I need examples of things and secrets only a very in the know sort of person would know about.
November 7, 2007 5:03 PM   Subscribe

I need examples of things and secrets only a very in the know sort of person would know about. Examples include: the Black American Express Card or Disney's Club 33.

I am writing a story where the main character is very cool. I am talking the coolest person you will ever meet. He knows everyone, goes to the best parties and just generally awes people by his presence.

I need things that only the most in the know people would know about, own, get invited to, or be a member of.

Examples are the American Express Black Card, Disney's Club 33 or other such things that I am not cool enough to know about.
posted by thebrokenmuse to Society & Culture (97 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
The Pen 15 club?
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:06 PM on November 7, 2007 [10 favorites]

He orders three fingers of Macallan 1926, and he gets it.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:09 PM on November 7, 2007

What's his career, and where does this take place.
pen15 club seconded!
posted by phaedon at 5:09 PM on November 7, 2007

Ask Metafilter secret forum.
posted by fire&wings at 5:10 PM on November 7, 2007 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, he's also a member of either Continental's Chairman's Circle or United's Global Services (or hell, both!) elite member groups.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:12 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: There are three books called Big Secrets, Bigger Secrets, and Biggest Secrets by William Poundstone that have this sort of thing in them, but I'm not sure if you'd be interested in them since they've been... well, published in books.

I found them entertaining however.
posted by marble at 5:13 PM on November 7, 2007 [3 favorites]

Best answer: He orders off-menu at In 'n Out?
posted by thehmsbeagle at 5:15 PM on November 7, 2007 [3 favorites]

Another thing. Listen, at some restaurants, the menu is a suggestion. If you've the cachet, you order what you'd like and the chef serves it to you, and thanks you for the chance. Someone like this orders truffles. For dinner.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:18 PM on November 7, 2007

He is a Bonesman, though Skull and Bones is probably on the well-known side of secret these days.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:23 PM on November 7, 2007

I recall the sit-com Flying Blind with Tea Leoni, where she played an impossibly beautiful woman in love with a schlubby guy. She was always making off-hand comments about the cool things she used to do before she met the schlub, and it was always about access, rather than secrets.

* Hyper-exclusive concerts, like the Prince shows at the Hollywood Roosevelt.
* Weird events with famous people, like going hot-air ballooning with U2.
* Casual encounters you wouldn't normally think would be casual, like watching the Super Bowl at Bill Gates' house.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:27 PM on November 7, 2007

I know about Amex black cards and secret Disneyland clubs, and I'm a public library worker in Arkansas.

No offense, but you might want to try a little harder. Or, better yet, make stuff up.
posted by box at 5:27 PM on November 7, 2007 [5 favorites]

If memory serves, there are car clubs where you pay a yearly fee and have access to top of the line motorcars whenever you need them. Not so much a secret (though I suppose his fictitious club could be), but perhaps an easy device for giving him access to the newest cars whenever the plot calls for it.
posted by quin at 5:28 PM on November 7, 2007

Dude, make stuff up! Then you can be sure no one's heard of it.
posted by amtho at 5:32 PM on November 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

I need examples of things and secrets only a very in the know sort of person would know about . . . I am writing a story where the main character is very cool.

Invent some things. You're writing a story, right? You're not bound by the vulgar conventions of the real world. Go buck-wild. You're the lord and master of that realm; you can do anything.

According to some of the web accounts I've seen, the rumors about super-double-classified Black American Express Cards were untrue for a while and then those rumors inspired the company to issue a series of special cards for high-end consumers of goods and services. Rumor created reality. And you can do the same.

God only knows what kind of crazy shit you could inspire with your story.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:32 PM on November 7, 2007

Seconding making crap up.

Seriously. When I was a teen, I snuck into Club 33 and toured the place on my own, high on adrenaline the entire time. And I think that my story is way cooler than someone else's who goes on the company membership and boringly sits at a table with his kids for a noisy meal.
posted by SlyBevel at 5:32 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Did you know that Taco Bell has a policy of continuing to provide any item they've ever offered? Rumor is, if you walk in with a bag of hamburger buns under your arm and order a Bell Burger, you can still get one.

I'm surprised by how few people like to enjoy ice wine.

I buy imported Flake from Britain to go with it when I want to have wine & chocolate with a lady friend.

I also take Parkour lessons.

Voce mobile provides modified versions of a number of popular cell phones that have a button that calls your personal concierge, offers coverage via several major networks, which means you have virtually no roaming or no-coverage areas, and only charges a flat fee of around $100/month.

