ALBANY, Calif.– In an age where extreme wealth has accumulated at the very top of the nation’s income distribution, Cal student Will Daly was shocked to find out that the island that his classmate, Cosmin Waldomar, claimed to own was just a kitchen island.
“Cosmin and I met in a Greek Studies breadth I took last semester,” Daly shared. “Introduction to Complex Banking and International Financial Markets. We didn’t really learn much but Cosmin sat next to me during the second lecture and struck up a great conversation about the culturally appropriate amount of Big Fat Greek Wedding movies. I could tell he was wealthy when I peeked over his shoulder in class and watched as he silently put a $30,000 bid on one of the campus Loop cars. But what I never expected was the offhand comment he made during the next lecture.”
Waldomar, when asked to recount the message, eagerly recited it from their texts.
“‘Hey big dog,’” Waldomar quoted from iMessage, timestamped just as the Professor mentioned the most critical analysis that both he and Daly would inevitably ignore, “‘why don’t you slide over to my place this weekend and we’ll study for the midterm? I have Trulys and a CD compilation of Most Beautiful Bellzouki Sonatas. Speaking of Greece, come over and check out my private island!’”
Daly, however, was adamant that the text was overly ambiguous. Rereading Waldomar’s message, he complained that he was a victim of false advertising.
“Cosmin’s text was pretty clear. ‘Check out my private island,’” he recited bitterly. “Private island paints one picture – that sand-dune above Bikini Bottom where you get to see a live-action sequence in Spongebob. So I took a gig to the address he sent, since I assumed we were going to carpool to some yacht (or even a dinghy). When I got there, he invited me in, and motioned to a handsome open-concept kitchen with a large slab of marble in the center, decorated in filo-dough monstrosities and Raki. So he said, ‘well here it is, my private island!’”
Conversely, Waldomar was taken aback at Daly’s subsequent reaction. Chronicling the encounter, he expressed distaste at the reception to his hospitality.
“I made that great ‘private island joke,” Waldomar grumbled, “and all Daly manages is a ‘really?’ No laugh. No smile. No lavish praise for my incredible humor. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he followed it up with ‘it’s nice and all, it’s just that your text made me expect a private island. I’m wearing a speedo under these jeans, and I got scuba certified in anticipation.’ How is it my fault? What, does he think I really have a private island? I might be rich, but even I know that American islands come in three forms: giant city, bleak prison, and Long. I hate to disappoint, but all I’ve got is a kitchen island. But, to be fair, being able to afford a place with a kitchen that lavish is probably a more ostentatious show of wealth, right?”
At press time, Daly prepared a midterm essay analyzing the role of the private island in Greek culture, drawing upon the Odyssey to Glass Onion. Waldomar, by contrast, was editing a paper titled “Private Islands’: How My Kitchen Island is the Same as Owning Mykonos.”