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A Conversation Between a Millionaire and his Butler

(Originally published 5/5/10)

New York (CNN) — A Picasso painting fetched nearly $106.5 million at auction Tuesday, a record for any single work of art, Christie’s New York said.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: What a stupendous piece of art! Giles, what is the current bid for this masterpiece?

GILES: 2.4 million dollars, sir.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: I see. And what is the value of my fortune?

GILES: 106.6 million.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: Okay. So factor in about 75 dollars for shipping, and I think I should bid 106.5 million, just to be safe.

GILES: Sir, forgive my ignorance, but can you expound on the logic behind your bid?

CHESTER CHESTWICK: There are many factors behind my decision, Giles, most of which are probably too complicated for you to understand. Just know that in addition to the external beauty of the piece, there is sentimental value to me. The woman in the painting looks just like my dear mother.

GILES: Your mother looked like that?

CHESTER CHESTWICK: Well not nearly as beautiful as this model, mind you, but they did have similar bone structures, particularly in the forehead.

GILES: The value of the painting is undeniable, but I wonder if such a high bid is necessary.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: I simply must have it. It would look magnificent in the kitchen, just above the toaster.

GILES: That is where you have the poster of the dogs playing poker.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: Good point, Giles. We’ll have to rotate the two pieces on six month intervals.

GILES: Sir, if I may speak candidly, I’m a little concerned about your finances. If you buy this painting you will be left with only 100,000 dollars. The monthly upkeep for your anti-gravity utility vehicle costs 50,000 dollars alone. Are you sure there are sufficient reasons to purchase this painting?

CHESTER CHESTWICK: I can give you two great reasons, Giles.

GILES: And those are?


GILES: I should have seen that coming.

CHESTER CHESTWICK: Stop being such a worry-wart, Giles. This won’t be the first time I spent a fortune on a naked woman!

GILES: I understand it’s a beautiful piece, sir, but –

CHESTER CHESTWICK: No “buts,” Giles. Just boobs.

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