What about masonic handshakes? Too weird?
posted by MaxK at 5:33 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

^^And I really didn't make that up. But you can make up cooler stuff than just being a member everywhere, can't you?
posted by SlyBevel at 5:33 PM on November 7, 2007

He has a filepile membership..
posted by davey_darling at 5:36 PM on November 7, 2007 [5 favorites]

He can make a phone call and have someone killed discreetly and professionally.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:40 PM on November 7, 2007

There's a company that will take extremely rich people on trans-oceanic voyages, maximum luxury, small passenger lists, in a submarine. The only way to book a trip is to be referred by a previous passenger. It's like $25k per person each way.

I just made that up.
posted by brain cloud at 5:41 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Flake bars are FANTASTIC. Miss my old grocery store that imported them.
posted by UMDirector at 5:42 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: Remember the Milk Bar in NYC, in the late 80's? Even cooler than Save The Robots, it had no liquor license, and the moment a famous person showed up, and made the gossip columns, they'd move their secret location to a new even more secret location the following week.

Hitching a ride on someone's jet is pretty cool. I'd like to be able to do that someday...
posted by asavage at 5:49 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

If it's exclusive, then not many of your readers will be able to tell you're not making it up. You might as well go wild.
posted by cmiller at 5:49 PM on November 7, 2007

The Macallan Silver, 250 Year Anniversary Edition.

Advanced Cell Technology Clone Cell Donor (wallet card).

You won't find them googling. It's secret, n'est-ce pas?
posted by artdrectr at 5:52 PM on November 7, 2007

As a college sophomore, he visited China and got caught up working with a gang of democracy advocates, narrowly escaping the country while all his friends were killed. In the process, he learned fluent Chinese. This enables him to take dates to very back-alley Chinese restaurants and order completely in Chinese, berating the chef when his (insert obscure Chinese dish here) does not have the proper mix of spicy and sour.

His grandfather is Swiss and was a member of Freres des Notre Dame during WWII, a group founded to protect Notre Dame Cathedral in the event of open warfare in Paris during 1944. As a concession, the Catholic church put the Freres in charge of the bells at Notre Dame. This means that, on a whim, he can make a phone call and make the bells ring, any time he wants.

A variation on the above, only his Grandfather was in the IRA and because of the debt they owe to his family he has the ability to pick up the phone and get worldwide armed assistance within 24 hours.
posted by charlesv at 5:53 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I plan on making up quite a bit of impressive secret privledges for coolness, but I want the story to also have enough credibility that someone reading who would know about such things would be impressed!
posted by thebrokenmuse at 5:57 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: As far as his career, no one really knows. He isn't the main character in the book.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 5:58 PM on November 7, 2007

Bilderberg | Bilderberg
posted by nylon at 6:00 PM on November 7, 2007

Get the book Them by Jon Ronson. It discusses Bohemian Grove and other conspiracy theory locations, and is a hoot.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:02 PM on November 7, 2007

This reminds me of Pattern Regonition. Anyway, United offers a black-colored frequent flier card to its uber-frequent international fliers. But an exciting character wouldn't have that, just a boring business person. Maybe he has one of those passes he can put on the front dashboard of his Tesla that lets him park it wherever he wants.
posted by Eringatang at 6:07 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: Definitely look into the Bohemian Grove. Perhaps a uniquely difficult to attain e-mail address, like john@yahoo.com? Underground restaurants may also be a neat hook.
posted by Paragon at 6:20 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

The society of the Cincinnati.

Don't mention anything about Disneyland if you're going for cool.
posted by 517 at 6:23 PM on November 7, 2007

If you want this character to exude "connected" and "powerful," let him waltz through airport security.
posted by SemiSophos at 6:39 PM on November 7, 2007 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Hell.com
posted by klangklangston at 6:50 PM on November 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

OiNK membership.
posted by softlord at 7:04 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I am thinking the coolest guy would have a green American Express card, because he would not give a shit what people think.
posted by astruc at 7:06 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

He isn't a member of a nonexistent cabal.
posted by juv3nal at 7:13 PM on November 7, 2007

When Harlan Ellison's favourite candy was discontinued by the manufacturer, he bought all the remaining stock. I'd say that's cooler than having a credit card that says, "I am very rich and I demand you kowtow to me." Perhaps your guy really liked Pepsi Blue?
posted by Hogshead at 7:17 PM on November 7, 2007

Seconding Bohemian Club. I know someone who is in it and it's WAY out there.
posted by FlyByDay at 7:18 PM on November 7, 2007

Some of these uber-exclusive ultracool things would undoubtedly be in Dubai, of course.
posted by Quietgal at 7:43 PM on November 7, 2007

why don't you make him a bavarian illuminatus who wears one of the very rare lacoste double alligator shirts?
posted by bruce at 7:44 PM on November 7, 2007

Perhaps he has access to Skywalker Ranch.
posted by Stove at 7:45 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: If you mention his name on the internet, cops will be at your house within 15 minutes. None of that Kibo shit.

