Stone: Now … the latest hit TV show, direct from Aspen! |

Stone: Now … the latest hit TV show, direct from Aspen!

Andy Stone
Stone’s Throw

Announcer: You’ve seen Scrooge McDuck swan dive into a swimming pool full of money. You’ve seen “Girls Gone Wild” topless on Spring Break. But, folks, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen —

Audience: Billionaires! Gone! Wild!

Announcer: That’s right! It’s America’s favorite TV show — “Billionaires Gone Wild,” Aspen Edition. And here’s your host, everybody’s favorite God of Obscene Wealth — Mammon!

Audience: Mam-mon! Mam-mon! Mam-mon!

Mammon: Hey everybody! Welcome to “Billionaires Gone Wild,” where we observe those fabulous creatures in their natural environment in the wilds of Aspen, Colorado, where it’s dog-eat-dog and man-eat-foie-gras.

I’m sure you all remember last week’s episode featuring billionaire manque, Robert K. Steel, who threw a spectacular wedding party in a pristine mountain meadow — well, hee-hee, make that “formerly pristine.” Anyway, we had people writing in to ask, “What the heck does ‘manque’ mean?”

Great question! Well, in this instance, it means “charity case.” Yes, tragically, it seems poor Bobby Steel isn’t really an actual billionaire. We checked the Forbes list and he’s not there. But you know how these things are; a couple of hundred million here, a couple hundred million there — chump change, really — and bam! You’re on the list. So cheer up, Bobby! You’ve got the moves. You’ve got the attitude. You’ll always be a billionaire to us.

Hey!!! Let’s bring on the Big Bucks Babes for a quick cheer.

Babes: “Boom-a-lacka! Firecracker! Sis-boom-bah! Big Bucks, Big Bucks, Rah! Rah! Rah!”

Announcer: Plastic surgery for the Big Bucks Babes provided by Trophy Wives ‘R’ Us, with convenient clinics wherever silicon and spackle are sold.

Mammon: So! Hey! This week’s Billionaire Gone Wild is a gentleman out of Houston, Texas — and since we know he’s shy, and we always show proper deference to our billionaires, we won’t use his real name. We’ll just call him Texas Jeff. But rest assured, no charity cases today, no manque business this week. Our boy Jeffy is a Forbes-certified billionaire, currently ranked the 218th richest person in the entire dang world, with $6.6 billion.

He’s a billionaire’s billionaire: a self-made Texas oil man who gives a whole lot of money to Republicans like Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz. And Forbes — gotta love it! — said Jeffy is “literally changing the face of Houston, having dynamited the landmark downtown Macy’s to make way for a new 20-story headquarters.” Blowing up Houston! Oh yeah! Billionaire Go Ka-boom!

And, like any proper billionaire, Jeffy loves his polo ponies. In fact, he loves those ponies so much he bulldozed 170,000 cubic yards of dirt to build himself a polo field in the Snowmass Creek Valley.

Funny story there, folks.

Jeffy built that beautiful field — a credit to any neighborhood, as anything a billionaire builds is guaranteed to be — and then he got into a squabble with the local hicks over what he should plant there. They said alfalfa! He said bluegrass! Well, we don’t know how it turned out, but if there’s any justice in this world, you know a billionaire’s going to buy it.

Besides, we all know they’re too busy with another kind of “grass” in Colorado to worry about what’s sprouting on a polo field. Wink-wink! Hey, you alfalfa fiends! Light up and lighten up! We’ve got a —

Audience: Billionaire! Gone! Wild!

Mammon: But here’s the best joke of all! Texas Jeff seems to be the man who bought John Denver’s old Windstar property. That’s the way it goes: from eco-freak folk singer to Fracking Oil Billionaire! Oh yeah, Rocky Mountain High!

OK! We’ll be back right after this word from our sponsor: Royal Flush Aspen Gold Toilet Tissue.

Announcer: When you want to make the right … impression, gold-embossed toilet tissue gets the job done.

Some people have money to burn, but a roll of this next to your toilet shows everyone that you’ve got money to — well, you know.

Get the tasteful basic design: a classic aspen leaf in genuine 22-karat gold on every sheet. Or add the personal touch: your name in 22-karat gold. Or, go all out with an embossed gold-leaf picture of anyone you really want to honor!

Remember, nothing tells them you’re flush like having gold to … flush!

So next time you flush, make it a Royal Flush.

Now, back to —

Audience: Billionaires! Gone! Wild!

Mammon: So, last week, Texas Jeff decided to make his mark on his sleepy little valley by holding a birthday bash for 400 of his closest friends, featuring a massive late-night fireworks display. Oh yeah! Billionaire Go Ka-boom!

And, wouldn’t you know it, folks, the neighbors complained!

Audience: Boooo!

Mammon: They said they were shaken out of their beds! Well that’s what you get for sleeping when a billionaire wants to party!

Audience: Yayyyy!

Mammon: One neighbor whined, “It goes against everything that we stand for in Old Snowmass — the integrity of nature and protecting the livestock and the wildlife. Isn’t that contrary to our rural character?” You know what we say to that —

Audience: Billionaires! Gone! Wild!

Mammon: Well, that’s it for this week, folks. Next time we’ll chat about a clever fellow who is building a $4.25 million addition to his Aspen crash pad, slipping around the zoning rules by putting the entire addition underground — with a media center, bowling alley, lap pool, hot tub, massage room, gym, steam room and sauna. But wait! There’s more — don’t forget the movie theater, garage, game room, snack bar, three guest suites and a bunk room.

It’s a credit to the neighborhood. But — oh no! — neighbors again! Said one, “It’s getting to be like living in a strip mine.”

Strip mine? Did someone say “Strip mine”? That sounds like a job for —

Audience: Billionaires! Gone! Wild!!!!!

Mammon: And hey! All the money those billionaires spend trickles down to the rest of us! And speaking of things that trickle down, remember — next time you flush make it a Royal Flush with Aspen Gold Toilet Tissue.

Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His email address is


See more

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.