MAJOR ASHPOLE                                                                        


   People seem to resent arrogant assholes and I’m not sure why that is.

   If you think about it, most people owe their jobs to arrogant assholes: the great majority of companies aren’t run by self-effacing nice guys, they’re run by self-aggrandizing blowhards.

   Most of the better entertainers are arrogant assholes--and the agents and executives who put those entertainers in movies and on television are even bigger arrogant assholes--and how could we live without them?

   Arrogant assholes make the best party guests. 

   Everyone else stands around and makes small talk, and before you know it people are running to the powder room in waves because it’s more interesting than hearing the eleventh person in a row complain about the high cost of dairy products.

   Arrogant assholes are the ones who make ridiculous statements that get the party going. 

   Everyone thinks that’s the person they could do without at the next party, but guess who always ends up number one on the guest list?

   I used to be an arrogant asshole but now I’m just a doddering old man who complains a lot, and I don’t get invited to nearly as many parties as I used to.

   Arrogant assholes sleep better than anyone else because they go to bed knowing that whatever good happened that day was their doing, and whatever bad happened was someone else’s fault.

   How are you sleeping these days?

   I think there should be a “bring an arrogant asshole to lunch day” just to remind everyone of how important they are to our own success and well being.

   It would be interesting to see who invited whom.

   Maybe there could be local contests, sponsored by the PTA, to see who gets the most invitations. 

   The winner might receive a free subscription to a prominent arrogant asshole magazine like Town & Country, or Forbes, and invitations to all of the parties at Vogue. 

   Or vice versa. 

   Who would notice the difference?

   Some restaurants might find it to be an especially difficult day, having to deal with all of those arrogant assholes filling up the place, but a lot of restaurants probably wouldn’t notice the difference.

   Did someone say “The Four Seasons”?

   Most of the people who run charities--what their world calls “not-for-profits”--are arrogant assholes.

   I guess their mission makes them better than the rest of us.

   If you don’t believe me, ask them.

   That’s an interesting term, “not-for-profit.”

   Have you ever seen the salaries paid to people who work for not-for-profit enterprises?

   The president of the New York City public television station makes over $600,000 a year.

   How do you make that much money if you’re not making any money?

   Many of those not-for-profit executives do raise a lot of money for good causes, and some of the money does actually find its way to those in need, another example of the value of arrogant assholes.

   If I were still the arrogant asshole I used to be, I’d probably feel obligated to make some kind of statement justifying my own arrogant behavior, and why I need to be an arrogant asshole to successfully do what I do.

   But I just don’t seem to care enough anymore to be truly arrogant.

   Actually, sometimes I wish I still were an arrogant asshole, because I don’t sleep as well as I used to, and I liked being number one on the guest list.


Dear Major Ashpole,

    Town & Country is a magazine for persons who appreciate the finer things in life, like getting their pictures taken at charity events that squander tens of thousands of dollars to entertain persons who have millions of dollars because that seems to be the only way to get those wealthy persons to donate any money in the first place.

   Persons such as yourself, who have no understanding of the demands of a life of privilege, ought not to throw around derisive terms when you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

   I mean, honestly, why I should even have to write this letter in the first place is just beyond and below any reasonable demand on my time and stature, and you are just a bug, in case I forgot to mention that.

Warmest regards,

Pamela Fiori

Former Editor, Now a Consultant

Town & Country

America’s Magazine for Persons Who Matter and Pathetic Voyeurs Who Wish They Did, Too

Dear Pamela, Darling,

   Thank you for reminding me that not all arrogant assholes serve a useful function, something I should have mentioned in my column.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   Thanks for at the same time exposing and extolling arrogant assholes.

   I meant to do it myself a while ago, because those guys deserve both appreciation and scorn.

  BTW: Don’t forget to watch me whip a bunch of arrogant assholes into line on my TV show, while I play the part of humble, if wise, mentor.

Donald Trump

Trump Towers, Pick A City and State

P.S. Just want to make sure you noticed that I got my Atlantic City casinos out of bankruptcy for the third time.  Can I fool those arrogant asshole Wall Street types, or what?

Dear Donald,

   I’m betting you can get your casinos out of bankruptcy a fourth time.  You have that ability.  It’s just a matter of time.

Dear Major Ashpole,

   As the president of a public television station in Wee Falls, Iowa, I was shocked to learn what my counterpart in New York City earns.

   Do you know if there are any job openings there?

Hank Hickley, President, Studio Engineer, Program Manager, Director of Development, Receptionist

KORN Television

Northeast Iowa Public Broadcasting

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I’m not actually sleeping all that well these days.

   But thanks for asking.

Tiger Woods

Orlando, FL

Dear Major Ashpole,

   If I could only get more sleep, I bet I’d get more done on time.  But dealing with arrogant assholes who think their kitchen renovation is more important than anyone else’s drives me nuts.

   I’m still working on finishing the letter to you I started a couple-three (whatever) weeks ago, and I’ll have it finished before you can say “stop work order.”  You can count on it, really, I mean, trust me, okay?

Daley Holliday

Director, U.S. Association of Independent Building Contractors

19th Hole, Kentucky

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I just want to state for the record that the arrogant assholes who stay at Four Seasons hotels are not necessarily the same ones who eat at The Four Seasons restaurant.    

   Sometimes they are, but not always.  

   And unlike some pretentious establishments, we take reservations from anyone who is willing to pay our exorbitant rates.

Tony Nightlinger, V.P., Brand Identity

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Dear Major Ashpole,

   I just want to state for the record that the arrogant assholes who eat at The Four Seasons restaurant are not necessarily the same ones who stay at Four Seasons hotels.  Sometimes they are, but not always.

   And unlike some money-grubbing hotel chains, we don’t take reservations from just anyone.

Kurt Turnaway, Vice President, Reservations

The Four Seasons Restaurant

Dear Major Ashpole,

   So you think it’s pretty funny to expose my salary to the entire world.    

   As if fundraising at PBS stations isn’t already in the toilet.

Rich Werking, President

WNET Public Broadcasting, New York

Dear Rich,

   It isn’t funny, it’s sad. 

   And I didn’t even mention your free apartment or your eight weeks of vacation, or your allowance for...oh, what’s the use.


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