Making a Difference

All my life, I’ve wanted to make a difference in the world.  I have sought ways to do it.  At last, in today’s mail, I found just how to do it my way.

I guess it’s not really a new idea.  Folks have been improving the world by spreading the wealth for centuries.  That, I’m sure, was behind George Bush’s terrorism-busting shopping suggestion.  The idea is, of course, to spread the wealth and spend money.  So I’m gonna.  I’m gonna spend lots.


Well today I got the most fabulous catalog in the mail.  And it changed my life.

Now, I get loads of catalogs.  Truth be told, I buy a lot of stuff out of them.  Clothes, gifts, stuff no one likes or wants.  You know, just like everyone.

But this catalog was different, and not just because it was laminated.  This one told me that I could make a difference and have a blast at the same time.  All the time, not having to mix with the little people.

What was this catalog, you ask.  Was it the Harriet Carter catalog, filled with stuff you can normally only buy on late-night cable TV (like this Skin Tag Remover) along with a generous assortment of vibrators?


Nope.  Better.

Was it the Heiffer, International catalog?  Could I order some goats and chickens and ducks (alas no coots) for folks so that they can raise livestock and have a better life?

Heiffer International, a wonderful organization, for real

Nope. Way Better.

Was it a Williams Sonoma catalog full of pricey pots and pans in which I can make gourmet treats for the homeless?

Catalog Cover

Nope.  It was beyond my wildest dreams.

It was the TCS and Starquest Expeditions Catalog, The World Leader in Private Jet Travel.  And they invited me along on a Cultures and Cuisines tour!  Can you believe it?  Me!  Here’s the trip:


Cuisines and Cultures Itinerary


Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it.  But when I went to the website I found that there are other possibilities.  Endless possibilities.  I can, according to the website, Enjoy the Ultimate In Service, Learn While You Explore, AND Follow Your Passion.

Wow.  What’s not to like?

Now, the cuisine and culture tour looks really good.  But the Around the World tour looks, even better.  I can go here:

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

And Here

Moais, Easter Island, Chile

And here

Luxor Egypt

In fact, I can go to all these places!

Around the World Itinerary

Best of all, there will be no shoe removal at the airport because I’ll get to do it on this:

My Wings


But best of all, I will be able to save the world while I do it.  I’m pretty sure that George W and Laura Bush will be along for this one because lookee here at just how the website tells me we’re going to save the world:

Make a Difference in the World
By joining this expedition, you support efforts to enhance the conditions of peoples and places we visit. At each destination on the itinerary, TCS & Starquest Expeditions purchases traditional handicrafts made by local artisans, provides supplies for medical centers or schools, or donates funds for essential programs.  (Impressive, no?)


Make a Difference in the World
By joining an Around the World expedition, you will automatically support efforts to enhance the conditions of the places and peoples we visit—there is no further commitment necessary on your part. Our expedition will provide supplies to medical clinics and schools, as well as contribute funds for essential projects that many people depend on. (Nope, I don’t want to have to do extra to save the world.  Trust me, paying for this trip will suffice.)

Which way I save the world is dependent entirely on which tour I choose.  Decisions, decisions.

Damn, it’s wonderful being in the top 1% of the top 1%.  With TCS and Starquest Expeditions you can see the world guilt free.  All this for about $60,000.  Each.  And there is no need to mingle.


Travel photos all courtesy of TCS and Starquest Expeditions Catalog.  Saving the world lingo is theirs too.



Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Humor, Hypocrisy

65 responses to “Making a Difference

  1. Well, someone has to do it — who better than me?

    And clearly someone was drinking heavily if they thought I could afford my own private jet tour of the world!


  2. Wow! How’d you get on that mailing list? 😉 Making a difference, one magnum of champagne at a time…


  3. Oh, IT, your way is the best way to help people. I was being funny — this in my opinion is a silly way. It is rich people doing things that are fun and trying to pretend that they are helping others so that they don’t feel guilty. They should donate the $60,000 to you for your work. THAT would help much more than buying trinkets in between gourmet meals!


  4. Oh, wow! That is a super cool idea. I wish I have $60,000. May be one day. For now, I can help people by being the best health worker that I can be. To help the sick and those in need. It may not be as grand but it’s a start right? I’m happy for you. Just looking at those wonderful pictures, I can already envision an amazing adventure for you. Stay blessed my friend…


  5. I don’t even make enough to get the catalog. Geez. Now I feel really bad. It’s Bella’s ‘Comparison robs us of joy’ quote in action.


    • It’s more location location location. My once lovely little town is being transformed into a subdivision of palaces.

      Apparently, I am the butler who should be delivering this “opportunity to do good” to my better neighbors!


  6. Oy vey. Slick marketing is when you get bent over and serviced from behind and you don’t know it until it’s too late. This is not slick marketing. This is a frontal assualt by a clumsy rich guy with a gold card.
    But it’s all First Class!


  7. GOF

    Thank you for including the PRICE!
    These (or similar) personal jet tours are advertised on our TV but there is NEVER a price included. They will mention ‘save $10,000 by booking early’ but never a full price.

    I’d suggest some hard bargaining to try and reduce that $40 baggage fee Elyse…..that’s totally unreasonable.


    • Yes, hard bargaining is in order over that $40!