Has all living former US presidents on his gPhone speed dial as 1. Peanut 2. Hot Lips 3. Slick. Speed dial #4 puts him in touch with the lab where formerly living US presidents are cryogenically preserved. Speed dial #5 is pizza delivery.

Coleman's newest tent design is based on the top front of his pants.

Has JK Rowling's original draft of the book 7 including the omitted chapter "The Erotic Morning of Albus and Lucius"

Every morning he gives several supermodels a brisk rodgering, then reads tomorrow's paper.

He was an, ahem, "unpaid, uncredited technical consultant" for the movie Men In Black.

He doesn't have an ipod for jogging. He has Yo La Tengo on retainer and a shrink ray.

He could remove your bra...and you wouldn't even know.

His Nanowrimo novel for this year is already finished and in the process of being typeset.
posted by enfa at 7:56 PM on November 7, 2007 [6 favorites]

check out the hotel du cap d'antibes at eden roc on the french riviera. you need to bring a bank draft to stay there.
posted by eedele at 8:08 PM on November 7, 2007

the Black American Express Card

For those "in the know," it's called the Centurion Card. ; )

There's also Bank of America's 'Accolades Card,' Citigroup's 'Chairman American Express' card and the 'Stratus Rewards Visa' aka the 'White Card.

Must not forget the "Queen" (literally) of all private banking cards -- Coutts & Co.'s 'World Card.'
posted by ericb at 9:08 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dan ("The DaVinci Code") Brown has quite an interest in secret societies. His next book is 'The Solomon Key.' Be sure to check out 'The Guide to Dan Brown's The Solomon Key.'

Also -- check out Harvard's Final Clubs and the many other U.S. collegiate secret societies.
posted by ericb at 9:23 PM on November 7, 2007

Ghetto Gourmet, or other such culinary speakeasies.

When I lived in Bakersfield, there was an Italian restaurant whose gimmick was that it was a speakeasy. The storefront was half bakery (where they made the bread and pizza dough) and half jewelry shop. You entered the jewelry shop, asked for Papa, and the bookcase swung open. Inside, "diners" would suddenly argue with increasing volume and off one another. They were shut down for actually running strip after hours, if memory serves. Assuredly there are other such faux-speakeasies still operating. Of course, there are historical ones yet accessible too. It's a bit of a goofy inclusion, but it could work.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:29 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

Holy cow, I've been to that Bakersfield place! You had to say "Papa sent me." Then it was like dinner theater, kind of, where the waitstaff played out fictional romances, fights, etc.

What does "running strip" mean? They had strippers?
posted by GaelFC at 9:38 PM on November 7, 2007

That is what I heard, yeah, that something improper and illegal and improper was going on after hours. Ironic and maybe dubious. Do you remember what it was called, by any chance? I don't. I was 12.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:40 PM on November 7, 2007

Holders of a Costco Elite™ card can get items in single-user size.
posted by rob511 at 9:59 PM on November 7, 2007 [2 favorites]

How about being part of a group that founded the Met, built the Statue of Liberty's pedestal and Grant's Tomb?

As an aside, many people have listed various elite Gentlemen's clubs in this thread. It's important to note that most are geographically based and have ridiculous dues. If your character has a 'home base' it's most likely that he's a member of the Gentlemen's club in his hometown (only). He may or may not have access to other clubs based on that membership and it's association (or lack thereof) with others.
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:14 PM on November 7, 2007

Some of these uber-exclusive ultracool things would undoubtedly be in Dubai, of course.

Or, you know, at Davos.
posted by kittyprecious at 10:26 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: He'd send packages to friends only via FedEx Custom Critical.
posted by falconred at 10:27 PM on November 7, 2007

Black is out, Titanium is in. My daughter made her week in sales to a couple of bubble-heads wielding a Titanium AmEx (yes it is made out of titanium).

