life’s a beach
There are many ways to measure wealth, but at the very top is the ability to own oceanfront property in Iowa.
The only real decision for him is if he preferred to watch the sun rise or set over the ocean. He decided he’d rather watch a sunset so he put the ocean west of the house.
Iowa being pretty flat, it was easy enough to purchase the three square miles (a total of 1,920 acres) of land necessary to make sure that the water appears to go to the horizon. He got it for only $18.5 million. The tricky, time-intensive and crazy expensive part was to dig out the ocean. Starting at only a few inches to a depth of fifty feet down three miles from shore, countless bulldozers and dump trucks were required.
Then came the sand for a beach three miles wide.
The man was not present for construction. He was far too busy doing his corporate raiding thing. He told them to let him know when his ocean view was finished.
Next came the hundreds of wave machines that you see at water parks. The tides weren’t going to create themselves and what good is oceanfront property without the gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore.
Powerful heaters sat a mile out at the bottom to ensure ice never became an issue.
The dozens of seagulls brought in quickly flew away, only to realize after a few minutes of flying that this was the only ocean they were going to get, so they grudgingly returned to play their part. The imported sea life reached a very similar conclusion… without all the flapping.
He opted against palm trees.
Fences and walls circled the property so there would be no trespassers. What looked like life guard stations scattered around the perimeter instead held men with guns and night-vision goggles.
After a few years of effort, word was sent to the very rich man that all was at the ready.
He retired the next day and got on his private plane to Iowa.
Twenty four hours later he sat on the deck of his newly constructed house with his latest girlfriend and drank in the scene. The sun was setting and his ocean was on fire. A breathtaking red that stretched as far as either of them could see. The sky doesn’t get much bigger than the middle of Iowa.
Wine was poured.
“This is amazing” she said. “But really, why didn’t you just buy a house in California? Why in Iowa?”
He smiled. “Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that there is no heaven. Just hell. Whatever created us loathes us to its very core and everyone, when they die, is going to spend eternity on fire, no matter what, there is no escaping it, whatever we do with our time on Earth.”
She made a face and poured another glass of wine for them both.
He finished his thought; “I just wanted to make a gesture worthy of its contempt.”
“Well” she said, “This is beautiful, definitely worth it.”
He laughed. “Not really what I was getting at… but yeah, it’s beautiful.”
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