      I can’t remember if the price was listed in the brochure or if I had to find it on the website. But then, GOF, you know what they say, “if you have to ask …”


  8. You must be on some special mailing list to get that catalog! 🙂


  9. Yes, I’m pretty sure that they do charge for bags. That’ll bring the cost up to $60,040.00.


  10. Do they charge extra for bags? I mean, my shoes alone…..


  11. That looks wonderful, PW. I would love to go. Actually I love to travel but haven’t done much in several years. I’m looking forward to doing more of it. But I love the idea of this tour. And we would have a BLAST!


  12. Oh my… only $60,000? Sheesh. I never cease to be amazed. I would rather do an enrichment voyage on the Semester at Sea – I do believe this educational voyage is, person by person, impacting the people of our nation. Maybe we can go together some day in the future, if I can ever retire.


  13. I just printed some money. I can go.


    • It’s you, me, Peg, Nigel, Guap, Angie, Totsy, Valentine and Twindaddy so far want to come I bet we could twist a few other arms with an infusion of cash. It could be a great party. But they’d better have WiFi on that there plane, or there will be no fun blogs to read for the month or so we’ll be on tour!.


  14. It sounds like they have some great marketers working for them. I just posted about false advertising….it’s everywhere!


  15. I’d love to go on either trip — I just can’t believe they are trying to pretend that it is going to save the world. What a crock.

    Let’s go together. We’d have a blast!


  16. I know this is written tongue-firmly-in-snarky-cheek, but I WANNA GO ON THAT TRIP! Anybody got a spare $60,000 they can lend me? Better make it $120,000 cuz I’d want to bring a friend.


  17. Is this really a ponzi scheme? Too rich for my blood.


  18. OK, but only if you promise to help me figure out how to find my page ranking! And tell me what it is!

    It sounds like a fabulous trip — but the idea that they are trying to quell guilt in that way is just so gross. Of course, short of lottery winnings, I can’t get very far.


  19. Hmm, I think it’s based on your income and credit score, along with your page ranking on wordpress, so I can see why you got this fine opportunity presented to you, Elyse.

    So, fork over the dough, and go help people, dammit! 🙂


  20. Do you really think any of these are better than one’s personal, in-person tour of bloggers?


  21. Hehe so you have to give over a wad of money and you can help save the world! All I have here is a supermarket flyer…


    • You would think that direct infusion of that wad would be a more effective way to save the world, but this brochure indicates otherwise. Who am I to argue.

      My town is a mix of normal houses and palaces. Apparently the mailman needs his eyes checked since he mistook my normal house for the other sort.


  22. I’ve been to three of the places (and mingled) on your around the world trip though I flew commercial to two of them. I can drive to the other one and do a few times a year. Yep, Orlando is only about an hour away.

    So glad to see you will be traveling to make the world a better place. Let me know when you get to Orlando and I’ll meet you for a drink!


    • I’d love to go to all of these places, just not sure I need to do it with a bunch of fat cats pretending that they are being charitable!

      I haven’t been to Florida in a while — I will certainly let you know when I’m coming, though! It would be a blast.

      Perhaps we should organize a fun blogger’s convention …


  23. I’m down. When are we going?


  24. You are quite the humanitarian, Elyse. Always willing to give of yourself for others. Someone should nominate you for an award 🙂


    • Thank you Paprika. It’s kind of you to notice just how special I am. And when I receive my nomination for Nobel Peace prize for humanitarian efforts while flying around the world in a private jet buying chachkas, I’ll be thinking of you. Angelina Jolie and I will, in fact, drink a toast to you!


  25. nigelld

    I’ll be with you, I just bid for a job on so I will soon be able to afford it if I work 36/10/478 for the next 200 years. It is amazing how these opportunities drop into your lap.
    Nigel 😉


  26. I’m with you! I think I have that amount about in my petty cash fund.


  27. bigsheepcommunications

    I think we’re on the same mailing list, only I haven’t gotten this one yet. So, I’m guessing the philanthropic part of this involves buying locally made crappy souvenirs and dropping off a box of bandaids at the local clinic – seems a little pricey to me.


    • Yup. Buying crap is important to the economies of all the lands I plan to visit by private jet!

      And I’m so glad you’re obviously in my income bracket, based on catalog distribution. I can still be friends with you! See my answer to Aurora above!


  28. Saving the world through conspicuous consumption — this makes me want to go out and buy 15,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.


  29. Thanks for the mini vacation, Elyse, that’s about all I can afford, LOL LOL


    • What! You can’t afford this tour! I can’t believe I am friends with you in the ‘sphere. Because, of course, self worth, and that of one’s friends, is determined by their financial statements. Isn’t it?????


  30. Hi,
    Wow, aren’t you just so lucky, and all you have to do is fork out the money and buy some local handicrafts, and you have saved the world. 😆
    You just have to love the advertising spin. 😀


  31. I’m expecting that envelope right after my Publishers Clearing House envelope comes…


  32. Sign me up! I love helping people, even more so when it seems like but feels nothing like actually helping people.


  33. Not a bad price for a one percenter. 🙂
    Gorgeous photos. I’d wanna go but who wouldn’t of the 99 percenters. We always want something we can’t afford. At least, I do.


    • Yes, these pictures were WAY better than the Harriet Carter ones. I wanted to go a lot more before I read the statement about how I can make a different by buying bangles and beads from the little people.

      This is what Mitt will be doing in November. 🙂


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