Leona Helmsley, RIP

If there are two things in this world that I can’t stand, it’s old wealthy women who spite people in their will and overly pampered dogs. Well, and gravy. And college basketball. And people who don’t understand that “right lane ends” and “merge” are two different concepts. And the help feature in Microsoft Office. And shopping for shoes, even out of necessity. And strawberry soda.

Hmmm. Anyway, back to old rich bats and stupid dogs. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like old rich women when they are called “sugar mommas” and they are married to me and they die promptly after the wedding ceremony or when all legal requirements are met for me getting her old stanky loot, whichever comes first. And I don’t mind treating a dog to a special visit to the Dog Spa or the Canine Valhalla or whatever you want to call the place where dogs get shampooed and their nails clipped and wind the whole package down with whatever the neutered dog equivalent of a happy ending is. That must be something for a dog, the fact that a special treat is to go get your fingernails clipped. If only I were satisfied so easily. It takes an iced mocha and an expansion pack for Civilization IV to even get me started. You don’t get to my heart by my stomach, you get to it by pumping me full of caffeine and giving me six new Wonders to build.

Anyway, the reason I’m all bent out of shape over dogs and rich girls is Leona Helmsley. Helmsley has long dropped off of my giving-a-crap-o-meter, where she has found plenty of company with Imelda Marcos and Paula Poundstone. I mean, I vaguely remember her as a real estate tycoon, kind of the female equivalent of Donald Trump, only with less hairpiece and more extraordinarily creepy makeup. (And far be it for me to stoop so low as to mock someone’s appearance, but holy cats, she looked like the Joker after Batman killed him and let the corpse rot for about six years, then pumped it full of cosmetics and glycerin and then poured kerosene on it and lit it on fire then threw it in front of the fastest and ugliest train ever birthed by engineers. Seriously, the woman’s scary ugly.) I also remember the trouble she got into, what with her rather unfortunate cavalier attitude towards tax law and treating anyone who wasn’t a rich white male like herself as either hired help or an extra in a miniseries about the Civil War. But, like Spy magazine and blond PR agents that back over crowds of people in their Hummer, she was not particularly known as an icon of anything in particular outside of New York City, which, granted, is still fairly significant, what with the entire known universe revolving around Gotham for any and all reasons ever imagined.

Anyway, Helmsley died recently. (And, yes, they could tell.) The cause of death was the weight of sheer importance she held in New York City finally crushed her nonexistent soul. Her will was fairly standard, leaving it to relatives, though two of her grandchildren got bupkiss—zero. The will simply states that they get nothing “for reasons that are known to them.” Obviously, this is a cue for everyone in the world (or, at least, the readers of the New York Post) to engage in rampant speculation. What on earth could these people have done to piss of the old rich grandmother? Forget to send a Thank You Card for that $25 Starbucks gift card they got for Hanukah? Mentioned over the dinner table that maybe the Earned Income Tax Credit isn’t such a bad idea? Not look at that boil in her lower back? We’ll probably never know, though I’m certain that Access Hollywood would like to fill in the gap in their income if they were to divulge such information. Just sayin’.

The biggest slap in the face, though, isn’t just that those two grandchildren got the monkey’s bum at the reading of the will. It’s that Helmsley’s dog, the aptly named Trouble, got $12 million. That’s right, one of the most powerful real estate developers in America—an individual one must assume had a modicum of intelligence to manage a rather large business empire—left cold cash to her dog. This is hands down the single stupidest act I can think of ever since…well, ever since she decided she didn’t need to pay the government any taxes. Hmm. Maybe she was kind of a dim bulb. It takes all kinds in the Big Apple, I suppose.

Now, I like dogs and all. I like pets generally, as long as they are purchased, cared for, and under the constant supervision of someone else who isn’t me. (Please note that for the record deer are not pets.) And I’d be inclined to treat said pets as kindly as possible. However, given that I see what dogs are willing to eat, and what dogs do to themselves, and what dogs do to each other, I would estimate that dogs are fairly low on the maintenance scale of things. For $12 million, though, Trouble, it seems, won’t have any at all.

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