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$30,000 Millionaires: Douchebags in the Mist

The $30,000 millionaire is accustomed to instant gratification.
The $30,000 millionaire is accustomed to instant gratification. Manuel Dohmen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Target: A soft-featured guy with a blue button-down shirt tucked neatly into his slacks; lacks the flash usually evident on Homo sapiens douchebagus, but he's worth a try

I'm drawn in when "John" and his friends order six cherry-something-or-other-hoo-hah shots, the kind of wussy, trendy shooters favored by guys reluctant to fork over $17 for top-shelf tequila when they just need to get drunk enough to talk to a couple of bimbos. But they pay cash—not typical $30k behavior. There is one shot left over. John puts his arm on my chair and pushes the drink toward me.

"Who are you rooting for?" I ask, gesturing toward the television over the bar. Oklahoma's losing to Texas Tech.

"Tech, babe!" he says. "It's my alma mater." I sympathize. As a Longhorn fan, I say, I love to see Oklahoma lose any which way. "Did you go to UT?" he asks. I didn't, I admit. I went to NYU. No football there. But UT's my surrogate team. He rolls his eyes.

"That's lame," he says. What am I doing here all by myself, he wants to know. I'm a writer, I gush. I'm looking for $30,000 millionaires.

"Oh, I used to be one of those guys," he says. "I fucked up my credit bad."

I try to keep myself from jumping off of the barstool and kissing him. A real, live, recovering $30,000 millionaire! Mere inches from me! Just as I am about to ask him about how he came to be the kind of guy who pays with cash instead of Visa, Tech scores. A short, blond sorority-type to John's right cheers.

"GOOOOOO, TECH!" she screams. In no time at all, the only conversation available to me is with the back of John's head. "That's my school!" the girl continues to cheer. Within seconds, he is ushering her out the door, hand on her lower back, and I am left alone.

Results: Pleased with success in identifying former Homo sapiens douchebagus. Important lesson learned. Lose all interesting attributes, become as generic as possible and absolutely do not talk about having a job. These things detract from the $30,000 millionaire's desire to divulge copious amounts of personal information in an attempt to sleep with me.

Finally, with this understanding of what it would take to lock down a $30k-er, I proceeded to my final destination: Mantus and Naked Sundays.

All the elements aligned that Sunday night—valets, velvet ropes and the fact that it was Sunday. Lawyers, doctors, businessmen and anyone else likely to be raking in real millions has to work on Monday morning. Homo sapiens douchebagus' life of never-ending leisure is the ultimate giveaway.

Taking a cue from a favorite Sex and the City episode in which Miranda, the successful lawyer, pretends to be a flight attendant in order to get dates, I keep my story simple. I am new in town. My friends are supposed to meet me soon. Never been to college, and I'm studying to be a hairdresser. Isn't drinking fun? Look at my tiny shorts! Tee-hee!

My cover is almost blown immediately. While I'm standing next to the recently discovered porn screen, planning my next move, a familiar face appears in the crowd. He's several years older than most of the 20-somethings in the room, and he's in the telltale striped button-down shirt and pre-distressed jeans. As he makes his way past me, I narrowly avoid making eye contact.

This man is the founder of a social club called The Beautiful Room, a group of people assembled after their photos are approved by the founder and it is established via a phone interview that they enjoy drinking and bragging about their cars. There is a monthly fee. I wrote about the group last year when I infiltrated their ranks in another immersive field study of local assholery.

If Dallas is the land of douchebags, this man is their king.

To my relief, I don't think he recognizes me. Last time I saw His Highness, my hair was long and red, not short and brunette like it is today. I am terrified because the man knows my true identity, but also overjoyed. Spotting the king is like hitting the Homo sapiens douchebagus jackpot.

Time: Very, very early Monday morning

Location: Mantus; inside, near their wall of white pleather booths

Target: A short, five-o'clock-shadowed guy wearing a T-shirt I estimate at approximately 2.5 times too small. I "accidentally" bump into him while climbing over an ottoman.

"Oh, excuse me!"

"No, babe, it's fine. You're looking good tonight." He smiles and gives me a little "Cheers!" clinking his glass with mine.

"Oh, thanks. I'm waiting on my friends. I've never been here before! This place is really nice!" I babble.

"Oh, it's the only place to be on Sunday. I'm new here too." This is Justin, and he recently made the trek north from Austin. I tell him I was at Kenichi on Saturday, trying to keep the conversation safely in booze-and-bragging territory.

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Andrea Grimes
Contact: Andrea Grimes

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