I don't know if conspiracies factor into the character but the Bilderbergers seem obscure enough.
posted by trinity8-director at 10:49 PM on November 7, 2007

Yeah, seconding Lucas Ranch ("Skywalker Ranch" above). If he's going to the Bohemian Grove, he's already up in Sonoma County, he could easily drop by Marin on his way back to the city.
posted by salvia at 11:05 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: The biggest perk of being "in the know" is not paying for things. Also, if you're famous enough, or rich enough everything you do becomes a "private club". Watch the TV show Entourage.

These are a few things I have personally experienced, and I'm not rich or famous. I wouldn't say I'm "in the know" but I've had some interesting adventures. From what I've seen there's a global network of assistants and stylists that secretly run the entire world.

There is nothing cooler or more exclusive than a private jet. I've never flown on one, but those I know who have won't shut up about it.

Second to the private jet, is the yacht. I'm not saying that this sort of behavior is encouraged or respectable, But something about yachts inspires really beautiful women to walk around topless. If you're in to that sort of thing.

I once got to spend the day in the owners box at at the horse track. Drive your car inside the building, private elevator to the swanky owners club. Lunch menu had no prices because everything was free. Drinks were free and plentiful. Lots of cigars. There was even a special tip sheet to help you with your betting. Now, I'm not saying the races were fixed or anything, but I was assured that the tips were "very thoroughly researched" I won just about every bet I placed. The jockeys came up and were introduced to us personally, and we got to go down in between races and pet the horses.

My mother has a special pass that lets her see any movie at any theater in her state, for life. Maybe it's not for life, but she's had it for a really long time. She used to be a bigwig in State govt. and it was a gift from the film commission when she retired.

The best seat in the best baseball stadium in the country is here. You can order food at your seat, and I don't mean just hot dogs. There's a real menu, with actual food. And waiters. And a separate restaurant, bar and lounge just for the people in that section. And an ice cream sundae bar. And you would be sitting clse enough to have conversations with the players while they were in the on deck circle. Out of respect, I always tried to be quiet, but whenever Edgar Martinez was on Deck, I could never resist a dorky thumbs-up. He would always smile and wave. Season tickets for the seats we had were $28,000 each. Didn't cost me a single penny. The person who actually paid for the seats was a friend of a friend who didn't even like baseball.

Backstage passes to concerts are great, but an all access backstage pass at a music festival like Coachella is an entire weekend full of exclusive shenanigans. Lots of "parties" in which half the room is famous, and the other half is pretending they don't care they're in a room full of famous people. Lots of free stuff, Gifting suites and the like. The type of atmosphere where if you're hungry, you just say "man, a pizza sounds really good right now", and then a pizza appears.

Free clothes at the clothing company showrooms is something that certain people get. I've seen people from clothing companies show up to a musican's hotel room with a rolling closet full of clothes.

I can't think of any specifics, but if you're super rich and like to gamble, Casinos in Vegas will cater to your every need and then some.

There'a a very exclusive private community In Seattle that doesnt even have addresses. It's just The Highlands.

I once spent an evening at a private club in an Asian country, with the son of a local "businessman". It was the type of place where your host would ask if there was anything you would like, and you really had to think about it. If your answer was "a strawberry milkshake and a foot massage" that's exactly what you were gonna get.

I'd say the only two things that would really impress me at this point are movie night at the Playboy Mansion, and Super Bowl tickets. If you can get Super Bowl Tickets, you're the man.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:14 AM on November 8, 2007 [7 favorites]

The exclusive Players Club International Card
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:23 AM on November 8, 2007

Best answer: The guy has a single-letter dot-com domain name.
posted by kindall at 5:21 AM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

"The biggest perk of being "in the know" is not paying for things. "

I agree!!

Have your character's main quirk be that he never- EVER- has to pay for anything. How uber-cool is that?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:36 AM on November 8, 2007

He seems to be always-awake and omnipresent. You could go to New York to check out a once-in-a-lifetime concert in a small venue, and he's dropped in for a couple songs and to say hi to his friend in the band before leaving to go to another, more cool, location.

Every bartender, maître d', and valet seems to know him by name, regardless of how affluent the place may or may not be. He can walk into a dive bar across from the factory and a whiskey with a beer back instantly gets slapped down on the bar for him, or he can go to the best members-only restaurant and breeze in without a reservation.

Although he's likely to get obnoxious business-style perks, he's mysteriously never at those locations at the same time as the businessmen. He seems to have a group of associates in every locale who are very well connected, but only within that sphere. If it's a quiet evening out, no one bothers him. If he's being social, everyone at the table or bar will know him and be nearly as entertaining. His skill is that he can move between these social spheres effortlessly.

