the car park, in a HELICOPTER.

40 or 50 of us, all paid far less than we were worth, having to watch this display of wealth, did not go down well at all.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 7:16, Reply)
Box at the opera
A friend of mine worked for the Met in NYC and scored some incredibly swanky seats-the $250.00 kind*. We saw Rigoletto and Gilda was this huge Bulgarian soprano that stomped out on to the stage and literally stiff-armed the little tenor out of her space. He staggered to the side and my husband who is not familiar with opera said, "Is that in the script?" It's not.
We were not very swanky or conspicuously consumptive (cough cough)but the people around us were: There were wrinkly old women there dripping with furs and jewels, geezers with little binocs on sticks, other old men in tuxes-we were the youngest there by at least 30 years.
The topper was the guy in front of us. He had on, I kid you not, a tux, a top hat, white gloves, an opera cape lined in RED satin and spats. Plus a walking stick. I looked for a monocle, but didn't see one.

He jumped up and was yelling "Brava! BRAVA!" when she finished clapping like a seal. All in all, it was a surreal evening.

*This was the late '70's-$250 was a lot.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 1:24, 2 replies)

I was a dot com wanker - as in truly deeply - Own flat on wall street NY *overlooking* JP Morgan. (I thence became a secondary school teacher to assuage my guilt and pay for my sins over seven biblical years of pain outside of croydon). All that millenium stuff - Goldman sachs going mental, investors running up at seed partys going "I dont care about the business, I have 35 mill just build the fucking site we'll IPO in 3 months".
Anyway I was a keen sailor. I'd blagged a ride on a competitive boat running day races in Long Island Sound ( a big watery bit north of NY) and after a few months my name got round. I'd just hauled a massive deal in on Friday pm after having cheekilly squired my gf (now lovely wife with 2 brilliant boys) at lunchtime when I got a ring. Barely aware of what I was signing up for, I was told to show up at Pier 66 to crew a fast well practiced boat in a race. Drunk with success I agreed (as any blagger would) and I ended up on a boat with half the USA olympic yachting team with a reputation that far outstripped my actual ability. I was a thumbless ape in comparison. However...We sailed hard, we sailed well and just for the fun of it, having won by several tens of minutes we decided to cross *back over* the finishing line to toast the others as they drifted over the line. Needless to say, the sun was positioned directly behind the Statue of Liberty (having just raced around its base) with a brisk force 4 at 38 degrees sunny heat and we mooned the fucking lot of them. I could have died happy there.
(, Sun 31 Jul 2011, 0:41, 1 reply)
30 year old tequila
A rather eccentric family friend who had traveled the world gave me a bottle of Tequilla. Nice I though, box looks a bit tatty. Still it's spirits so it should be fine.

The first time I dug it out I actually read the label. It was a Jose Curvza Reserva De Familia, numbered, bought in the 70s. It was already 30 years old when bought, I got it 30 years later. I didn't know this until I had cracked it open at a party. Doing shots of it like any cheap Tequilla.

Christ knows what it would have been worth, box n all, but everyone who tasted it asked about it as it wasn't your average Tequilla.

Still gave me a Tequilla hangover...
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 22:42, 2 replies)
A rather well to do lady came into my mother in law's deli during the cold snap at the start of the year.
She bought every packet of Halen Môn and Maldon sea salt. When asked why she was buying enough high end salt to give a small African nation heart problems she replied "To melt the ice on my front steps".
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 21:26, 4 replies)
Best bedroom competition
A couple of months ago I was sent with two colleagues to a work conference for the fourth year in a row. In previous years it had been held at a conference centre where all the bedrooms are identical down to the last feature. For some reason, this year the conference changed venue to a proper hotel, one that in a previous life had been a manor house. Scoping out the website, it seemed there were two types of room - those in the original building and those in the new block which had been built onto the back of the house. The photos were all of mid-range hotel rooms so we weren't really sure what we would get.

When we arrived late in the afternoon there was chaos at the reception desk as 200 conference delegates tried to check in as quickly as possible before hitting the bar. Something somewhere had gone a bit wrong, however, as housekeeping hadn't yet managed to get all the rooms ready for use. Many of us were told to leave our bags at reception and to come back in half an hour to see if our designated rooms were ready. One of my colleagues got her key straight away but Colleague 2 and I were told to wait. Colleague 1 was quite smug about this as we were all a bit tired from travelling and wanted showers etc. For want of any other entertainment, we decided to all go and see Colleague 1's room which was in the old manor house part of the hotel. Old was a good description - I don't know if it was a listed building and that made renovation problematic but this room looked like it had been lifted off the set of Fawlty Towers. It was a small, odd shaped space with a single bed and a tiny closet-like bathroom. The bedcovers had a 70s flower theme going on and the walls were an old-lady-mauve colour. Added to this, there was an air conditioning unit just outside the window which was sending out a persistant hum. Colleague 1's smugness took a knock but she had a room and we didn't so she wasn't too disheartened.

