What Color Is the Jell-O in Your Jacuzzi? | Our Town | Chicago Reader

What Color Is the Jell-O in Your Jacuzzi? 

Networking with baby moguls at the monthly meeting of the Billionaire Boys Club

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For $8,000 you can get a 4-by-20-foot contoured indoor putting green that can be subtly manipulated to provide up to three million possible combinations--three million different putting greens, in essence. It's an investment in never being bored again--and it even comes in a variety of custom stains to match your office furniture. It's serious luxury, but luxury (or at least the idea of luxury) is the point behind the Lincoln Park Young Professionals' Billionaire Boys Club party, a monthly opportunity to live an evening of pretend affluence. A $30 advance ticket includes hors d'oeuvres, an open bar with a range of margarita flavors, and use of the putting green.

Fine-cigar vendors set up their wares alongside luxury car rental pamphlets on display tables ringing the Tavern Club's upper floor. There's a chocolate fondue fountain, but few of the partygoers crowd around. They're mostly young professionals from Lincoln Park (not surprisingly), and if they aren't rich yet they at least know to casually ignore expensive things--an essential part of being truly wealthy. Moving around the floor I learn that the chance to bask in the trappings of the good life isn't what brought many of them out in the first place. One girl tells me that the odds of having a good time at the party are slim, the chances of finding a date even slimmer, and that pretty much everyone came for the networking opportunities. The number of people who manage to pitch their companies to me while introducing themselves seems to confirm this.

I ask her why she's here and she breaks down how the cover charge with open bar makes an evening of serious drinking cheaper than it would be at any of the bars in her neighborhood. "I also like to lie to people," she says. "You see Emily over there?" She gestures to a friend talking to a man in the corner. "Her name is 'Britney.' That guy thinks I'm Greek." A minute later I'm introduced to him as "Tony." I've known rich people to be conniving, but they've got nothing on those who're only pretending to be rich.

I take an informal poll: if most of the partygoers surveyed were to wake up tomorrow with billions in their bank account, the first thing they'd spend money on is charity. Second and third most popular are real estate in Chicago and real estate anywhere but Chicago. One woman answers almost immediately that she would "add a huge jumbo-shot Jacuzzi to her roof." She then asks me if I've ever been to a Jell-O shot Jacuzzi party: "Oh my god. The thing is you have to be really rich, because once you do this you have to buy another Jacuzzi, because the Jell-O clogs up the jets and you're done. You put in water and lots of ice cubes, and you get hundreds of boxes of Jell-O. And vodka. And then you let the Jacuzzi churn the vodka and Jell-O, and you dump in gallons of ice and it chills around the naked bodies in the Jacuzzi." Everyone listening looks impressed. "I had one in business school," she explains. "I broke the Jacuzzi." A man standing next to her tells me, "If I had money, I'd give her money to do that."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Andrea Bauer.

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