Most "exclusive" things require money or celebrity. It should never be implied that this man has, or needs, either.
posted by mikeh at 6:55 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

He used to have a giant party in the desert every year until some hanger ons stole the idea.

He orders Nachos Galaticos at Taco Bell at gets them

His ring tone was composed just for him by Philip Glass.

He lives in a house that was secretly designed by Wright.

He knows all 32 letters of the English alphabet.

Tim Donaghy would take his calls during the middle of a game.

He knows where to buy liquor in dry counties.

Chick-a-fil will open for him on a Sunday.
posted by drezdn at 7:20 AM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]

Knows the meaning of the Toynbee Tiles and consults them regularly.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 AM on November 8, 2007 [4 favorites]

he vacations in stenborgia.

(from 30 Rock)
Jerry Seinfeld: Jack, I was vacationing with my family in Europe, in a country only rich people know about --
Jack Donaghy: Stenborgia?
Jerry Jeinfeld: No, better. But I can't tell you.
posted by kidsleepy at 7:36 AM on November 8, 2007

I imagine this guy to look like Johnny Depp.
posted by malaprohibita at 7:43 AM on November 8, 2007

Oh yeah, and he's a breast man.
posted by mikeh at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2007

Ah hell, that joke was already made by drezdn.
posted by mikeh at 8:18 AM on November 8, 2007

They were shut down for actually running strip after hours, if memory serves.

That's what they wanted you to think.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:23 AM on November 8, 2007

He can astral travel and invite you to join him in a shared lucid dream, just by touching your forehead, no?
posted by dpcoffin at 10:25 AM on November 8, 2007

The real name of the Rum that Robocop is Bleeding mentions here.
posted by enfa at 10:26 AM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used to work at Newscorp and the legend about Rupert Murdoch was that he carried nothing on his body but a pen.

That always struck me as the most exclusive possible way to live life.
posted by oalocke at 11:20 AM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]

This reminds me of Pattern Recognition...

and his new one, as well.
posted by Rash at 2:52 PM on November 8, 2007

Best answer: He's a member of one of these social networks.
posted by pfafflin at 3:20 PM on November 8, 2007

Instead of an address, his houses/estates (he's got to have several) have names. And staff.
posted by bassjump at 3:37 PM on November 8, 2007

Essentially, he's Ray Smuckles.
posted by drezdn at 3:59 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised by how few people like to enjoy ice wine.

FWIW, the owner of an international award-winning winery near me has stated to me flat-out that ice wine is a foul abomination; the only reason they make it is that it is incredibly profitable.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:59 PM on November 8, 2007

He knows who Tony Romo is dating this week.
posted by tamitang at 5:51 PM on November 8, 2007

He has a manservant. Said manservant should know karate and be a gourmet cook. He should also be half-Pashtun and half-Okinawan.
posted by charlesv at 6:17 PM on November 8, 2007

(the manservant, that is)
posted by charlesv at 6:33 PM on November 8, 2007

A friend of mine from richy-rich NYC once called me breathless to say that he might possibly have access for one night to a table at Rao's.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:12 PM on November 8, 2007

He's a member of Hesse's League (for a slightly less portentous option, a member of Moore's League).
posted by klangklangston at 7:58 PM on November 8, 2007

His wife, or girlfriend, if he has one, is a purchaser of haute couture.

(By the way, with clothes, buying them is more prestigious than borrowing them/getting them for free.)
posted by bijou at 10:03 PM on November 8, 2007

If you're trying to impress people with these references, consider that the people in the know wouldn't necessarily appreciate having their secrets in the open, and as a consequence of thatm you'd either get angry letters or derision ("oh, he couldn't even find the BEST stuff!").

In my old university (in Malaysia, which may impact your character choices), I was apparently put in a "VIP Students" list by virtue of my dad's occupation (he's the managing director of a nationally-known company). I don't know if I was supposed to get any perks, or if it was a list of students that the teachers aren't meant to annoy (the President was known to be a bit of a suck-up to anyone remotely resembling authority), and I wasn't attractive enough to be popular anyway. But I left, so that's a moot point.
posted by divabat at 12:14 AM on November 9, 2007

I feel the need to chime in here that "the coolest person you would ever meet" would never be seen near Disney World or even in Florida for that matter; the only possible exception would be him towing a supermodel waterskiier off the back of his 1936 Chris-Craft mahogany speedboat in Key West.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 2:49 AM on November 9, 2007