After half an hour of faffing, we went back to reception and Colleague 2 got her key but I was told I had to wait for another little while. Colleague 2's room was in the new block and we all decided we would see what that was like too so, en masse, we trooped off again. It was a million times better than the first room - much bigger with a proper double bed, reasonable sized hotel bathroom and looked like it had been decorated far more recently than 1979. Colleague 2 was delighted. Colleague 1 was noticeably deflated. I was just pissed off with filling in time and feeling sweaty. Colleague 1 tried to recover her spirits by pinning her hopes on me joining her in "the hotel that time forgot" when my room was finally released; A partner in misery would make it OK.

Finally, an hour and half after arriving, my room was ready and it was in the new block too but it had a name not a number. By this point I was quite grumpy and time was ticking away so it looked like I wouldn't even have the time to shower before dinner. For the sake of completeness, all three of us set off to see it. I stomped up to the door, expecting it to look like the other room in the new block. Opening the door I realised that, despite the wait, I had lucked out. The gods with a dramatic sense of timing had smiled upon me as I was in an enormous first class room - I had two queen-sized beds with illuminated, etched glass headboards, a h-u-g-e bathroom decked out with black glittery tiling trim and fluffy bathrobes and bits of art on the walls. Even my tea tray had nicer teabags and biscuits than the other room. Best of all, I wasn't even paying for it. All my grumpiness vanished at a stroke and the hour and half I had waited paled into insignificance. I can honestly say that, from my perspective, it was the best conference I have attended yet. Colleague 1 begs to differ.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 15:59, Reply)
I did a skydiving course back in 2003, probably the best decision I have ever made. Since then, I have made 394 jumps out of various aircraft, a helicopter, and a balloon. It is an incredibly indulgent sport which can eat through the contents of your wallet faster than John Prescott can eat a pie.

Very rough estimate of expenditure so far:

Static line course £1500
Parachute £3200
Reserve repacks £250
Jumpsuits £350
Additional gear £300
8 years BPA membership £950
Insurance £400
Jump tickets £7400
Transport/food/booze/other £god only knows

Pissing around in the sky with all your best mates: priceless
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 14:58, 3 replies)
I blew E300 in one night on a stripper with whom I had developed an unhealthy obsession.
Then I fell asleep as she wriggled on me.


(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 14:03, 1 reply)
I once had chips with tomato sauce
and gravy.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 13:55, 7 replies)
Yes I have been photographed on a balcony eating a croissant as it happens...

On honeymoon on the Emerald Coast of Sardinia.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 12:09, 11 replies)
The most ostentatious I've ever seen...
Has to go to Abramovich. Surprise, surprise.

Anyway, a few years ago he owned what was at the time the 5th largest yacht in the world. Then he decides he needs a tender, just a little boat to follow the big one, as a support vessel and the like. For this purpose he decides he's going to use the 8th largest yacht in the world, which just happened to carry on it's deck a 70 foot gin palace and a 70 foot sailing yacht to say nothing of the other 'toys' in it's hold.

I met a yachting agent in Valparaiso and he told me that he had one of Abramovich's boats to deal with. He was asked to fetch them a square metre of turf to the boat just so someone's tiny yappy dog could take a shit. He had to dig up a hotels front lawn to fulfill this request as turf isn't a common commodity in that part of the world.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 11:49, 3 replies)
For christmas I often get my old man a bottle of something nice, usually whiskey.
He does like his whiskey,but he's not a snob or a bore. What he doesn't know is the bottles I get for him cost £300 to £500 each. I like seeing him enjoying them for what they are, and he wouldn't be able to if he knew how much they cost. It pisses me off though when he finishes one off before I visit and get a chance of a have a taste.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 10:38, 6 replies)
It involved a balcony and some chow-chow...
...but it wasn't a croissant. Long time ago, back in the days of university, I was at a party at the flat below ours. They also had a balcony.

Anyway, some hammered girl came up to me and told me I looked like a "nice, kind sorta guy" and that she'd very much appreciate it if I kept an eye on her in case she "did anything stupid". Well, naturally I failed miserably and not long later went outside onto the aforementioned balcony and there in the daylight for all the campus (and party) to see is a guy with his pants acting as ankle-warmers getting a noshing. Off the girl who'd asked me to keep an eye on her. I guess I kept another sort of eye on her... by proxy, anyway.

And the best bit; the chap having his ankles warmed turned out to be the guy who became my best mate throughout university, and not at all on the back of the fact I got him a drunken slag without even trying.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 10:27, 1 reply)
Home, James!
I work for a tech company that hit it bigtime after it IPO'd. Joined early enough to be given a nice [not so] little pile of options, and have been gently flogging them off. Sold a few more on Thursday, netting another 5 years' salary and earning myself an enhanced aura of smugness.

And clearly this has managed to impress my bank - not only are they giving me a black amex card, they're laying on gratis limo service home every time I fly in to Changi rather than having to wait in line for a taxi with the plebs. The chauffeur had better be dolled up in a peaked cap and wearing driving gloves. Tough life, eh ?
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 10:11, Reply)
I bake about 200 handmade croissants every morning, does that count?
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 9:58, Reply)
A few years ago having a quiet night in.
Me and the missus sat in bed 11ish on a Sat night, Phoned out for a takeaway Pizza and then washed it down with a £35 bottle of Champagne. The Champers hit the spot, we got up, got dressed and were in the Clubs by Midnight.
(, Sat 30 Jul 2011, 9:01, 2 replies)

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