Shows what I know -- it's in California, not Florida. Still, no way a super cool person would ever be seen in Anaheim...
posted by lazywhinerkid at 2:53 AM on November 9, 2007

RNA Tie Club. So Exclusive, wikipedia doesn't even know about it.
posted by grieserm at 5:16 AM on November 9, 2007

He shops eBay Platinum Reserve. (Or, I guess what drezdn said.)
posted by audrey the bug at 12:46 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Iain Banks' The Business came to mind. The Business is planning to buy a country to get a seat at the United Nations. I think it would be relevant, at least, but I can't quote anything directly...
posted by Pronoiac at 10:40 PM on November 10, 2007

He can get tickets to Oprah's Favorite Things show.
posted by Ugh at 2:53 PM on November 13, 2007

He vacations on Richard Branson's private island.

Not so exclusive. Necker Island is available for hire to anyone who can cough up the $46,000 per night fee.

Ya' need to find a private island that isn't available to the hoi polloi....one that requires more than "cash" to rent. One that requires prestige, status, or some "unknown" qualification.
posted by ericb at 6:06 PM on November 13, 2007

Funny, but I would never translate being “really cool” with simply being rich, powerful, exclusive, prestigious and well-connected. I mean, are the people who in real life have all or many of the perks mentioned here, actually all the “coolest people”? The standard (cliched, certainly, but for a reason, no?) trappings of cool in pop lit and flix seem to be: Having had lots of extraordinary experiences and being involved in interesting exploits, having no inconvenient responsibilities or obvious economic dependencies while NOT being simply born rich, being really skilled in lots interesting ways, and also being known and liked by all the support folks: bartenders, waiters, maids, etc...

The profile this thread seems to be creating reminds me more of the architypically priviledged ass-hat, the guy the story is setting up for a major comeuppance.
posted by dpcoffin at 9:46 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]

All we know is, he's called the Stig.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:59 AM on November 17, 2007 [5 favorites]

He's probably jammed and/or played some tour dates with a cool band, and had fun but it was no big deal.

Maybe he's done some work with a now-famous startup in its garage days. Again, no big deal.

Sounds like he knows some high-falootin' stuff, but he can also fix your car, or anything else that's broken.

I'm thinking that he's done a lot of travelling, some of it in remote places and 3rd world countries. He got along swimmingly with remote tribespeople (just like he does with everyone) and got a cool tattoo or piece of jewelry from someone there. And definitely some words of wisdom that he'll quote.

He seems like a guy who may have helped someone out with their revolution somewhere along the way.

In a nutshell: I think this guy's cool is more about what he's done and what he knows about, than the money stuff.
posted by altcountryman at 8:26 AM on November 19, 2007

I once read a novel (maybe by Dick Francis?) where a guy was puzzled that his aunt (who worked for the government) would give him a passport for his birthday...until he looked at it more closely and saw that the passport number was 123456789.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:15 PM on November 20, 2007

Being able to talk other people into telling you exclusive and important things is more interesting to me than already knowing them. The method is very important in establishing the coolness. What impressed me most about Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan in the 2001 Ocean's Eleven is how they use social engineering to create a network of willing accomplices everywhere. Having resources and knowledge to start makes a character impressive in a Bond way, but being able to find them just about anywhere is mind-boggingly skillful.

A slow reveal that your character has friends everywhere and in the least likely of places, and therefore can find out just about anything at need, is more impressive to me than knowing something ultraexclusive to begin with. And definitely invent really unexpected privileges and information with an incomplete explanation. Mystery adds to the cool. If he's in a secret society, it should be a really intriguing one you make up.
posted by Tehanu at 4:08 PM on December 2, 2007

It's legend in my family that you could send a letter to my great uncle by just printing his name, and the city he lived in on the envelope.

He had a standing reservation at the grand hotel in paris, the drake in Chicago, and the Waldorf in new york. (When he died, there were flowers and a note from the concierge of the Waldorf at the funeral). My cousin supposedly stayed for free at the grand hotel in paris just by mentioning his name.

He never drove. anywhere. ever. Had shirts shipped in from Saville Row. Every christmas sent his nephews of approriate age exceptionally fine, rare shaving cream from london, and a little black datebook that listed the best restaurants in london, hunting seasons, proper vintages ranked by wine type and age, british holidays, race dates and polo tournaments etc.

I could go on. He was the classiest man I've ever met.
posted by Freen at 5:27 PM on April 15, 2008 [5 favorites]

He knows the ending to Lost.
posted by mecran01 at 9:01 PM on May 10, 2008

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